Background: Several weeks ago, Lucy pulled a really long piece of toilet paper off the living room nose-blowing toilet paper roll (doesn't everyone have one of these?). Then she was holding one end of the piece up to the back of her head and running around. Upon questioning, it was revealed that she was pretending to be Rapunzel. (Tangled is a big deal in our house right now.) I helped her by securing the toilet paper to her head with a hair tie, but of course it didn't last long. She kept stepping on it and getting it caught places, and pretty soon all the pieces were too short to be any fun.
And then it occurred to me that with a few bucks worth of yarn and an hour of my time, she could have a Rapunzel braid that would actually stand up to the rigors of toddler dress up play. So I bought one pound of yellow yarn and waited for Lucy to be asleep.
I'll show you how I did it (meh), and then I'll give you the link to the blog of a lady who totally did it up right. (I did zero internet research before making Lucy's. Oops.)
I figured I'd want the hair to end up about 9 or 10 feet long. It needed to be nice and crazy for dragging around and wrapping around things. Fingertip to fingertip for me is about 5 feet, so I pulled a length of yarn two wingspans. Then I held the 10-foot mark and pulled two more, and folded it in half at the 10-foot mark and cut the end. So I had 20 feet of yarn, folded in half so that it was 10 feet doubled.
I did that first step a lot. As I did each length I laid it across the coffee table. I did this until I had what seemed like a thick enough bunch of hair.
Then (and this is where I really could have done this more efficiently) I found all the middle fold points of each length and looped each one over my finger so that I could hold them all together and get them to hang straight and unbunched. That probably needs a photo, but I was alone at the time.
I cut a short length of yarn and stuck it through all the loops to tie it all together. So I had a whole bunch of 20-foot lengths of yarn, tied together and folded in half in the middle. I took this 10-foot bundle and tied it to one leg of my coffee table by the piece of yarn I had tied around the middle. Then I separated it into three bunches, and tried again to get it all straight and even and not bunched up.
But I didn't try too hard. Doesn't have to be perfect, y'all!
Then I just braided. Of course with something this long you have to braid the top and unbraid the bottom as you go along. It was some work!
Then I tied it really tight at the end with another piece of yarn, and trimmed it so the ends were all kind of even. I also found a piece of blue ribbon in my craft room to tie around the bottom in a bow.
At this point I realized that I had no idea how I was going to attach it to Lucy's head. (See? I really should have asked the internet before I did this.) I tried to attach it to my own head with bobby pins and that failed miserably. Then I decided to thread a plain hair tie through the folded-in-half part at the top. I looped it through itself and pulled it tight. To put it in Lucy's hair, I use the hair tie to make a pony tail, and the yarn hair just kind of hangs down from there.
I left it on her rocking chair for her to discover the next morning. :-)
All of her "I'm posing for a camera!" smiles look like this.
To date she has not tripped or injured herself with it at all. So there's that.
The lady who actually thought this through and knew what she was doing is here. Definitely go take a look.
Bonus frying pan shot!