This year's theme for Christmas presents is princesses. And, no, we do not generally have "themes." It just fits well since the girls are recently really into dress-up (especially E) and princesses are what they always want to be.
I caught E cleaning up our back room pretending that she "had to" because she was Cinderella. Ok. I can live with that. Maybe I'll get a cleaner house out of it! :)
Anyways, back to the task at hand. I started looking online (and specifically Etsy) for some nice, princess-y tiaras that
1) the girls would wear (aka sparkly and pink)
2) wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg.
Through my internet-exploring, I discovered that many women make crowns out of felt. While I thought this a great idea, none of them really struck me as something the girls would really be in to. Most looked a bit more like a crown rather than a tiara. I mean, let's face it, all self-respecting princesses prefer tiaras. Alright, alright, maybe just MY princesses prefer tiaras. But still, crowns are not for this family.
I also just couldn't find a tiara that I felt would stay on their heads and/or be easy to put on themselves. I like the idea of something that can grow with them, too. Let's say, an elastic at the back.
We all know where this is leading. I decided to make my own. I have TONS of felt - mainly because I bought too much for their Halloween costumes. I might as well use it, right? I also have some sparkly gems from Walmart that I bought about a year back for some other project - there are tons of those, too.
So here's how I made them:
2 colors of felt (I used scraps, but if you're buying some, it's 1/4 yard at MOST)
3" of 1 1/2" thick elastic
hot glue gun
Step 1 - Cutting out the "Pattern"
First, I searched for a tiara-like template that I liked the look of. I found some from www.spoonful.com. Apparently, they are "authentic" Disney princess tiara templates. I just know they look about right.
I chose the one I liked best, printed it out, and cut it out. Here is the link to the free PDF of the tiaras.
Once I cut it out and taped it together, it looked like this:
I measured the girls' heads and cut the arch so that it was the same length as that measurement for each of their tiaras.
Step 2 - Cutting the Felt
Decide what color you would like on the front of the tiara. Pin your pattern on the felt.
I felt that the paper tiara was a bit skinny - especially at the part that wraps around the head. So, I cut an extra 1/4" all the way around. I did not measure. I just "guess-timated". This is what it looks like all cut out.
Step 3 - Adding an Initial
I like to personalize things for my girls. Especially because they often insist on have the EXACT SAME THING or World War III ensues.
I found a pretty font I liked on my computer, blew it up a bit, and printed it out. I then cut the letters out.
My second felt is a sparkle black felt, so it has two sides. I decided to pin the letter backwards on the wrong side of the felt, but you can just pin it on your second color of felt the right way if you want.
This is what it looks like all cut out and placed on the tiara.
Using your smallest zig-zag stitch on your machine, sew the letter in place.
Step 4 - The Elastic
Turn the tiara over so that it is wong-side up.
Place your elastic in the middle of one end of the tiara, about 1 1/2" (or half of the elastic). Baste into place at the very end of the elastic.
Do not sew the elastic down at the end of the tiara. You should be able to lift up the elastic like this:
Step 5 - Adding the Back
Place your tiara on your backing felt with wrong sides together. Pin down your tiara
Sew your tiara onto the backing felt. I used a zigzag stitch, but a straight stitch would also work.
Make sure you do not sew the ends of the tiara closed. You will need these to be open to allow the elastic piece to move.
See how I didn't sew over the elastic sticking out?
And here is the other side...
When you are done stitching, it should look like this:
Now take some scissors and cut closely around the tiara. Make sure not to cut your stitching.
Now the front should look like this:
And the back like this:
Step 6 - Attaching the Elastic
Bring the ends of the tiara together to form a circle.
Insert the unattached end of elastic into the other side of the tiara until it is completely hidden.
Pin in place.
Stitch through both layers of felt and the ends of the elastic on both sides.
Step 7 - Finishing the Tiara
You can be done at this point.
Or, you can add some extra bling. I took out my trusty hot glue gun and glued on some "jewels" to make the tiaras extra sparkly.
And you're done! Easy, right??
I think it took me longer to post the tutorial than it did to make the tiaras. :)
And here's hoping that H is too little to remember the photo session by the time it's Christmas.