Well, my ear-making friends, it has been almost one whole year since I made my first fabric covered pair of Minnie ears. Despite the fact that fabric ears are a complete pain in the ass to put together, I cannot seem to stop making them, for the very simple reason that I have a problem. My name is Falon, and I am addicted to crafting Minnie ears. And with all the millions of fabrics out there in the world, there are just too. many. options. And I can’t stop! The good news is that through my addiction, I have been able to nail down my fabric covered ears making process, and while it is still a pain in the ass, it is much more manageable now that I know what I’m doing. So I figured it was time to share an in depth tutorial with you. This is going to be a long one, but I wanted to really lay out my process step by step. Buckle in folks and get ready for some serious crafting.
First, let’s gather our supplies: fabric of your choice, a headband, foam cut out in the ear shape (I use this template found here), a hot glue gun, E6000 glue, cardboard circles, good scissors, fabric glue, and yarn (yarn is specific to these particular ears, but whatever fabric you use, you will want some kind of trim).
Lay out your fabric wrong side up. Place a thin line of fabric glue along the middle of the ear shape.
Glue the ear to your fabric and let it dry. Then it is helpful to trim down your fabric around the ear. I have found that cutting the corners at a diagonal makes the rest of the gluing process easier.
Now we are going to begin covering the ear template with the fabric. Start with the middle section. Cut in toward the center of the ear template and glue the strip of fabric to the foam using the fabric glue.
Repeat on the other side.
Then comes the tedious part. In order to glue the fabric around the round part of the ears, you need to cut the fabric into thin strips.
Then use the fabric glue to attach each individual strip to the foam. This takes a while when you are first working with fabric ears, but now I get through this stage pretty quickly. A little practice, and you will become a pro.
This is what the back of the ear should look like when you are finished gluing.
Repeat this process until you have two foam ear templates completely covered with your fabric.
Then use the E6000 glue to attach one cardboard circle to each ear part. This does a couple of things. One, it gives the ears more weight so they are sturdier. Two, it helps really seal in all the fabric strips and make sure they stay put. Then (this is important) LET THE EARS DRY OVERNIGHT. Trust me, the remaining steps will be much simpler if your ears are completely dry.
Now comes my least favorite part of the process, attaching the ears to the headband. If you are not good with a hot glue gun, you might want to wear some gloves because I am a glue gun pro and I still manage to burn myself pretty much every time I make a pair of ears. I also recommend completing these next steps while you have some trashy TV on in the background because there is quite a bit of gluing, and then holding until the glue hardens. It’s good to have a distraction during the drying time! Okay, so first you are going to glue the middle section of the ear to the underside of the headband. It’s helpful to mark the ear placement on your headband first (I use a pair of park ears to measure).
Once the ear is secured to the under part of the headband, lay one side of the ear template on a flat surface. Cover that side of the ear with hot glue, then bring the other side down to the glue and attach.
This is what the ears will look like after being attached to the bottom of the headband, and then glued together.
Now comes the God awful part. In order to complete the ears, you need to close up the gaps around the edges. The easiest way to do this is in small sections. I squirt a short line of hot glue into the edge of the ear and then pinch the ear together until the glue dries. Then I move to the next section of the ear and repeat the process. I probably do this four or five times with each ear. The main goal is to not see any of the cardboard by the time you are done.
Once the ears have been pinched together and the glue has dried, it is time to attach the trim. Trim is necessary mainly to hide the yuckiness of all the glue, but it also adds a little something extra. For these ears, I braided some yarn to make my own trim, but I typically use rhinestones on a roll that can be found at Michaels or JoAnn. I used fabric glue to attach the trim to the ears.
Now it is time to make the bow! I have done several different version of bows for ears, but I really like how this one came out, and it was easy. First, cut out a small rectangle of your fabric. Glue the edges (as if you were sewing a seam) so there is no fraying.
Take a garbage bag twist tie or piece of string and cinch in the center of the rectangle to create the bow shape.
Use a smaller strip of the same fabric to cover the tie. I hot glued this piece on and it dried super fast.
The final step is to attach your bow to your ears. Hot glue works best for this step too
I am so in love with how these ears came out! These were such a labor of love, but these are probably the best a pair of fabric ears have come out for me. As much as I loved making ears before, I think I am going to have even more of a problem now!
Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial, I am happy to (attempt to) help you with your own ears any way I can!