Originally, I made my oldest daughter a yarn beard and shared how to make a yarn beard here 7 years ago! I can’t believe it was that long ago. My daughter was going to be a dwarf with Snow White & the Seven Dwarves with the colorguard at the elementary school parade when she was a freshman in high school. Now she’s a senior in college! This post contains affiliate links.
Over the years, we’ve made these yarn beards a few times, and I’ve updated my technique and take much better photos now. One year my son wanted to be Gandalf the White, so I made him a big white beard and amazing Gandalf hat.
These beards are easy to make and so fun for pretend play! You can make it while sitting on the couch in just an hour or so.
If you have ever made a tutu from strips of tulle tied to an elastic waistband, this is nearly the exact same thing except it’s yarn and ribbon.
How do you Make a Yarn Beard?
A yarn beard just needs a couple of things:
- grosgrain ribbon
You’ll cut a big piece for the main beard and a small piece for the beard underthe bottom lip.
All along the grosgrain ribbon, you’ll make larks head knots with the yarn. I like to start in the middle and work my way one side and then the other side.
A larks head knot is this — Fold one piece of yarn in half, slip the loop of the yarn piece under the ribbon, then insert the two loose ends of the yarn piece over the ribbon and into the loop and pull tight.
For the outer part of the beard, use about 40-50 pieces of cut yarn. The thicker the yarn, the less you’ll need. Since the yarn is folded over, you will need yarn pieces that are twice the length. I feel like an 18-inch beard is a good universal size. It fits adults and kids, so I cut 1 yard length (36-inch) pieces of yarn to make the beard.
Once the outer yarn beard hairs are tied on, then tie yarn onto the shorter grosgrain ribbon. This ribbon will fit under the bottom lip of the person.
I add about 15 pieces of yarn to the bottom lip ribbon. Then, I divide the big piece of beard into thirds. I knot the bottom lip ribbon to the little open area between the thirds on each side. Make sure to knot it tight or it can come loose.
This is the finished look from the inside of the beard. When putting the beard on, your lip will go above that inside row of beard hairs.
This is the finished look from outside. It’s usually necessary to give the beard a haircut at the ends just to even it up a bit.
Now try on your beard. Make sure to pull the ribbon snug above the ears before tying behind the head. When you put it on, put the inside lower ribbon under your bottom lip, and slightly spread the middle beard hairs on the front ribbon to expose your mouth.
Now you if you really want to get fancy and are creating a costume as a dwarf or wizard make your beard stand out easily with a few braids or fishtails.
I found I like the fishtail look better. I used 10 pieces of yarn in each fishtail and 6 pieces of yarn in each braid.
To attach the braids, I just measured out evenly on both sides of the middle of the beard and then knotted the braids with the loose ends. Then, I just tucked the those loose ends in the back.
More Pretend Play Tutorials
- Let’s Make a Dinosaur Tail
- Fairy Wands with Tulle
- T-Shirt Superhero Capes
- Wizard Wands made from Paper
- Fleece Crowns
Cut a 1-yd pieces of grosgrain ribbon, then cut another piece approximately 10 inches long. Set aside.
Decide how long to make the beard (a good length is 18 inches). Then, cut the yarn strips for the beard hairs 2x that length. So, I usually cut 1 yd lengths at 36 inches so when they are folded over and tied on, they will be 18 inches in length.
Cut about 40-60 pieces of yarn.
Take the long piece of grosgrain ribbon and start in the middle with a piece of yarn. Make a larks head knot with the yarn. Work towards one side until you have 20-25 or so pieces of yarn tied.
Once the outer yarn beard hairs are tied on, then tie yarn to the short grosgrain ribbon. Use about 15 pieces of yarn.
Divide the yarn into thirds on the longer ribbon.
On the back side of the beard, knot the shorter ribbon to the larger ribbon at those open spots. Tie tightly.
Bunch the yarns up close and knot each open end of the ribbon right at the beginning of the beard on each side.
Use 10 pieces of yarn for fishtail braids and 6 pieces of yarn for regular braids.
Knot the top of the braid so that there is enough yarn to knot onto the beard. Then, braid the yarn. Make sure to compare the length of the braid with the beard length, so it's not too long. Knot it off.
Count out from the middle of the beard to place the braids. I usually count out about 15 yarns on each side.
Divide the top loose yarn of the braid in half front to back. Then, tie it on at those spots where you counted out.
Make some thinner braids to add to the underneath shorter ribbon as desired.
Tie the beard on the back of the head as tightly as comfortable. Place the lower ribbon of yarn under the bottom lip.