Before my Disney obsession shifted into high gear in early 2017, I had always thought that Minnie and Mickey ears were cute but they felt like a purchase that would never be worth it enough for me. Besides, I already had an R2D2 ear hat and a Sorcerer Mickey hat that would do just fine. But after appreciating so many amazing ears on Pinterest and in the parks, I realized they were the perfect accessory to complete my park outfits. I thought I would share my story of making ear headbands (which I admit, I contribute very little to because my much craftier friend Chloe has usually done the bulk of the work).
A big part of the reason that I never bought ears at Disney Parks was because I could never find ears for my favorite characters. Although there were plenty of Rapunzel ears, they always had a long blonde braid attached and I prefer short-haired brunette Rapunzel. Belle ears were always yellow or gold and I prefer blue village dress Belle, especially for Disneybounding. And Meg ears were non-existent. There were a few pairs that were contenders (such as the zebra ones at Animal Kingdom and the blue sequined ears with white stars because they reminded me of Sorcerer Mickey but when I found out they were intended as 4th of July ears, that ruined them for me) but no pairs that I absolutely had to have.
After looking at enough Pinterest photos of ears, I had finally come up with a solid vision for a pair of Meg ears that I would actually want that weren’t available in any Etsy shops and my friend Chloe spurred me on further by saying that she was planning on making me a pair for Christmas. Instead of having her make me a pair, we decided to make a pair for each of us next time we were together in the same place. To prepare, I spent hours perusing fabric samples on Jo-Ann’s and Michaels’ websites trying to find the perfect shades of purple and patterned ribbons. Ultimately, that didn’t matter because we spent an hour in the store anyways trying to find the materials that perfectly complemented each other, none of which were on my Pinterest board.
After deciding on a very thin fabric with glittery spirals, the light purple to go underneath it and hide the cotton stuffing, and the dark purple and golden spiral ribbon for the bow, we got to work. Despite looking pretty, these were all really poor fabric choices.
We ended up having to pin the spiral fabric and the light purple fabric together so that we could sew them with a sewing machine without them coming apart or missing some sections. Even with the pinning, it still wasn’t perfect. Then the bow fabric was so slippery it took us another 45 minutes just to glue it together with the right proportions and puffiness.
The ears were really cute and looked great in pictures but they were not very sturdy. By the time we left the park, one of my ears was coming off the headband and Chloe’s broke before we even got into the park! Thankfully, we had brought hot glue with us and she was able to repair them quickly. Can you guess which character her ears are based on?
The second time around, we did a lot better. For my Food & Wine ears, we selected a simple cotton print with names of wines for the ears and a much less slippery fabric for the bow in practically the exact same shade as my Meg bow. In addition to putting fewer cotton balls into each ear, we made sure the part of the ear that attached to the headband followed the curve of the headband instead of the curve of a printed template. This seemed to make all the difference! These ears stayed intact for the entire plane ride to Walt Disney World, during packing and unpacking as a I resort-hopped during my stay, my entire day at Epcot and the plane ride back home. I got so many compliments on the wine cork and how well they matched my shorts from Forever 21!
My Food & Wine ears were the only ears that I had time to make for my trip and in the process of preparing to make these, I stumbled upon an amazing pair of Rapunzel ears that I knew I would never be able to replicate. So I splurged and bought them because I thought they would be perfect to wear when I met Rapunzel for the first time. The coolest part about them is how they light up with the switch hidden inside the bow! Basically they are made of a bunch of small fabric flowers on a fabric-covered backing but I have no idea how the creator was able to weave the lights in.
Have you ever made ears yourself? What was your experience like?