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Thursday 8 November 2012

Mickey Mouse Party Ears

You may have noticed in the photos from Lola's recent Mickey Mouse themed birthday party that many of the children (and a few of the adults) were wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Now it was no coincidence that so many of Lola's guests were decked out like Mickey. We provided ears for them all to wear!

Ta da! Mickey Mouse ears!

I made all of the ears for the birthday party myself. They were quite simple to make and a hit with the kids (both big and little!) so I thought I'd share how I made them.

Here's what you'll need:
Plain headbands
Black felt
Cardboard (I used card that was approximately 200gsm thickness)
Hot glue gun
White fabric pencil
Needle and black thread

Here's how you do it:

First up I started by covering the headbands with black felt. You could make things easier for yourself by purchasing black headbands and leaving them uncovered, but making things easier for myself is just not my style! I actually did look for black headbands before I started but I was only able to find bulk packs of mixed colours. Also, I wasn't too keen on the idea of having the headband and ears made from different materials. A little pedantic, I know.

I covered the headbands by cutting out strips of felt slightly longer than the headband and just over twice the width. I folded the strips in half length ways and stitched them into a long tube. I then slid the tube over the headband and secured the ends with a little glue from the hot glue gun. You could also stitch the ends closed if you prefer. I chose to go with glue simply because the glue gun was my newest craft toy at the time and I wanted to use it as much as possible! Of course, now that I have a sewing machine as my latest toy I'd probably go for sewing the ends together!

Once I had all of the headbands covered with black felt it was time to move onto the ears.

I printed out a template for Mickey Mouse ears that I found on disneyjunior.com. You can find the template I used here. I printed the template onto card rather than paper to make it easier to trace around.
I then set about tracing and cutting out 26 felt ear patterns. I find curved nail scissors the best thing to use when cutting out shapes like this. They give a much neater finish that regular sewing scissors.

Tracing ear after ear after ear...

The felt that I used for the Mickey Mouse ears wasn't quite as thick as I would've liked so to help the ears stand a little straighter I added cardboard to the middle of each. If you're happy with the thickness of your felt you could just miss this step altogether. I cut out circles of cardboard that were slightly smaller than the ear shapes. I happened to have a scone cutter that was the perfect size but you could use a glass, a jar or any other round item of the right size as a template. Or you could just draw them freehand. The cardboard is hidden inside the ear so it doesn't need to be perfect. Once I had cut out all of the cardboard circles it was time to get out the hot glue gun and start to assemble everything.

I started by glueing a cardboard circle to one side of the felt ear. Then I applied a generous amount of glue to the middle section of the felt ear shape. (N.B. Be careful not to use too much glue here as the excess may squeeze out the sides when you fold it all together making a mess and a potential burn hazard.) I then very carefully positioned the headband on top and folded the ear over making sure that the circles lined up. While the glue is still hot you'll be able to move the ears around a little if you didn't quite get the circles lined up on the first go. Once I was happy that the ears would line up I squished the middle of the ear pattern against the headband to attach it securely and neatly.

After glueing on the cardboard circle, apply a generous amount of glue through the middle section of the ear shape

Carefully position the headband in place and fold the ears over until they line up

Once the centre of the ear shape is attached it's time to glue the sides together. I ran a line of glue around the circumference of one side, about 1cm away from the edge. You'll need to leave a gap like this around the edge to avoid having glue spill out the side when you squeeze it together. I also used a small amount of glue in the middle. While the glue is hot, carefully squeeze the ear pieces together. Make sure you squeeze the ear together thoroughly. The glue will dry lumpy if it's not squished flat.

Apply glue in the middle and around the ear about 1cm away from the edge

Squeeze the ear together

Repeat with the second ear and then tidy up where needed. I had a few spots where the glue managed to squeeze out the sides. I just trimmed this off carefully with nail scissors once the glue had dried.

Once you've tidied up the ears (if needed) you're all done!

You could easily add a red and white spotted bow to make Minnie Mouse ears too.

Lola in her Mickey Mouse ears

This was a really simple project and could easily be modified to make any type of animal ear that you like.

Time to get creative!

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