30 January 2012

Make a Rainbow Tail

As promised, a tail tutorial to go with the Unicorn Horn Flower Crown. This tail is a very simple and quick project, and certainly isn't limited to unicorns or rainbows. Kaia specifically wanted a rainbow tail for her unicorn costume, and I thought keeping the bands of colour separate would have more rainbow impact than the strands all being mixed together. 

You will need: 
  • Yarn
  •  Stick or Large Book
  • Needle and Thread 
  • Cloth Ribbon (Thin and Wide)
  • Tacky Glue (I Used Quick Dry)
  • Belt
We picked out Bernat Mosaic Yarn - Psychedelic, their Calypso version is nice, too. 

This yarn has its colours in long sections, so as I pulled the yarn off the skein I wrapped it into equal lengths. This is pretty easy to do by wrapping your yarn around a book, but Kaia wanted a very long tail, one that came all the way to her feet. I held one end of the yarn in my hand, and wrapped it around a crochet hook I held between my knees, back and forth, between hand and hook, until the yarn started to shift to the next colour. Then I cut it.

Make sure both cut ends come out on the same side, even if it means chopping off a little section of yarn before starting your next colour, so that one end of your yarn has only loops. Use another short length of yarn to go under and around the loop end, and double knot it. Trim the knot ends short, (but not so short that your knot might slip out.) Do this for each colour. You will have a separate bundle for each colour.

Once you are through gathering your colours into bundles, run another, longer, length of yarn through all of them and tie them together. This length of yarn goes through the top loop, just as you did for the separate bundles, right under the short length of yarn you already tied. Now the bundles are all tied together on the inside. Wrap yet another length of yarn a handful of times tightly around the outside of the bundles, just below the knots, and double knot it. This sucker is not coming apart.

Cut the loops off the bottom end of the tail, and trim them more evenly. I hadn't trimmed yet in the following photo, but when I did, I cut it in staggered layers so they wouldn't all be precisely the same length. Cut two short lengths of cloth ribbon and ready your needle and thread.

 Wrap the ribbons loosely over the knotted end of your tail, and tack very securely into place. I sewed through the yarn wrapping the end and all the way through the tail. Okay, I didn't do a very pretty job, but it is very secure, and it will not be visible. These are so you will be able to put the tail on a belt.

Put a little tacky glue on the yarn wrapping the knotted end of the tail, and put the wide cloth ribbon around it. Make sure the seam is where you want the underside of your tail will be.Turn the cut end of the ribbon under before tacky gluing it down, and then stitch it in place. My ribbon was wider than I liked, so I actually turned the long edges of it under as well.

Your tail is ready to thread a belt through!

Kaia is as happy as can be with her new unicorn outfit, and I really like the way tying each colour individually keeps the colours in distinct bands. Honestly, I think I would still tie smaller bundles even if I were making it all one colour, just because of how much more securely attached the strands of yarn are this way.

We need to find a better belt for her, but tiny belts are hard to find! We have improvised for now. It doesn't come quite to the floor as she had asked, but I didn't want her, or anyone else, stepping on it and tripping her up, so I made it a bit shorter and she has yet to complain. ;)

She's been galloping around non-stop, and if I thought it was hard to get her to stand still for photos in her headband, it was next to impossible in the full getup!

Her tail has stood up to being brushed no problem, with not a single strand lost.

As always, I would love to know if you tackle this project, and especially if any part of the tutorial is not clear. In case you missed it, I linked up to the unicorn horn flower crown at the beginning of this post. They make a fun set!

(I am sharing this post at The Magic Onions and Frontier Dreams, two sites that give me happy warm fuzzies <3 )


  1. Your Unicorn horn and tail are so fun! Love the rainbows!!

  2. that is just adorable and so very creative!!!!!

  3. Aww, thank you! It has been seeing a *lot* of play. :)

  4. Wow that is amazing, I will have to go and check out your unicorn crown next. My daughter loves unicorns. My kids are similar ages to yours, it is lovely to find your blog.

  5. what a lovely idea - i love the horn too.

  6. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! We look forward to seeing what you share next week!

  7. Ali, I just checked out your blog, too, looks like fun!

    And some more thank yous all around, it is so heart warming to hear back from people what they think of my projects, I love it!

  8. HEY! this is soo cute and i'll be sure to try it. Im 12 and need a quick halloween idea:) -Alaina

  9. this is fantastic!! my oldest is going to be a "horse with a party hat" aka a unicorn for halloween. I WISH I would have seen this before I bought her costume!! Ijust can't get over it! Your little girl is SUCH A DOLL! LOVE LOVE IT!! I am your newest follower :) I blog over here ====> twopinktutus.blogspot.com


  10. Good luck, Alaina!

    And thank you, Misty! I will go check it out. :)

  11. Adorable! I am thinking of making a few fun dress up pieces to give to my daughter for Christmas...I will try and make the unicorn headband and tail first! Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial! LOVE it!

  12. Sooooo cute! You could use a band of elastic covered in colored fabric instead of a belt.

  13. Thanks, guys! Fabric covered elastic is a GREAT idea instead of a belt, nothing to do up! I always look for ways to make their dress-up clothes something they can get in and out of independently, it makes them AND me happier. :) I am definitely making one now!

  14. Made two for my little girls (for Christmas) with your hoops but also an elastic band covered in fabric (same that I used for the horn). This way, they can switch the tail over if they want a different color on top! It is very difficult to wait until christmas' eve to give them away ! I can't wait to see their face ;)


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