This post is a long time coming. I made 30 pairs of ears for my daughter’s second birthday party back in March. When “designing” the ears, I looked all over the Internet for a good guide, but everything I found was too complicated or too simple. I wanted something reasonable, but super cute. So, as I created my own “design.” I detailed my process with pictures planning to share it. Unfortunately, everything else has taken precedence, and I am just now posting more than 3+ months since I made the ears. Oh well, better late than never! I hope you enjoy my guide, and if you make some, please share your pics and/or experiences!
- Headbands – look for about a 1/2 inch wide, any color because you are going to cover them. I found flexible ones at Publix that won’t break! Cost – $2 for 5 headbands, and I used coupons and got for free! ($5 off $50 purchase, so I bought them over time using my $5 coupon for 2 pairs each coupon.)
- Black Felt – I purchased felt made out of 100% recycled water bottles, cheap and eco-friendly! (Don’t forget your 40% off coupon if shopping at Joann’s or Michael’s)
- Foam Sheets – I bought the ones with sticky on one side, it was helpful. There were 2 thicknesses at Joann’s I bought the thinner ones and doubled up. (Again, use your 40% off coupons for these and buy a bulk pack because color won’t matter.)
- Circle Tracer – I used a circle tracer from Scrapbooking materials I have, but you can use anything that you want to trace the right size. Circles approx 3 inches and 3.5 inches will be needed.
- Scissors – sharp enough to cut felt smoothly.
- Chalk pencil in white – to trace your shapes on the black felt to be cut out.
- Sharpe marker – to trace your circles on the foam to be cut out.
- Hot glue gun – LOTS of glue!
- Ribbon – This is for Minnie Mouse bows, so you can skip if all Mickey Mouse. You will need 1.5 inch ribbon for the bow and a thin ribbon 1/8 inch to tie it on with – preferably in the same color.
- Template – Download my template for your ears (Adobe PDF File).
Step 1 – Cover the headband – The dimensions used in this step vary based on the headbands purchased. You will basically need to measure enough felt to be wide enough to wrap the headband and long enough to close on either end. Roughly 2.25 the width of your headband and 1 inch longer then the length.
Since I am always nervous abut cutting fabric and wasting it, I recommend cutting 2 strips that you think will be the right size. Test one and use the other as a pattern for the rest of your strips, adjusting bigger or smaller if needed.
To cover your headband, place a line of hot glue down the center of your strip. Then starting with 1 end of the headband, rock your headband down the center of the glue until you reach the end (be sure to leave a little extra fabric on either end of your tip to close up – about 1/2 inch). Remember, when working with hot glue, you want to press with your finger as you go so you don’t end up with lumps.
Next, bring one side around and seal with another line of glue down the edge. Finally, wrap the other side around and glue down. Note – there will be lots of bumps and lumps, once cool, you will want to go back and fill in with little squirts of glue to seal flat. For the ends, put a little dot of glue in each end and pressed closed with my fingers. Once cool, cut off any extra fabric.
Step 2 – Cut foam circles – The foam circles will stiffen your felt ears so they stand up nice and firm on their own. Since you will totally cover your foam, any color works. I made my mouse ears 3.5 inches in diameter. This size works well for toddlers – adults, but you can adjust if you like. You will need 4 foam circles for each pair of ears – remembered I doubled my thin foam to make stiffer. The foam circles will be 3 inches in diameter.
When cutting out your foam circles, it is not necessary to be exactly precise. As you can see from my pictures, my foam circles are not pretty – jagged and you can see the Sharpe marks. It won’t matter because they will totally be covered.
Step 3 – Cut your felt ears – When creating your felt ears, you will create 2 circles joined together by a small rectangle (see picture). The purpose of this shape is to wrap the ears onto the headband. The circles will each be 3.5 inches in diameter. The size of the rectangle between the circles depends on your headband, the rectangle should be approx double the width of your headband (already wrapped in felt). Again, cut a pair to test and adjust accordingly.
Cutting perfect circles is not an easy task. I did my best to make them look nice and round, but I didn’t kill myself making perfect circles. Remind yourself that these are handmade, and people will be impressed with that. Plus once they are on, you won’t see tiny imperfections in your circles
Step 4 – Create your ears – Once you have everything cut out, it is time to assemble your ears. (Note, cutting is the longest process, I cut all my pieces out over several days because if you are making 30 like I did, your hand will get tired!)
Starting with a foam circle (doubled), use the sticky side to attach to the center of one side of the felt ears. Next squirt a generous amount of hot glue all over the top of the foam circle and fold the other side on top. Again, squish as flat as you can. Note, in order to avoid large lumps you want really hot glue, yes, you will burn your fingers a bit Sorry.
Go ahead and glue all of your ears. Be sure to leave the rectangle area unsealed (for now).
After your ears have cooled, go back and run a thin line of glue on the inside edge of each ear to seal. Again, not on the edge with the folded rectangle.
Step 5 – Assembly – Now it is time to put your ears on the headbands. Slide your headband through the loop created by the rectangles at the bottom of each ear. Once you determine where you want your ears, squirt glue into loops securing ears to headband. (I attached mine a little less than 2 inches apart – this is rough because I did each pair to look.) As you are securing your ears, be sure to pinch the ears down firmly to the center of the band. Add as much glue as needed to seal.
Step 6 – Minnie Bows – To create your bows, cut a length of ribbon approx 9 inches long. Fold the two ends back until they over lap in the center, and then pinch all three layers at the center. This creates the look of Minnie’s bow. Next take the thin ribbon (in matching color) and tie around the pinch at the center. Vola, a bow! Next wrap the thin ribbon around the top and bottom of the headband and tie off. Then glue the ribbon flaps down, and use a squirt of hot clue behind the bow to secure.
That’s it. Minnie Mouse bows in just 6 steps. This pattern could be modified to make bear ears, dog ears, etc. The hardest part about the project is cutting straight felt circles and working through each time-consuming step – if making multiples. Good luck!
If you are having a Minnie Mouse (or Mickey Mouse) birthday party and want more ideas for party decor, check out my other post with details about all of the other fun decorations for a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party.
DIY Minnie Mickey Mouse Ears Video Tutorial
For even more tips, check out my video tutorial that will walk you step by step through the whole process.