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The world has been consumed this week with the arrival, first appearance, and naming of the next heir to the British throne. So it seems like a good time to start spreading some more democratized royal fever.
Personally, I think every kid should have at least one play crown in their toy box, and why not make it a fabulous, customized fabric version? I decided my daughter needed something awesome for running around NYC, so I went with “Sky Scrapers” and “Big Apple Red” from the Big Apple Collection by Greta Lynn. She loved this crown so much that I think we’ll be building her collection very soon. The possibilities are endless; you could even skip the stabilizer and make it with felt.
Whether you’ve got a Disney princess or Mike the Knight fanatic at home, a big time fantasy reader, if you’re gearing up for some family cosplay, or if you actually just need your own accessory to help you cope with the fact that winter is definitely coming, break out those basic sewing skills. They are all you’ll need.
And these supplies:
- 1/4 yard of fabric for the outside of the crown
- 1/4 yard of coordinating fabric for the inside of the crown
- Some form of stiff stabilizer to make the crown stand up. I used 1/4 yard of fusible fleece interfacing for this project, but you can totally use felt or even card stock. Fabric alone won’t stand up tall and stately.
- Sew-in Velcro (NOT the sticky stuff)
- Scissors or a rotary cutter
- A good ruler
- Graph paper
- A pencil and marker
- Tape measure
First you need to measure the head circumference of the crown wearer and make a template. I like to use a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ graph paper, which will give you a 22″ wide crown template. This is a pretty good size for babies and toddlers (my 16-month-old is around 21″, but she’s also in the 75th percentile for head size), and you can continue the template on more graph paper to get to the circumference you need.
I divide the paper into 4 sections, then use a ruler to make the crown’s points. (I could have had more variety in height, but you get the idea).
I leave the last point at the right edge as an unfinished triangle.
This way, when I cut out my template and line up the two halves of the paper I have a nicely aligning edge to tape together.
Cut out your template and tape the two halves of the paper together to make a 22″ wide template.
I trimmed the right hand side of my template so it ended in another triangle.
Once you’ve assembled your template, trace it onto the fusible fleece or whatever stabilizer you decide to use (I like the fusible stuff because it stays where it’s supposed to when I’m assembling the crown).
Cut out the stabilizer.
Iron your outer fabric and then follow your interfacing directions to iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the crown’s outer fabric.
Iron your inner fabric and make a sandwich on your cutting surface. Put the inner fabric down first, right side up. Then put the outer fabric next, right side down (the two right sides will be facing each other). The stabilizer will be on top of the sandwich now, fused to the back of the outer fabric.
Measure 1/2″ out from all edges of the stabilizer and carefully cut through both layers of fabric along those edges. Trust me from experience, you will need that 1/2″ for seam allowance when you try to turn this right side out. Pin the seams as you cut to keep the fabric layers from shifting.
Sew 1/4″ seams along all sides of the crown, leaving a 6″-8″ opening at the bottom of the crown for turning (I actually left a side opening on my first try—that did not work out so well).
Snip off the tips of the crown’s points and any corners, being really careful not to cut into your stitches. Getting rid of the tips makes it much easier to get smooth points on your crown.
Cut notches into all of the spaces between your crown’s points. I made about three different versions of this crown before figuring out that this step was necessary to get your crown to lay flat. When you turn it right side out, you need that fabric in between the crown’s points to have some give so it will lay smooth.
Turn your crown right side out, using a knitting needle or skinny paintbrush handle to push out all the points as far as you can get them (without poking holes straight through the fabric, which I have done on many occasions).
Press your crown.
Fold the seams of your opened gap under and pin so they lay even and flat with the bottom of the crown. Top stitch over the whole crown with a 1/4″ seam.
Cut two 2″-3″ pieces of Velcro from both the hook and loop sides. Pin the two hook pieces to the inner fabric of the crown on the right side. Fold the crown over and match the loop pieces of Velcro to the outer left side of the crown. Pin in place and sew all four pieces of Velcro down securely.
Attach crown to the head of your favorite benevolent ruler.
UPDATE: There are lots of different tutorials out there for making fabric crowns. Here are some that are pretty fabulous.