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No-Sew ELSA CAPE (from Frozen)…a ‘Do-It-Together’ Project

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can find all sorts of DIY Halloween Costume Ideas HERE.

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Hi, I’m Cami from Tidbits and boy, it’s great to be here!! I remember being told in my youth that everyone will experience at least 20 minutes of fame in their lifetime (not really sure who said that). Well, I am pretty sure this is my time to shine! Ha! Thanks for having me Ashley and to all of you readers!
 
I come with a project to share, highly demanded by my children.  If you have any little girls in your life, they are sure to want one too.  So gather anything shimmery or sparkly you might have on hand, and let me show you what you can make – TOGETHER!!!
 
No need for a sewing machine for this project.  Just you and your little one having fun and making something they can be proud of!
 
 Let’s create a No-Sew Elsa Cape!
 
 
 
 
My 3 girls are completely smitten with Disney’s Frozen, particularly the character Elsa.
 
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I mean . . . she has powers to create sparkly snowflakes, she never feels cold, and she has a super pretty flowy cape.
 
 
 
 
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I think the obsession comes mostly from the cape.
 
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From the moment we saw the movie in theater, my 3 year old was draping anything and everything around her head or neck, all in an effort to be Elsa.
 
We had towels clipped on with claw clips, toilet paper (no joke), and baby brother’s blankies. :)
 
 
 
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 I knew we needed something a little more….well…..pretty!
 
 
 
 
 
And with 3 girls to please, it needed to be quick and easy and fun for them too.
 
 
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Not to mention, I was pretty tired of tying fabric around their necks, so it had to be easy for them to get on and off by themselves.
 
 
 
 
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And let’s just say – these capes – are a HUGE HIT!!!
 
 
 
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I used a different age appropriate method for each daughter’s cape, so that they could help decorate and customize it to their liking (read more about that below).  We had so much fun together!!
 
 
 
 
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I think it would be so fun to have a Frozen Party, and allow each child to decorate their own as a party favor.  The cape is so easy to make, that this is actually a feasible idea!
 
 
 
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Alright. 
 
Are you ready to find out how to make your own?  Let me show you!!
 
 
We are going to move through these 4 steps below.  1-3, you will most likely do on your own.  Number 4 is for you to enjoy with your cutie. (For info on supplies needed, read through these steps to determine what you will need).
 
1.  Make a paper pattern.
2.  Cut the fabric out using your pattern.
3.  Finish off the edges so they don’t fray.
4.  Sit down with your child and make it pretty!
 
 
Step 1.  Make a Pattern
This might sound scary if you have never made one.  But trust me, if I can do it, you can do it.  I will walk you through the steps I took and you’ll have it done in no time.
 
 
First, you will need to measure your child.  I took a measuring tape and measured, in inches, from her clavicle bone, around her shoulder and down to the floor. Write that down when you have done the same.
 
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To make your pattern you need a long piece of paper.  I stock up on paper rolls from Ikea when I go there, but you could always tape printer paper together or use some butcher paper.
 
Let me walk you through the markings I’ve made on this paper.
 
 
 
 
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First things first, make sure your paper is 18 inches wide.  I used this same width for all my girls.  Then from the top of the paper take the measurement from your child’s clavicle to the floor and mark across with a pencil and ruler.  This pattern was for my 5 year old, so this particular measurement was 37 inches.  Mark on one side “Fold” as seen above.  This is to remind you to cut on the fold of the fabric when the time comes.
 
 
 
 
 
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Now measure 25 inches in addition to your child’s length and cut your paper there.  This is for the train of the cape.
 
 
 
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Now go back the the top and make a little marking at 2 1/2 inches.

 
 
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Now find a bowl, a DVD or something curved and trace the curve starting at the 2.5 marking.  This is for the neck.  It doesn’t need to be big.  I think my bowl was somewhere between 4-5 inches long in diameter.  I traced about mid bowl.
 
 
 
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Now cut that out on your markings.
 
 
 
 
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Come down to the train, and from the corner to the point of the marking of the child’s length, draw a diagonal line.
 
 
 
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Use that line as a guide to draw a slightly curved line from those points.  Don’t dwell on perfection here.  Just curve it nicely –
 
 
 
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then cut along that marking.
 
 
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Now go back up to the top and draw a curved line (like shown above) down to the body length marking.
 
 
 
 
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Cut along that line as well.  I do hope that all made sense.
 
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At the top where you marked 2.5, you need to round those corners off.
 
 
 
 
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And that is it!  You have made your pattern!  That really is the hardest part, and it isn’t even that hard.
 
 
 
 
Step 2:  Cut out your fabric.
 
 
First, let’s talk fabric.
 
Flowy.  That is a must.  Sheer.  That is preferred.  If you want it to look like Elsa’s, anyway.
 
I used organza on 2 of my capes, and chiffon on the littlest ones cape.  They both worked great.  I found each at Wal-Mart for 3 dollars a yard.  One type even had sparkle’s already in it.
 
How much fabric, you ask?
 
That depends entirely on the length of your child.
 
Take their length you measured in step 1, plus the 25 inches and that is how much you will need.  So for my 37 inch girl, I bought 2 yards and I had a bit extra.
 
 
Once you have your fabric, you are ready to cut out.  Fold your fabric in half and then lay your pattern right on top, matching up where you wrote “fold” with the fold of the fabric. Cut around the pattern but do not cut the fold.
 
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When you get to the neck straps, you will cut through the fold and around the curve of the pattern, so that it separates into 2 neck pieces.
 
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That completes Step 2.
 
Step 3:  Finish the Edges
 
We are doing this so the edges don’t fray all over the place, but are doing it without the sewing machine.
 
All you need is a flame.
 
And a bowl of water.  Just in case.
 
You may want to test this out on your fabric, but I can vouch for chiffon and organza.  They burn great using this method.
 
Hold your fabric tightly with both hands.
Move the edge of your fabric along the blue part of the flame (or the bottom) quickly and smoothly.  Don’t let it sit in one spot too long.  It burns.  Where you don’t want it to.  (If you’ve never tried this before, practice on some scrap fabric.)
 
 
 
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This will not only leave your edges clean so they don’t fray, but an added perk is the wavy lettuce edge they give to your cape.  So fun.
 
Your cape will be completely ready for the kiddo, as soon as you add a closure to the neck edge.
 
 
 
So in the effort to make this a “no-sew”, I tested out some seriously sticky back velcro.  Just cut out small squares and stick them on.
 
 
 
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It has stuck on great for my older ones who know how to take it off appropriately.  However, the 3 year old has reeked havoc on hers and one velcro piece is coming off.  I think I will sew some sew-on pieces on hers, for safe keeping.  However, I still felt like I could call this project a “no-sew”.
 
So sorry if you are angry with me right now. ;)
 
Use the method that works for you.
 
 
 
 
Then I hot glued a little snowflake piece I found in the button section at Wal-Mart.  Nice touch, I thought.
 
 
 
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Now for the FUN PART!!  Grab your little one!
 
 
Step 4:  Decorate!!
 
 
 
For my 3 year old, I simply taped some snowflake stencils (bought at Hobby Lobby) around her cape. Then I gave her some glitter fabric paint (also Hobby Lobby) and a brush and let her paint inside the stencils.
 
 
 
 
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Some turned out great.  Others, not so much….but she loved it!
 
They are a little hard to see on the camera, but I think they look really pretty in person.
 
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I also let her soak the fabric with this spray glitter paint.  It surprisingly stays on real well, and I haven’t seen glitter all over her and my house because of it.
 
For the 5 year old, we practiced our tracing skills.
 
First, I printed off some simple snowflake shapes which I googled.  Then, one by one, we put the paper under the fabric, and she used a bottle of dimensional fabric paint (with glitter of course, and found at Hobby Lobby), and traced the design right onto the fabric.
 
 
 
 
 
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SHE LOVED IT!!  Her hand was a little sore towards the end, but she loved it.  It dried beautifully.
 
 
 
So for my 7 year old, we got a little more serious.
 
Heat and Bond.  Wal-Mart sells it for pennies.  I bought a yard of it on the bolt and dug through my fabric scraps for some white fabric.  Heat and Bond is a product that is fusible with heat, on two sides.  I followed the directions and fused one side to my white fabric.
 
Then I cut random sized squares out of it.
 
So at this point, the scrap of white fabric is fabric on one side and paper on the other.  My girl and I folded and cut as many snowflakes as we could out of these squares.  It was easy, seeing how one side was paper.  If you do this, make sure you use good fabric scissors.
 
She then peeled off the paper side of the snowflakes and I ironed them down where she put them.  The heat and bond makes it so the fabric will not fray.
 
Don’t you just love the result!!
 
And we had so much fun seeing who could come up with the goofiest looking snowflakes!

 

 
Wow!  Longest post ever!
 
 
 
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Do let me know if you jump in on the fun!!
 
 
 
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I’m sure your girls, whatever age they are, will enjoy making their cape – just as much as they do wearing it!
 
 
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Loved being here!!  Thanks Make It and Love It readers!!
 
-Cami
 

 
Check out Cami’s blog here.
 
 
Loving the no-sew idea? Check out these no-sew tutorials that are as easy as they are cute!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Comments

  1. XOXO says:

    I dont have any sheer fabric and it is lockdown here 😪😪😪😪😥

  2. lisa says:

    thank you for this i really loved it i decorated my one with glitter

  3. Ann says:

    I love this tutorial! After all this time Frozen is still going strong in our home! Thanks so much for sharing, it sure is keeping me busy with all the requests coming in!

  4. Susanne says:

    Thank you! Just finished the cutting and burning 9 of these capes for my daughter’s frozen party! I tried the stick-on velcro circles for the neck closure, but found they left the other side of the fabric sticky (since it is so sheer). So, I plan to do sew-on velcro. I am thinking of having the girls cut out white felt snowflakes and stitching them on with just a couple of stitches at the party. Thanks for the great tutorial! Should be a fun party craft.

  5. Melissa Snyder says:

    Thank you for the wonderful project. I could now see the pictures and I am very excited to try this with my daughter.

  6. jan says:

    Where are the images? I don’t understand where 2 1/2 inches mark goes. My granddaughters are awaiting the cape, but I have no clue what you are doing. Can you please fix?Thanks

    1. Ashley says:

      Sorry about that. Something weird happened to the picture files but it should be all fixed now! Best of luck!

  7. Beth McC says:

    I am with Melissa above, in January 2015… Only a few images are visible; all the important ones have a circle with a hyphen in it. I would LOVE to make one of these for my 5-year-old granddaughter, but without the relevant images, I wouldn’t dare attempt it. Can techies help us?? Please? This is a lovely idea!!

    1. Ashley says:

      Beth,

      Sorry about that. Something weird happened to the picture files but it should be all fixed now! Best of luck!

    2. Beth McC says:

      Thank you, thank you!! The images are a HUGE help. It was impossible for me to visualize… my brain doesn’t work that way — I need text and diagrams to process information.

  8. Melissa says:

    I couldn’t see the pictures in the instruction section after the steps would like to make for my daughter but wanted to make sure I understood the instructions first.

    1. Ashley says:

      Melissa,

      Sorry about that. Something weird happened to the picture files but it should be all fixed now! Best of luck!

  9. daniela says:

    es usted inmensamente generosa al compartir su totorial . mis hijas y yo le decimos Gracias !!! <3

  10. Lorna says:

    Thank you soooo much for this simple pattern! I’ve had the sparkly fabric since October and haven’t dared to try actually making the cape. I DO NOT sew and was searching for an easy pattern/tutorial. I made my granddaughter’s cape this afternoon. It took almost no time at all–the scariest part was melting the edges of the fabric. It came out absolutely beautiful! She will be so excited on Christmas morning, I can’t wait. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And have a very Merry Christmas!

  11. Averille Barry (60yrs) says:

    This is just awesome, THANX so much, I am going to give this a go, have been stressing making one, I think I have enough fabric, but I bought fine netting with some glitter in it, not sure if this going to work, I might buy the real thing. I still need to make the dress 4my granddaughter turning 9 – I have been looking @ many pics, using vintage pattern with some modification, and my imagination. So lets cross fingers, will give some feedback and hopefully a nice pic worth showing off. The cape was worring me a bit and this sounds quite easy to make and much quicker, no hassles with yarn clogging or causing problem. Wish me GOOD LUCK.

  12. Evelyn Hayes says:

    Thank you so much for the great idea and the pattern. I plan on trying this for my 5-year-old granddaughter who is definitely a major Elsa fan – she’s growing her hair so she can have an Elsa braid:) A great Christmas surprise to go along with the Elsa Doll I crocheted for her. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  13. Sarah says:

    Making these for all my baby-sitting kids! Just finished the first one and excited to do the rest! Easy as the directions say. I used white crushed voile and the candle worked awesome on it. Thanks for the template!!

  14. Melanie says:

    Totally Christmas presents! My two nieces LOVE frozen! What a quick,easy and cheap way to make two little girls happy on Christmas morning :) thank you!!!

  15. Devon says:

    I absolutely love this idea! My daughter will be 5 on December 11th and I’m planning a Princess Party for her. She is obsessed with Frozen like most little girls are. This would be perfect for her party and for dress-up. My 10 year old has recently banned all things Disney Princess on the grounds that she’s getting too old for them now. She saw this post and is now begging me to make her one too. Thank you for giving me a little more time with my oldest before she thinks mommy is lame. ;-)
    Now I just have to figure out what to make for my son! lol

    1. Sarah says:

      I made a superhearo cape using this, just didn’t add the extra 25 in for the train.

  16. toni says:

    U are awesome! Best idea! We were unable to buy the Elsa costume for Halloween due to it being sold OUT! So I mentioned to my 8 year old daughter that I would have to make the dress. I nearly fainted when she mentioned that she needed an Elsa cape. Until I found your site! Amen & Thank you!

  17. Christine says:

    i think I have a slip or some other piece of lingere that will work

  18. raven c says:

    Really good idea THankS

  19. Maurita says:

    I have looked at this page for weeks intimidated. We finally cut out the cape today. We found 3 dimensional sticker snowflakes at Dollar Tree. We used a little bit of fabric glue to secure. This is the first costume I ever made. Thank you for giving me the confidence to try. We used white organza fabric. We still have a little bit of painting we will do for extra snowflakes and color.

  20. Tara says:

    We made this today! Found some blue chiffon at walmart with glitter snowflakes already in place! The glitter does come off all over but a little glitter never hurt :)

  21. rahab says:

    This is like i am going to help my child do it but its to late because i just saw this.BECAUse she going to be elsa for her book report but we alredy did it!ANYWAY ALMOST HER BEDROOM IS FOOL OF ELSA!!!

  22. Jen says:

    So quick and easy to make :) I used sew on velcro and placed a piece of felt on both sides of the fabric before sewing to make it more secure. I used a tule/organza type fabric and didn’t need to even melt the edges as it doesn’t fray. It also came with glittery sparkles already on it :) Thank you!

  23. Anonymous says:

    not a fan

  24. Kay says:

    I made one for my grand daughter. I purchased the fabric from Walmart that already had snowflakes on it to make an Elsa cape. Was very easy to do.

  25. Janele says:

    My oldest, (17 years old), is currently building a float for the homecoming at her high school. The theme is Disney and she is going to be Elsa from Frozen. As everyone knows, items for this particular character are either impossible to find or incredibly expensive. It is just a Disney character but it is popular. Your post inspired me to go the cheaper and more creative way. I actually found sheer fabric with sparkly snowflakes already added. I am going to try this, as I do not have a sewing machine. I will keep you posted. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

  26. Joey says:

    So cute! I have spent a fortune on “dress-ups” for my 11 grand daughters and it seems all they really want is a cape! What a great idea for them to decorate their own! It’s going to be a CAPE party at grandmas…Thanks for sharing.

  27. Vickie says:

    Made it, too! So easy and thanks for your great instructions and pictures! You are a life saver after I got the request to buy an Elsa cape my 8-year old granddaughter found online for $80. I told her I would make her one instead. She wanted the train to be extra long so that was easy to adjust. I decided to sew a simple hem around it so she could watch. I thought it would be a good way to introduce her to sewing. I sewed on a large snap and camoflauged it with a large fancy button I already had. She wanted it for her upcoming Elsa Halloween costume. I hope she doesn’t wear it out before then. Thanks again for your wonderful idea!

  28. Heidi says:

    We will be making these at my daughter’s 5th birthday party this weekend. Thanks so much!!!

  29. wendy says:

    I made this today for my granddaughter. It was so easy and turned out awesome! We are collecting costumes and accessories for her for a dress up trunk to give her for her birthday and she will be WOW’d with this (if I don’t give it to her before then). I’m dying to see her face!
    Thanks SO much for your easy tutorial and great idea! Thank you.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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