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UPDATE: 5/10/2013

A bit of a disclaimer: I'm not a professional, and at the time of this update, I have only completed two tails, so I may not be able to answer questions you have.  This post is more me sharing my method than a tutorial.

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I've gotten some questions from people asking me how I made my yarn tails.  I've only made two so far, so it may not be perfect, but it seems to work just fine.  My method's a combination of two tutorials I found + what felt right.  I figured I'd post this for any who are interested in trying their hand at it.  It's pretty easy and fun.  I've found a new hobby to do while watching tv.

I used these two tutorials as inspiration:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFu6XE…
www.jelliclecostumes.com/Tails…

-First, gather supplies.  You need yarn, a slicker brush (www.jemarpet.com/images/Slicke…), and scissors.  

-Cut three lengths of yarn a few inches longer than you want the tail to be.  These will be the base.  Tie a knot at the top and then braid the length of the yarn, tying a knot at the bottom too.  Then, take the top and make a loop and tie it, so that you have a loop to feed a belt through.

-Tie another knot at the bottom.  Make sure it's thick enough that the yarn you tie around the base won't slide off.

-Next, take the yarn and wrap it around your palm ten times.  Cut it off with the scissors.  These pieces will be the fur.

-Take two segments of yarn, hold them together (as though they were one unit) and tie them so they are centered around the base.  Just one knot is enough.

-Repeat this with the remaining segments of yarn.  Turn the tail ¼ turn each time so that the yarn is spaced out evenly.

-Unravel all the yarn.  

-Take the slicker brush and brush out the yarn out in sections until it looks like fur and there are no clumps.  A lot of fuzz will come off on the brush.  This is normal.  Then when you are done, brush the fur in the direction you want it to go.

-Repeat these steps until you reach the top of the tail.  Then you're done!  Feel free to change colors as you go and experiment with patterns.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconclawheartmystery:
Clawheartmystery Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You might've just solved my problem on how to attach a key ring to the yarn tail that I'm making!
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome! I'm glad to be able to help out. :)
Reply
:iconkigenzen:
Kigenzen Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014
Hi :) Can I ask a question about the tail made out of yarn. Do you think it would be possible to put a metal wire in the base then braid over it? Or do you have any ideas on how to make the base a bit thicker without using yarn for it? I need a bigger and sturdier base for it since it's going to be standing up. I'm planning to make tails for my Ahri cosplay soon.
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't tried it myself, but I don't see any reason why wire wouldn't work. You'd probably want something somewhat thick, though, so that it can support the weight. As for thickness, braiding thick strips of fabric might work for the base, but again, I haven't tried this yet. Good luck!
Reply
:iconxxnoisexpollutionxx:
XxNoisexPollutionxX Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
As far as connecting your clip to your tail, how do you personally do that?
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've only used a keychain clip once, but here's what I did (if I remember right).  I made the base braid, and tied a knot at both ends, but made the knot at one end back a bit from the edge, so that there's some loose yarn there.  I then tied the loose yarn around the part of the keychain I was attaching to the tail.  I think I used a square knot, and might've tied an extra one just to be safe.  I then proceeded to make the tail as described in the tutorial, but when I got to the top, I made sure to take the loose ends, keep them flat against the braid, and tie the yarn around it, so that it was secured and hidden in the middle of the tail, if that makes sense.  I hope this helps!
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:iconxxnoisexpollutionxx:
XxNoisexPollutionxX Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014
Thanks so much, lovely! :heart:
Reply
:iconmeroda:
Meroda Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013
I'm not entirely sure if anyone is having this problem, but if I wear my tail during a summer day the tuffs tend to get wavy from the humidity. Even now I still can't get the waves out (I tried restraightening them) any way to prevent this, that you know of?
Reply
:iconlilkatkat:
lilkatkat Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You could try hairspray.... I haven't quite had that problem yet, but you could try just a small ampount in your hand, then smears on the tail.
Reply
:icondark-fox-yanori:
Dark-Fox-Yanori Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi, I have been interested in making tails for awhile. I am a visual person as well as one that needs verbal direction. Both this tutorial and another is helpful..

For those who need a visual, however, I've found that if you want a realistic looking shiny tail, take this one as well as a tutorial from Zullala on YouTube. The title is Cosplay Creep tail tutorial (part one and two).

She suggests that you don't use Red Heart yarn for the fluff because it can break easily but she says it is perfectly fine for the base..

These in unison helped me start my tail.. So hopefully I didn't step on any toes and this little note helps someone who needs a visual..

Bye-bye ^.^
~Yanori
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing!  I love hearing different techniques.  I'll check that one out!
Reply
:icontoxyk-melodi:
Toxyk-Melodi Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I would just like to say that I decided to search how to make yarn tails because I have a lot of yarn. I searched this on Google, and your tutorial here was the 4th link. I just found it rather ironic since I just started talking to you not that long ago xD
Reply
:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh wow, that's insane! I can't believe this has gotten that popular.
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:icontoxyk-melodi:
Toxyk-Melodi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe. Consider yourself officially awesome now!
Reply
:iconschatten11:
schatten11 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
Actually, a more important question for me would be this:

I've had a hard time figuring out which part of the tail i'm supposed to tie the tuff of yarn to. (especially and the end.) Am i tying it to an individual strand of yarn? one section of the braid? or the whole braid?

Also, i'm having a hard time understanding in all the tutorials i've found, how to get the end of the tail to be pointed. will it just fluff out nicely at the bottom when you brush it?
Reply
:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If I remember right, the other tails I've made (2-3 colors) came out at about 15-17 inches, and I still have the original skeins of red heart yarn, and I didn't seem to make a huge dent in any of them. It might just be that these are larger skeins, but I'm not sure. For the second question, I'm a bit confused as to what you mean. I tie the yarn onto the braid above the bottom knot but below the top loop. I tie it close to the bottom knot (or the last bit of yarn I've attached) but the exact height doesn't matter as much, as I push all the pieces down to the end after tying. I hope this makes sense! As for the pointed end, that happens on its own once you brush it. :) I'm actually curious as to how to make rounded ends, as I might try making a kitty tail in the future.
Reply
:iconschatten11:
schatten11 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013
I haven't started making one yet. but I really want to! About how much yarn do you go through to make just one average sized fox tail?
Reply
:icondemonictemerity:
DemonicTemerity Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is using the red heart brand bad? I use it and it breaks ALOT so is there any way I could fix this??
Reply
:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure. That's the brand I've used (because it's inexpensive and the colors worked well), but I also haven't made a ton of tails. What happens when it breaks?
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:icondemonictemerity:
DemonicTemerity Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It just falls off in clumps lol
Reply
:icongrellybean69:
Grellybean69 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Have you made a visual tutorial for these processes? Some people learn best by sight, as many artists usually are.
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Unfortunately I haven't, but try watching the first link in the journal, as that's where I based a lot of my method. I haven't seen the video in a while, and I don't think it does any really good close-ups, but it might be helpful. Good luck!
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:icongrellybean69:
Grellybean69 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh alright. I found and watched it. It seems easy, but very tedious. ^^ Thank you.
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have to admit that it can be tedious, but is easy overall. The good thing, though, is that it's simple enough to do in front of the TV, so that helps out a bit. :)
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:iconbishhplease:
BishhPlease Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Student General Artist
How many rolls of yarn do you need for an average sized tail?
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've only made two so far, but neither one used up a full skein of the Red Heart yarn, though I did use 2-3 different colors per tail. My tails were between 14 and 17 inches long, and I didn't run low on the yarn, so I'd approximate that you could get a minimum of one tail out of one skein of yarn. Good luck!
Reply
:iconchibipewdie:
ChibiPewdie Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2012  Student General Artist
What do you mean by "unraveling all the yarn?" I'm confused, sorry. ^^;
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's fine. :) If you look at a piece of the yarn, you'll see that it is made of a few strands twisted together (see this image [link] or this image [link] for a close-up). Once the yarn is tied onto the base, try to get a fingernail between the strands and use your fingers to untwist/work them apart, until the main individual strands are separated. They'll look pretty wavy, but it makes the yarn a lot easier to brush out, and it brushes out mostly straight. I've been told that using a hair straightener/flat iron takes care of the waviness, but I haven't tried it yet. Hope this helps!
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:iconspectralsecret:
SpectralSecret Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Use the fluff to try needlefelting xp
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:iconyumi3585:
yumi3585 Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
if u know how to sew u can use the fuzz stuff and stuffinf for things or u can re-use it to make yarn again if u know how to do it
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've thought about using it as stuffing, but I don't know if it would be springy enough, or that it will not go flat after a while. I'll probably try it on something little.
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:iconbigbcc:
BigBCC Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011   Photographer
I have to say the worst part for me is unraveling all the yarn. I'll be getting a slicker brush on Friday, but unraveling all the yarn on a 26-28 inch tail is a real PITA

Question, after unraveling and brushing it out, does the "fur" get a little thicker? Because mine is currently looking like a white horse tail instead of an arctic wolf tail -.- I did, however, uses some different lengths in the "fur" too, hoping to give it some more shape.
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
It does get poofier as you go from what I am seeing. Hint: it's easier to do it in sections, and brush out a section before moving on. :) I also JUST figured out (like literally within the last 5 minutes) that with the slicker, if you use a bit of a lifting motion instead of just a straight brush, it fluffs it more quickly without losing as much onto the brush.
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:iconbigbcc:
BigBCC Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011   Photographer
That's good to know, I'm actually unraveling each piece of yarn by hand before the slicker brush (also I can't get the brush until tomorrow) I think that method is good, but may give a different result than one not brushed out until the end.... But I may be completely mistaken... :P
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I know what you mean! I can't imagine how much patience you must have to work on a tail that big. I've only done ones up to 15 inches or so, and those try my patience a bit because I get so anxious to see the final product.

I've had the fur get poofier, if that's what you mean. It sort of stands out, and gets bushy, even if I try to brush it down in the correct direction. If I run my hands over it, that seems to calm it down. I also hang the tail up when I'm not working on it, so gravity may help it out.
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:iconbigbcc:
BigBCC Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011   Photographer
Well this one I'm only working on in my spare time and when I can't sleep.... And the biggest thing I'm worried about is that if it doesn't start getting poofier, because right now, it really does look only like a horse tail instead of a wolf tail :/
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oooh, I see what you mean! Sorry, I misread what you wrote, and I thought you meant it was getting too fluffy. Try being more aggressive with the brushing. Maybe that will help to fluff it out a bit. A thicker base might help too, though I'm not sure. I haven't experimented with that yet.
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:iconbigbcc:
BigBCC Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2011   Photographer
Sorry, been busy with work and such.... Anyways, I just kinda finished mine tonight. I discovered that if you brush it up with the slicker brush and run your hands over it lightly to pull the fur back down and go lightly over it from the top to the bottom tip it'll keep it a little poofier and look more realistic (for me at least since mine is a wolf) ten if it ever starts laying too thin just give it a quick light shake to poof it back out. I ended up shortening mine quite a bit, but it's still a good 3-4 inches longer than my real tail. Gotta smooth it out a little more and add some extra fur at the top, but other than that it's done and I'm happy with the result :) Fun project.
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's fair, I've been busy myself. And that's cool! I'll have to try that. Glad you had fun!
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
LOL this is worse than brushing my cat
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha! I know what you mean. I have a grocery bag that's pretty near full from the leftover fuzz from the two tails. I also had little wispies go flying and land in my keyboard and on my clothes.
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah I was throwing it away, now I think it's better to keep it and use it as like stuffing or something. LOL

I only have one color of yarn right now though. May have to ask Gram is she has any yarn she doesn't want, that she'd like to get rid of, especially anything in browns, whites, reds, etc.

Just got black acrylic at the moment. Kinda curious to know if wool yarn sheds less...
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, that's why I've been saving it too. Not sure how well it will work. I don't know if it will be springy enough for my tastes. It would make a very good stuffing for a coat, though. It definitely holds the heat. Good luck in yarn hunting! If she doesn't, see if there's any on sale at your local craft store. I got a pretty good deal on mine when I got it back around Halloween. I got orange, black, and white, each was half off. And I'm not sure. It might. I've only used whatever kind of yarn it is that I bought. It's just the typical kind...can't remember the exact type because I threw the label away immediately so I could get the yarn off the skein easier.
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:iconlyrak:
Lyrak Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
There's a trick to that skein thing, actually. LOL I keep the label on, but if you've got an oval-shaped skein, pull the string that's leading from the INSIDE. It goes MUCH more smoothly. :)
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll have to try that. Mine just kept getting caught on the label, and it was much easier to just take it off so I could just yank freely lol.
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:iconallizia:
Allizia Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Digital Artist
What do you do with the chunks made as you tie them on? Th little nibs above th knots?
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm not sure I follow you completely. I tie the yarn on with a knot like this ([link]), but don't tighten the knot completely until I slide it down to the top of the other knots, then I tighten it, so there aren't any gaps. The knot sometimes shows at the top, so when I brush out the yarn, I try to "fan" it out a bit so that it covers that. A little bit still shows at the very top when the tail's done, but not much, and it's just the back of one knot. I'm not quite sure how to get rid of that, if that's what you're referring to. On this tutorial ([link]), she recommends hot gluing yarn into place to fill in gaps in the yarn where the knots are. I haven't tried this myself, since any gaps get covered up by the yarn fanning out (and also because I haven't touched a glue gun in years), but it seems like it'd work, as long as the glue gun "strings" are trimmed and the gluing doesn't go overboard. Though part of the knot might still show. I hope this helps/is what you were looking for.
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:iconallizia:
Allizia Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I tried a different method of tying and it seems to be okay, takes th knot from the equation, my pnly issue is that when it brush it, it all slids to pointing one way and its hard to make it spread out. I say to spread them, it says it just wants to hug the other peices of yarn ;;
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:iconpinemartenartin:
pinemartenartin Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, no fun. Do you alternate the angles you tie it at? Sort of making it look like an x or * spokes on a wheel from the top? Sorry, I'm not sure how to explain better.
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:iconallizia:
Allizia Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Yea I am. I dunno, could b the yarn XD
100 acryilicc but eh XD
Ill just keep messing with it. Least Im getting somewhere

Thanks for your help 8D
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November 27, 2011
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