Tutorial: 30 Minute Make – Rainbow Ribbon Unicorn Tail

It’s about to be my niece’s birthday and a while ago she went to London and tried on a dinosaur tail at the Natural History Museum which she adored. I vowed to make her one for her birthday but when I was talking about this and what colour to make it with my big brother he was saying she was in the midst of a unicorn phase. This is a well-known phenomenon in my household and it ignited a thought: maybe she didn’t just need a dinosaur tail, perhaps she needed a unicorn tail too….

I know she has a unicorn headband as I’d been proudly shown this on my last visit so I thought I would just make a tail to complete her unicorn styling. I looked around for something I liked online and saw some amazing unicorn hoodies but couldn’t really see just a strap on tail that I really loved so I thought I’d come up with one. I saw some made with wool or tulle but I went with ribbons, pom pom trim, ric rac and sequins as I wanted a high impact finish full of texture with a colourful rainbow style.

It took me less than half an hour to rustle up and I love how it turned out. If you fancy having a go a making one I’ve completed a tutorial below.

You will need:

  • Ribbons, trims and sequins in various colours
  • A sturdy woven ribbon or webbing for the waistband and additional trim if you want to add sparkle
  • Velcro
  • Needle and thread/sewing machine.

Note – this is a job that is entirely possible to complete with hand sewing. However velcro is really tough to sew through by hand so if sewing by hand you may want to find an alternative way to fix the waistband or glue this on to save your fingers.

Step 1

Cut all your ribbons.  I did mine at different lengths because I wanted to include some that I didn’t have as much of.

Select one wide ribbon onto which you will sew all of the others. Lay them all out, roughly at their halfway point and pin them into position. Sewing them on like this means that the ribbon you sew them onto will cover over the stitching on the finished piece.

Step 2

I firmly stitched all of the ribbons together with a zig zag stitch and went over this 3-4 times to make sure it was super secure.

Step 3

Now to make the waistband. Measure this around the waist with an overlap – my overlap was approx 12 cms as I wanted it to be possible for it to grow a bit so it would last well.

Because this kind of webbing is prone to fraying you can either cut it and run the cut edge along a naked flame to melt and seal the edge or you can fold it over. Here I folded it over and then stitched the velcro over the top to seal the edge in place.

Sew around 10 cms of the loop part of the velcro on one end, and then 5 cms of the hook on the opposite end. Make sure that they are sewn on opposite sides so that when they are joined the waistband forms a circle without any twists.

Step 4

I had this gorgeous knitted sequin strip that I sewed onto the waistband to finish it off.  You can use anything you find and like for this – or nothing at all.

Simply stitch it in place with a running stitch, neaten and fix the ends by tucking them underneath before stitching it down.

This is the finished waistband.  You can see the line of stitching that attached the sequin trim on the reverse.

Step 5

Measure to the middle of the back and again use a strong stitch to attach all of the ribbons at this central point.

You can see how the green ribbon now falls over the top to disguise the stitching and then how the final stitching looks on both the front and the reverse.

Step 6

Now to finish all the ends. Cut the ribbons on the diagonal with pinking shears or scissors. For the rick rack, pom poms and sequins trim and then knot the ends to stop them fraying or unraveling.

Here is the finished tail modelled by my beautiful daughter fresh from school. She spent a lot of time jumping around with it on and I’m definitely going to rustle one up for her Christmas stocking….I think she’ll need a headband to go with it though 😉

If you have a go at making one I’d love to know how you get on with it and see how it turns out!🌈❤️🌈🦄🌈

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