Saturday, November 13

Rapunzel’s Tower

So two weeks ago, after the hair was done, I did start in on the tower.


OK, so that’s what it looked like after I photoshopped Paint-Shop-Proed on some brick lines and leaves. I’d planned to have Sophie help me draw them on for real. Unfortunately, it never got past this…


…because Sophie had a change of heart. After trying it on and seeming excited about it and picking out grey ribbon for the “suspenders” instead of the random burgundy I’d selected and then going to bed while I continued to work on it, she informed me the next morning that she didn’t want a tower after all.

Really? {JD, that’s for you! Ha ha!}

Apparently, my comment before we even started making the tower had finally sunk in: “Well, if you wear a tower, you won’t really need a whole dress – nobody will see the skirt part. But we’ll make your top look real fancy!”

To a 35-year-old, a tower is essential to a cool Rapunzel costume. But lose three decades? Then it’s all about the dress! What was I thinking?!?

Perhaps I’ll be Rapunzel next year – the tower folds up flat for storage.


Just might be a wee bit too short for me…


  1. Oh, K, why are our children the way they are? Why do they keep changing their minds? Why do we still make stuff for them?
    Is it because we are crazy? Yes, yes.
    Is it because we actually secretly like the making? Yes, yes.
    Is it... could it be... perhaps... because we love them, in spite of their obvious shortcomings and questionable fashion sense? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    Hooray for you, and for keeping your sense of humor intact where a lesser mother might have bashed them on the head with the tower (it's fabric and cardboard, right? Not real brick?).

    I LOVE that the tower folds up, and that you can wear it on your shoulders and that you're going to keep it. Because I'm betting that someday soon, that little girl will suddenly want to dress up as Rapunzel again and she'll say, "hey, mom, do you still have that tower?"

    And you'll pull it out from between the mattress and the box spring in the guest room and hand it nonchalantly to her, while biting back the humongous, ginormous urge to say I TOLD YOU SO.
    Because you love her. But we've discussed that already ;)

    Unrelated, did you get snow? We got snow. Why do we have snow? Or, rather, why do we have snow when we need to go to the supermarket to buy milk? Why?

  2. you are amazing! This is such a cool costume.

  3. Really?!
    Gotta love that girl!

  4. got a big kick out of this! i agree, i think the tower is the coolest part, but i'm sure my daughter would agree with yours! :) lisa

  5. Would you mind sharing how you made this?

    1. If you look at the last picture, you can see the parts -- they just might not make a lot of sense, so I'll try to explain...

      And perhaps I should mention, there are a thousand other ways to do build a tower out of cardboard. This is the version I came up with because I wanted to be able to flatten it for transportation & storage.

      So, first, the bottom/wall part of the tower: I formed a wire hanger into an arc, with hooks at both ends so it could be hooked into a circle. I made the circle quite a bit larger than her waist so the tower wouldn't constrict her movement too much. Out of felt, I cut a rectangle with one edge the same length as the circumference of the circle, and the other edge about one inch plus the length from her waist (where the circle sits) to her shins, or in other words, however tall I wanted the tower to be (plus one inch). I folded over that extra inch and sewed a casing, then guided the wire circle through the casing. Then I could figured out placement and length of the ribbon "suspenders" and attached those near the top of the felt rectangle, near the casing.

      Next, the top of the tower: On a large piece of cardboard, I drew one circle was just a little smaller than the wire circle. Around that, I drew a larger circle so there was a gap of about 3-4 inches between the circles. This will be the "floor" of the tower top. Then I drew evenly spaced rectangles along the large circle, to form "crenelations" for the tower. Next I cut out the cardboard, which looked like a gear with 8 cogs, then folded each of the "cogs" along their base. Note: you'll want to score the area to be folded first, so that it folds up neatly and in a straight line. And I covered this gear-looking piece of cardboard in grey felt. Finally, I cut out long skinny rectangle of felt. I forget exactly how I sewed it, but essentially, the length was the circumference of the larger circle (as in, it fit around the outside of the folded-up "cogs") and the width was maybe 10-12". I folded the rectangle along the long edges and sewed 8 "pockets" (from the fold down about 4") for the "cogs" to fit in. In between the pockets, I cut 2" slits close to the sewn threads, then folded that portion down and glued it. So this gives the tower the look of having crenelations--those up and down things--at the top. So then it was just a matter of folding each "cog" up and slipping into into a pocket. (I cut away the 2" or so of excess felt on the inside underneath the pockets. On the outside, this hangs down past the cardboard ring, but on the inside, it bunches up along the cardboard "floor". So I cut it away.)

      Hmm, being a visual person, I'm not sure these directions would help me. But perhaps they help you. Best of luck.



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