September 29, 2021

How to Make a George Washington Wig

how to make a george washington wig

Table of Contents

A George Washington wig mimics the hairstyle of the first President of the United States. His powdered, puffy, and ponytailed hair is today a symbol of American patriotism and a way to celebrate and recall the legendary history of the United States.

I am Rosalba, a passionate wig lover and an avid fan of American culture. When I write about the American hairstyle, I offer my personal tribute to this great Country. I have spent 21 hours figuring out how to make and style this very fun cosplay wig with my little nephew for his thanksgiving party.

If you also want to celebrate this Country, follow this guide and learn how to make the iconic George Washington wig.

Step-by-step Guide to Make a George Washington Wig

Here are the detailed steps to make a George Washington wig.

Step 1: Prepare the Tools to Make the George Washington Wig

Before making your George Washington wig, you need to have the proper tools.

Here is what you need to start:

  • Scissors
  • A paper shopping bag
  • Marking Pen
  • White Glue
  • Cotton Balls
  • Colored Ribbon

Step 2: Choose the Sizes of the Bag

Before making your George Washington wig, remember to choose a bag with the same size as the head where the wig will be worn. Hence, choose a small size bag for your kid, and medium or large sizes for you or your family.

The size of the bag must coincide with the one of the head or be slightly larger. This way, the wig will be perfectly secured when you wear it.

Step 3: Draw the Shape of the Wig

Put the bag with the folded bottom on the table. With the marking pen, after 3 inches from the open part of the bag, draw the shape of an L or the number 5.

The different drawing depends on the length of the ponytail you want to give to the wig. It will be straighter and long with the letter L; shorter, curly, and rounded with the number 5.

Step 4: Cut the Bag

With the scissors, cut the bag along the lines you drew, remove the open part of the bag, unfold the bottom and use this part of the bag as a wig cap. Always remember to perform the cut after drawing the lines.

Step 5: Apply the Glue and the Cotton Balls

From this stage, you can start decorating the bag you just cut. Keep the unfolded bag on one hand, as if it was a wig stand. Remember that the longer part of the bag must be placed in the back of the head. The closed part of the bag is, instead, the crown.

Starting from the frontal part, add a drop of white glue and a cotton ball, proceed like this until you have applied all the cotton balls on the back and sides of the bag.

Let the wig dry on the table.

Step 6: Add the Colored Ribbon

Now, add the colored ribbon to the back of the wig to create the ponytail.

You can buy colored ribbons ready to get applied on the George Washington wig, or you can use colored fabric tape to be cut and shaped like a ribbon. If you prefer to craft the ribbon by yourself, you can use this second option.

Glue the ribbon to the back of the wig, where is the longer strand that mimics the ponytail of George Washington.

As regards the color of the ribbon, you should use one of the US flags, namely red, blue and white.

In a few cases, you can apply a totally black or totally white ribbon. These are the two colors that people used in the 18th century to give a colonial style to their wigs.

The colors of the American flag, instead, will give your George Washington wig a more patriotic look.

With these easy steps, your wig will really seem like the powdered hair of George Washington.


For additional information about this historical wig, check the section of the FAQs. I am sure you’ll find other captivating and helpful information to make your George Washington wig really epic.

How Was George Washington’s Wig Made?

I know this answer will be a surprise for you, it was a trendy thing for men wearing wigs in the 18th century, but George Washington never wore a wig. The one you consider as his wig was, in reality, his true hair.

This news has been revealed by National Geographic, as well.

In the 18th century, in fact, men used to powder, tie and puff their natural hair for military purposes.

The ponytail made with the ribbon was also called “queue”. It was a customary style in that time.

Moreover, the white powder allowed them to hide unshaved hair. People were not so accustomed to frequently shaving (and washing) their hair, in the past centuries.

The true hair of George Washington was red or brown-reddish.

Here is an interesting video about how George Washington dressed his hair.

How to Make a George Washington Wig with a Baseball Hat?

There is also another method to make a wig that imitates the hairstyle of the first American President. You can use a baseball cap. In this case, you must remove the brim of the hat to craft a sort of wig cap.

Place the baseball cap on a wig stand to craft this wig.

Decorate with polyfill batting or wool thread. These two types of material must be sewn on the cap.

If you apply polyfill batting strips, you also need a paper bag to craft the wig. Cut the bottom of the bag and leave the end 10 inches long or more. This part will be the queue of the wig to glue to the neck of the baseball cap.

This way, you’ll craft the crown, the sides, and the back of the wig. Add straight pins to the strands to curl them. In this first case, the wig will be puffier.

If you apply the wool threads, you need only the baseball cap to make your wig. Sew long threads of wool along with the cap, crafting a white hair cap, with strands slipping along the sides and the back.

With a hair elastic, tie the strands behind the nape to make a ponytail. Apply a colored ribbon on this part.

This way, you’ll have a little straighter wig with the look of George Washington.

My Verdict

Admittedly, I prefer the method of the cotton balls to make a George Washington wig. It is an easy way that doesn’t even need a needle and thread to be carried out.

The second method you find in the FAQs is a work of art that needs to be performed by a theatrical costume designer or a tailor.

If you agree with me, let me know. I am always glad to hear your opinion.

Looking for more information about choosing a wig for Halloween or different cosplay events/parties? Check out the below articles:

Have loads of fun and enjoy your George Washington wig!


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