How to Make a Children's Costume Out of Paper Bags: 8 Steps
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Creating costumes for your child could be as easy as raiding the craft cabinet. With just a paper bags from the grocery store and some of your child's favorite art supplies you can whip up a variety of costumes. Costumes promote creative thinking and imaginative play in children, and make festivals, Halloween or rainy days much more exciting. Learning to make paper costumes yourself not only saves money, but allows you to outfit your little one with a costume for any occasion in just minutes.


  1. 1
    Open a large paper bag. Turn it upside-down and slip it over your child's head.
  2. 2
    Mark the outside of the bag to show where your child's face is, and where his shoulder's are with a piece of chalk. Chalk is the best option because it doesn't have sharp points, and you can wipe away any leftover guide lines.
  3. 3
    Take the bag off your child's head. On the front of the bag where your child's face mark is, cut a hole just large enough for his eyes, nose and mouth. It can be round, oval or even square. Cut armholes where you made the shoulder marks.
  4. 4
    Try the bag on your child again to see if his arms fit comfortably through the holes. Make sure the bottom of the arm holes are a couple of inches lower than the arm pits. Also make sure the face hole is large enough so it does not obstruct your child's breathing or vision. Wipe away chalk guidelines with a dry rag, if necessary.
  5. 5
    Take the bag off the child, flatten it and lay it on the table. If you prefer, slip the bag over an inverted garbage pail or the back of a chair to hold it up while you work on it. Ask your child what kind of costume he wants -- it may be a person, animal or some kind of monster perhaps.
  6. 6
    Color the bag a base color using tempera paint, crayons or markers. Think about the type of costume you are making when you color. For a penguin costume might be almost all black, with a white "bib" in front. For a parrot costume, you might make loopy U-shaped lines that resemble feathers. For a police officer costume, you might color it blue and draw shirt features on the front chest area.
  7. 7
    Cut shapes out of construction paper or felt to make eyes, a nose, teeth, ears or body decorations. Glue them to the front, back and sides of the costume to decorate it. Keep in mind where the face is; you might want to make the hole a gaping mouth, or you might want to put the costume eyes on either side of the face hole and the nose and mouth below it. Ears may be attached to the sides or the top of the costume.
  8. 8
    Use your craft supplies to give the costume more details and character. You might tape pipe cleaners to the top for antenna or to the front chest area as insect legs. You may wish to glue some feathers to a bird costume, or sprinkle glitter on a fish costume to make it look scaly and glittery. Let your child help or guide the design so he will wear his costume with pride.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Rag
  • Clean tall kitchen garbage pail (optional)
  • Art supplies (assorted)

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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