Kids Creative Chaos: What She's Wearing Mayhem Fashion: Things to do with a Paper Bag: Native American Indian Dress Tutorial

What She's Wearing Mayhem Fashion: Things to do with a Paper Bag: Native American Indian Dress Tutorial

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How to Make an Indian Costume from a Paper Bag


Things to do with a paper bag Native American Indian Dress Costume Easy
Paper Bag Indian Costume.

She's wearing a paper grocery bag. We turned it into a Native American Indian Dress, an easy costume for kids.


Hiding somewhere in my garage is a bag with a Pocahontas dress (I hope) or maybe some kid walked away wearing it one day. At any rate, I was short one little Indian costume for our "movie." What's a crazed mom to do? I've made a ton of those Indian Vests and Hula Skirts in after-school programs, so I decided a dress couldn't be too difficult. Right? I guess it depends on  your standards and mine are low.

How to make a Native American Indian Dress Tutorial for Kids Costume
Native American Shirt from Paper bag.

First, take a paper bag- and good luck finding one. Talk about a tangent. Why, in this day of recycling are plastic bags everywhere, but no one has paper any more? Remember when the sacker used to ask paper or plastic? Now it's plastic or bring your own.

Once you've found the bag, turn it inside out and crumple it into a big paper wad. The more crumples the more it looks like leather. Next, unfold it and pop it open on the table, laying it on the side. Now, cut the sides all the way to the bottom of the bag. The center fold of each "arm" makes a perfect sleeve. Cut fringe about 3" at the end of each sleeve.

Native American Costume from Paper Bag.
Native American Indian Dress.

At the bag's opening or the bottom of the shirt, cut out triangles/zigzags for a decorative edge. At the bag's base or the shirt's top, cut out a "u" or "v" for the neck. Decorate the shirt with Native American symbols. When done, insert kid and tape sleeves at wrists.


Paper bag fringe Indian Skirt.
Paper bag fringe Indian Skirt.


For the dress skirt, turn bag inside out, wad and crumple, cut the bottom rectangle out, and cut down one seam. Now, cut fringe like a Hula Skirt. Wrap to fit and tape or staple.

We've also made these by punching holes in the waist and weaving yarn through to form a belt which can be tied for a perfect fit. If you want to get fancy, take another bag and cut the panels and then attach inside the sides of the shirt for full coverage.



  Native American Indian Dress from Paper Bag.
Native American Indian Dress from Paper Bag.


This was good enough for our day of pretend play. Afterward, Mayhem gathered rocks and twigs to make a fire.


Recommended Reading:

Things to do with a Paper Bag

Sacajawea History Lesson

Native American History for Kids: With 21 Activities *

















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