Paper Costumes for Kids

Kids love to play make-believe. Make paper costumes for fun, school or Halloween with brightly colored crepe paper.

kids costumes



Do your kids love to play make-believe?

These colorful paper costumes from a vintage 1920s booklet will entertain children of all ages. The paper costumes can be created with a wide variety of colorful crepe paper - perfect for school plays, or playing make-believe on a rainy afternoon. 

Working with crepe paper!

Crepe paper is brightly colored paper in extra strong, flame resistant folds that can be shaped and stretched. It is great for arts and crafts projects, and especially paper costumes. Typically each fold is 20 inches wide by 7 feet long. It is made in many colors such as white, canary, orange, holiday red, national red, purple, baby blue, royal blue, dark blue, holiday green, black and pink. Folds of crepe paper can be found in office supply and craft stores.


paper costumes

A bodice of white with short trousers of tile design crepe makes this whimsical boy's costume. The cornucopia hat is pasted together at the back. Pretty trimming strips of black diamonds are quickly made from the decorated paper.


General Directions

Crepe paper costumes are usually made over a foundation of cloth and are sewed or pasted as seems best.

A muslin slip which fits the person and buttons in the back is the most satisfactory to use for your paper costume.  Sometimes a slip which opens in front can be buttoned up and then the back cut open. When this is done turn the paper well back over the edges and paste down neatly. Instead of using the hooks or buttons sew narrow ribbons on both sides where needed and then tie.

paper costumes

The little cupid's paper costume is of white crepe paper with red hearts pasted on. The bodice is cut to cross in the front with a V-neck. The skirt is deeply box-plaited and joins the foundation at the waist line. Full bloomers are worn under the skirt. A quiver made of red holds arrows of wire tipped with gilded triangles. The bow is a wire wound with crepe paper, to which a string is added. A red ribbon holds the quiver in place. Wings of crepe paper are worn.  


If sleeves are required for the paper costume they may be cut from muslin or net and sewn in before or after being covered with the paper. When sewing in paper sleeves always reinforce them with a double fold of crepe paper around the armhole. Regular dress patterns may be used for cutting bodices, sleeves, etc.

Crepe paper may be sewn on the sewing machine or by hand. When sewing by hand have the stitches quite long and not very close to the edge.  The sewing machine can be used to good advantage for sewing two widths of crepe paper together, gathering ruffles, stitching up seams and sewing on bands.


paper costumes

One could hardly call this little tot "Night" even though her paper costume is of blue with silver stars pasted on. The dress is a simple one to make, with its little full skirt and plain bodice, its generous sash and narrow trimming ruffles.  The crown is cut in one piece and is joined at the back. 


It is not always necessary to gather the paper with needle and thread for paper costumes; particularly when making hats, it can be gathered up with the fingers and a wire twisted tightly around to hold it. The ruffle at the bottom of a skirt should be sewed on so that the paper will hang about an inch below the slip.

As the crepe paper is only twenty inches wide, and to hang well for a skirt it must be used with the grain of the crepe running up and down, often two widths must be sewn or pasted together.  When joining two widths, lap one piece flat over the other about one-half inch, and stitch on the sewing machine or paste. Measure the required length and cut off the unnecessary material on the bottom of the skirt so that the piecing will be on the lower part.


paper costumes


The entire skirt of this paper costume is made of ruffles, with almost the same effect carried out in the bodice by strips of pointed "feathers." The head is made over a skull-cap foundation, with feathers covering it entirely. The bill is a small cornucopia snipped around the edge and pasted to the cap above the forehead.  


Instead of fastening two widths of paper together for a skirt, two or more ruffles may be used. Sew the lower one in place first. The others are sewed on so that the lower edge will be at least three inches below gathers of lower ruffle.

It will not be necessary to turn in raw edges and no hems need be made, although many times the edge is turned up, creased sharply, and fluted between the thumbs and fingers.

To cut a strip of plain crepe paper straight, slip it partly out of the packet, measure the desired length, mark and using the edge of the packet as a guide cut through the entire thickness.  To cut a strip of decorated crepe paper, unfold it and cut, following the design. To cut the wide margin off decorated crepe paper, always unfold the paper.






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