Homemade Pilgrim Costume


The story of the Pilgrims and their journey to America is an important event in the country's history. In 1620, 102 men, women and children set sail on the Mayflower on a 66-day voyage across the ocean. The holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated in honor of those who survived the trip and lived the subsequent year in the new land. Pilgrim costumes are worn to help celebrate Thanksgiving, and making one is not hard.

Male Pilgrim Costumes

Men and boys during this time wore short, black or brown pants that were fitted just below the knee. White stockings and black shoes with silver or gold buckles were also worn. Shirts were usually the same color as the pants and had large, white collars and cuffs. Create a costume with short black sweat pants or other black pants that have been rolled up to the knee. Use a rubber band to draw in the fabric if necessary. Cut two cuffs and a collar out of a large piece of white felt or a starched white sheet. Attach them to a black, long-sleeved shirt. Cut three buckle shapes out of cardboard, and cover them with gold or silver foil. Glue one to a black top hat and the others onto a pair of black dress shoes. A long pair of white socks worn under the pants completes the pilgrim costume.

Female Pilgrim Costumes

Women and girls during this time wore long dresses with long sleeves. The colors were usually black, brown or gray. A white, full-length apron was worn over the dress, and a white bonnet covered the head. Create a costume by adding a wide, white collar and cuffs cut from a starched white sheet to a plain, long-sleeved dress of a dark color. Make a simple white apron from the remaining cloth from the sheet. Make a white bonnet from similar material, or from a large, white handkerchief. Black party shoes with wide heels and buckles made from cardboard covered in gold or silver foil complete the costume.

Native Americans

Native Americans were also an important part of the celebration. Appropriate costumes can easily be created to honor them as well. For boys, adorn a simple, tunic-shaped shirt cut from a brown or tan bed sheet with a few colored beads, and create fringe by cutting wide slits around the bottom hem. Make a simple headband out of construction paper and add a large feather. Make the tunic longer for girls to wear as a dress, add a few more beads and make the fringe strips slightly narrower. A beaded choker around the neck completes the costume. Footwear may consist of moccasins or sandals--not exactly authentic, but acceptable.

Keywords: pilgrim costumes, Thanksgiving costumes, homemade pilgrim costume

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Sandra Webster is the circulation manager at a small library and a part-time freelance writer. She writes keyword articles and web content, as well as poetry and mystery/thriller short stories

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