How to Make a Pilgrim Costume


Pilgrim costumes can add a touch of authenticity and celebration to Thanksgiving activities. Because they are worn in a variety of seasonal activities, from school plays to holiday feasts, creating your own pilgrim costume can prove more economical than purchasing one, especially with children who quickly outgrow their clothing. A pilgrim costume can be reused for Halloween for a quick and recognizable costume idea. With a few modifications to existing clothing using craft supplies, pilgrim costumes can be created without a heavy time investment.

Step 1

Outfit a girl in a dress or loose-fitting blouse and dark-colored skirt combination in gray, black or brown. Dress a boy in dark pants and a dark long-sleeved shirt. Both genders should wear dress shoes in a dark shade.

Step 2

Measure the breadth of your child shoulder to shoulder across his chest. Draw a rectangle of that height on butcher paper, with the width two times the height.

Step 3

Cut out the rectangle and gently fold the width in half. Draw a half circle along the center of the fold and cut the half circle out with scissors to accommodate your child's head.

Step 4

Cut on the lines of the outer rectangle and have your child put her head through the hole in the paper as a pilgrim collar over her shirt or dress.

Step 5

Cut out two 3- to 4-inch strips of butcher paper in a "U" shape. Wrap them around your child's wrists and fasten them with tape to create "cuffs."

Step 6

Draw a "buckle" on the back of the gold foil paper in the shape of a digital clock's number "8" with lines 1/2 to 5/8 of an inch thick. Cut out the two inner squares. Use the hot-glue gun to affix the gold "buckle" to the front center of the brimmed hat. Repeat the process to create buckles to affix to the top of each dress shoe with hot glue or looped tape.

Step 7

Cut a long, deep rectangle out of butcher paper and wrap it around the girl's waist to create a paper apron. Punch holes at the top of the sides in the back. Pull 1-foot lengths of yarn through the holes and knot them in place for apron strings, tying them in the back.

Step 8

Create the girl's bonnet by cutting out a large rectangle from butcher paper. Fold the longest side up to create a 2-inch brim. Fold the rectangle width back in half, with the brim facing you. Fit the paper on your child's head, with the brim facing outward. Fold the sides of the paper around back and secure them with tape. Lift the bonnet off your child and punch two holes near the ears. Loop yarn through the holes and secure them under your child's chin.

Tips and Warnings

  • Check with teachers or directors of your child's school play to see if paper accents are acceptable. Keep sharp scissors away from small children. Adapt your design to your child's size and measurements.

Things You'll Need

  • Black pants
  • Black jacket or loose shirt
  • Long skirt or dress in a dark, neutral shade
  • Blouse
  • White butcher paper
  • Black brimmed hat (for boys)
  • Gold foil paper or yellow marker
  • Dress shoes
  • Single hole punch
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Pen or pencil
  • Thick marker
  • Tape
Keywords: pilgrim costume, homemade pilgrim outfit, thanksgiving costume

About this Author

With a career spanning business writing and technical commentaries, Jasmine Haryana has been writing and editing since 1996. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis and holds her certification in grant writing from The Foundation Center.

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