How to Make a Native American Costume From a Paper Bag

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Things You'll Need

  • Paper grocery bag
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Clear packing tape
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Iron
  • Markers or paint

For scouts, for school or just for fun -- making paper-bag Native American costumes is a fall craft classic that requires minimal supplies and allows for maximum creativity. Mom and Dad can even get in on the fun, as these vests are nearly one-size-fits-all.

Open the paper bag so that one of the wider, flat sides faces you.

Cut a line up the center of the bag to the fold for the bottom.

Use your scissors to cut a hole in the bottom of the bag, leaving about 1 inch on each of the wider sides and about 3 inches on the shorter sides.

Measure down the sides of the bag to mark where your child’s arms will fit through the costume.

Cut armholes on each side.

Reinforce the neck and arm holes with clear packing tape. This will help prevent rips.

Mist the entire bag with water to thoroughly dampen it -- but not to soak it.

Crumple the bag into a tight ball.

Open the bag and then smooth it out lightly.

Iron the bag. Make sure your iron is on a low heat setting.

Decorate the bag with paint, markers or other embellishments.

Cut fringe strips along the bottom of the vest.


  • Glue brown shoestrings to the front of the vest to tie it closed.