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How to Make a Native American Costume From a Paper Bag

Use traditional designs to decorate your costume or add your own twist.
Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

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.

Tip

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

About the Author

Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.