How To Dress Up As An Indian

Thanksgiving is the time when we remember the Pilgrims and their desire to come to a land where they could have religious freedom. It is also a time to remember the Native Americans/First Nations people, who were once referred to as Indians, who helped the Pilgrims settle into their new homes.

Schools and other organizations often have pageants to commemorate this. You can make a simple Indian costume for a participant, that, if stored carefully, can be used over and over again.


* Tan, light-brown, or brown suede or faux-suede fabric. If you like, you can go to a thrift store or secondhand shop and look for solid-color old bedspreads, comforters, or blankets in this type fabric. Just make sure they aren’t too heavy and have the same material on both sides. Queen or king size should provide enough material for a costume.

* Safety pins or fabric glue

* Wooden beads (plain or colored)

* Ballet slippers


1. Before making any cuts in the fabric, have someone help you drape the fabric over your head and determine where the neck opening will be. Mark this spot with a safety pin or in some other way.

2. Draw a circle or oval large enough so that when the resulting hole is cut, your head will fit through it. Cut the circle or oval out.

3. Put your head through the hole, and let the fabric fall around your body. Have someone mark with safety pins where the armholes will go, as well as the length (knee-length or longer is preferable). Cut out the armholes (if you wish, you can leave enough material for short or three-quarter length sleeves), and cut off the excess fabric at the bottom so that the costume will be at the desired length.

4. Remove the fabric and join the sides together with fabric glue or safety pins, Do not join the last one to two inches at the bottom.

a. If you use safety pins, make sure you use enough to where there will be no gaps in the sides. Also if you use safety pins, once you have finished, simply turn the material “_ìinside out”¬ù. This will hide the safety pins.

5. If you wish, you can “_ìfringe”¬ù the hem and sleeves (if you made them) and tie wooden beads onto the fringe for decoration.

6. Cover the ballet slippers with the remaining fabric, using fabric or regular glue.

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