How to Make a Pocahontas Costume


Show off your creativity and ingenuity by making a one-of-a-kind Pocahontas costume from an old T-shirt. Even if you are a novice crafter, you can feel confident about making this traditional Indian maiden dress because there is no sewing involved. With a few materials from the thrift store, the craft store and your closet, you can also create some clever accessories, such as a headdress, purse, jewelry and moccasins.

Pocahontas' Dress

Pocahontas wears a brown, one-shoulder dress that is trimmed in fringe and has an asymmetrical hem. Recreate this dress by recycling a long, loose-fitting T-shirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose-fitting, crew neck, brown or tan T-shirt that is very long on you

  • 2 yards brown or tan faux suede fringe trim, 2-inch

  • Hot glue gun

  • 1 yard brown grosgrain ribbon, 1-inch

  • Chalk

Step 1

Lay the T-shirt face up on a flat surface. Cut off the right sleeve. With your chalk, draw a diagonal line on the front of the shirt from the bottom of the armhole on the left side to the shoulder seam on the right side, just outside of the neck hole. Cut along this line through the front and back of the shirt to remove the left sleeve and the neck, creating the one-shoulder top.

Step 2

Lay the dress face-up on your work surface. Make a mark with your chalk at the hemline in the center. On the left side of the dress, measure 2 inches up from the hem and make a mark with the chalk. Repeat on the right side of the dress. Draw diagonal lines connecting the marks on the side of the dress with the mark in the center at the hem. You should now have what looks like a large, wide V drawn on the shirt. Cut along these lines through the front and back of the shirt to make the asymmetrical hem of the dress.


  • Be sure the final length of the dress is long enough to be comfortable for walking.

Step 3

Lay the dress face-up on your work surface. Measure the neckline from the top of the shoulder on the right to the side seam on the left. Measure the hemline from the side seams to the point in the middle. Cut lengths of the faux suede trim in these measurements. Attach the trim to the neckline and hemline of the dress with the hot glue gun. When the glue has dried, turn the dress over, repeating the process to attach trim to the back.


  • Since hot glue dries very quickly, work in small sections. Otherwise the glue will dry before you attach the fringe.

Step 4

For the belt, tie the brown grosgrain ribbon around your waist.

Accessories for the Pocahontas Costume

Accessorize your costume with traditional Native American elements, such as a purse, headdress and moccasins. In the Disney movie, Pocahontas wears a turquoise necklace.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 yards faux suede fringe trim, 2-inch
  • Brown cross-body purse
  • Hot glue gun
  • Brown ankle boots
  • Hook and loop dots, 1/2-inch
  • 1/2 yard brown leather necklace cord, 2-mm
  • Full strand round turquoise beads, 1/2-inch
  • Conch shell bead, 1/2-inch
  • Open jump ring, .21-inch
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Long, black wig
  • 1 yard brown grosgrain ribbon, 1-inch
  • Colorful feathers

Step 1: Make the Purse

Use a purse that you don't mind altering for the costume. Measure the width of the purse and cut lengths of fringe trim to this length. Put a few beads of hot glue along the bottom edge on the front of the purse and attach a length of the fringe trim. Measure up approximately 1 inch, and repeat with another length of the trim. Continue attaching fringe to the purse until the entire purse is covered. Repeat on the back of the purse if desired.

Step 2: Attach Fringe to Shoes

Create a fringe embellishment for your boots that doesn't permanently alter them. Measure the circumference of the boot around the ankle opening, and add 1 inch. Cut two lengths of the fringe trim to this measurement, and attach hook and eye dots to the ends. Drape the fringe around your ankles, and secure with the hook and eye dots at the back.


  • If the fringe is longer than your shoes, trim it so that you don't trip when walking.

Step 3: Make the Necklace

Attach the jump ring to the conch shell bead, pinching it shut with the needle-nose pliers. String the conch shell bead onto the leather cord. String turquoise beads onto the cord on either side of the conch shell until the beads go around your neck. Tie the cord at the back of your neck.


  • You may choose from a variety of methods for making handmade beaded necklaces to make your own unique version of Pocahontas' turquoise necklace.

Step 4: Make the Headdress

Lay the grosgrain ribbon face-down on your work surface. Attach feathers to the underside of the ribbon with the hot glue gun. Put the tallest feathers in the center, and place shorter feathers on either side. Tie the headdress around your forehead and the rest of your head where it should go over your hair or wig so that the complete headband shows.

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