How to Make a Pillowcase Costume

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Things You'll Need

  • Pillowcase

  • Scissors

  • Marking pen

  • Fabric paint or markers

  • Fabric glue (optional)

  • Ribbon, fringe or trim (optional)

  • Colored felt (optional)

Old pillowcases can make a variety of simple costumes for children, including angels, pumpkins, ghosts, clowns or princesses. You can use an old pillowcase that you already have around the house, or purchase an inexpensive pillowcase at a thrift shop or the clearance section of a discount store. To complete the costume, you can use homemade or purchased accessories such as wigs, hats or face paint.

Prepare the Pillowcase Costume

Step 1

Choose a pillowcase that's an appropriate color for the costume. White pillowcases work well for ghosts and angels, while an orange pillowcase is perfect for a pumpkin, and a bright, colorful pillowcase can make a great clown.

Step 2

Cut an opening that's large enough for the child's head in the center of the short end of the pillowcase. You can make a simple slit for costumes such as a toothpaste tube or playing card, or cut a scoop or v-neck.

Step 3

Slip the pillowcase over the child's head. Mark the pillowcase just above the child's shoulders and just below the child's arms.

Step 4

Check to see if you need to shorten the pillowcase to make it a comfortable length and to keep the child from tripping. Mark the appropriate length on the pillowcase.

Step 5

Remove the pillowcase and cut slits in the sides of the pillowcase where the markings are to make armholes for the costume.

Step 6

Fold the open end of the pillow case under, if needed, to shorten it. Hold the fold in place using fabric glue, or an iron-on product such as Stitch Witchery.

Step 7

Decorate the pillowcase to suit the type of costume you want to make, using the ideas here or ideas of your own.

Decorate the Pillowcase Costume

Step 1

Make an angel costume by tying a sash of silver or gold ribbon around the child's waist. Cut a piece silver or gold ribbon long enough to make a circlet. Glue the ends of the ribbon together. Let the glue dry, then place it on the child's head for a halo.

Step 2

Make a pumpkin costume by adding a jack-o-lantern face to the front of the pillowcase using fabric paint, markers or pieces of black felt. Cut leaves from green felt and glue them to the shoulders of the pillowcase.

Step 3

Make a ghost costume by having the child wear a white hat, a long-sleeve white shirt and white leggings under the pillowcase. You may want to add the letters "Boo!" to the front of the pillowcase using fabric paint, markers or pieces of felt.

Step 4

Make a clown costume by adding colorful circles to the pillowcase with fabric paint, markers or felt. You might also want to add buttons or pom-poms. Glue a piece of ruffled trim around the neck opening to make a collar.

Step 5

Make an Indian costume cutting slits in the armhole edges and lower edge of the pillowcase to make fringe. Draw triangles and other Indian style designs on the pillowcase using fabric paint, markers or pieces of color felt. Glue a piece of purchased fringe or trim around the neckline and around the waist, if desired.


Make sure to have the child wear appropriate clothing for the costume and the weather underneath the pillowcase. You may want to have the child wear a long sleeve shirt, leggings or tights or even sweat pants. Let all the glue dry completely before letting the child wear the costume.