Many churches have nativity plays at Christmas time that include characters playing the three wise men. The Magi were scholars and kings, so the costumes should look expensive, even if they are not. You will need leather sandals, an outer tunic over an inner one, belt, a headpiece and a gift for each wise man. Select shiny fabrics, such as acetate, polyester, brocade and charmeuse to give the inner and outer tunics an opulent look.
Select an appropriate sized pattern from any of the major pattern companies for your wise man costume. The pattern will explain the amount of material you need, notions and how to lay out and sew the over and under tunics. Trim the outer tunic with decorative options that emphasize the wealth and dignity of the Magi, such as metallic ribbons, chains and faux furs. For a shorter short-sleeve or sleeveless outer tunic, add decorative trim to the sleeves and hem of the inner tunic to create a similar effect.
The Magi are typically pictured with attractive turbans or crowns. Your options including making a cloth turban from the costume pattern, purchasing one in the accessories section of a store, making a cardboard crown using metallic tag board or purchasing a crown from a craft or party store. Add large gems, metallic trim or glitter to any of these options to make the crown appear more kingly. Alternatively, use a simple turban under a costume jewelry crown and decorate both by applying adhesive acrylic jewels and glitter.
Belt and Sandals
Use a belt around the waist of the inner tunic. Choose a metallic belt with a gold or silver tone or use a fabric belt crafted from the remnants of your outer tunic. To make a fabric belt, cut a 5-inch wide strip of fabric twice the waist circumference of the costume wearer. Fold the fabric in half to make a 2.5-inch length of cloth, with right sides together and sew one short side and the open long side together. Turn the belt right side out and sew the open end together by hand using small stitches, The length will allow the belt ends to hang down in an attractive manner.
No wise man costume is complete without the appropriate gift. For the gold gift, spray a cardboard or wooden box with gold paint and line it with pretty, shiny fabric. Place play gold coins inside the box. Decorate the exterior of the box with gems or spray glitter. Use pretty stoppered vials or jars decorated with gems or glitter for the frankincense and myrrh.