How to Make Nativity Costumes for Children

Easily sew nativity costumes for your kids.
Easily sew nativity costumes for your kids. (Image: sewing image by pncphotos from

Your child may need a nativity costume for a Christmas party or for a church play. Purchasing a Virgin Mary or Joseph costume at a store can be expensive, but making these outfits at home is a cost-effective alternative. Make these simple costumes with only a few basic sewing materials and tools; complete them quickly and easily with some tips and know-how.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Dressmaker's tissue
  • Pencil
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Headband
  • Instant-bond glue

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Measure the child who will wear the costume. Jot down their height from shoulder to feet to determine the costume length.

Make a pattern. Draw a large T-shirt shape on a piece of tissue designed for making sewing patterns. Draw the tracing to the correct height for your child, and make it about 2 1/2-feet wide.

Fold a piece of fabric in half length-wise so you have a double layer of fabric. For a Virgin Mary costume, use light blue fabric, and for a Joseph costume use light brown fabric.

Attach the pattern to the fabric with straight pins. Cut out the fabric using the tracing as a guideline. You should now have two identical panels of fabric.

Sew the two pieces together on a sewing machine. Leave the bottom open for the feet, and leave the armholes and neckhole open as well. Fold over the bottom hem and sew a seam to make a smooth edge. Do the same for the arm hem and the neck hem.

Turn the costume inside-out so the rough edges of the seams are on the inside, and the smooth edges are on the outside. Cut out a long sash from leftover fabric and tie it around the waist for a belt.

Cut out a long rectangle of fabric and drape it over the child's head. Place a head band over the crown to keep the piece in place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add props like a baby doll for Mary and a walking staff for Joseph.
  • Make sure seams are sewn tightly to prevent tears.


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