How to Make an Indian Costume T-Shirt

Things You'll Need

  • Large tan T-shirt

  • Seam ripper

  • Iron

  • Scissors

  • 200 plastic pony beads

  • 2 yards of beaded trim

  • Fabric glue

Red, white, turquoise and brown beads work best for an Indian costume.

An Indian costume, whether for Halloween or a Thanksgiving play, need not be a difficult or expensive project. Native American clothing is made from a simple pattern relying on beautiful bead and leather work to make it distinctive. A T-shirt is ideal as a base for an Indian costume since it has the same basic shape, the material has a soft fuzziness similar to leather and it can be cut into fringe without fraying. It only needs to be decorated to an individual's taste.

Step 1

Remove the hems from the sleeves and shirttail of the T-shirt with the seam ripper. Iron out the creases.

Step 2

Cut fringe into the hemline of the shirt about 3 inches deep and about 1/2 inch apart. String a bead onto each fringe, and tie the end into a knot to prevent the beads from falling off.

Step 3

Cut fringe into the sleeves of the shirt about ½ inch wide and about 3 inches deep. String a bead onto each fringe, and tie the end into a knot to prevent the bead from falling off.

Step 4

Glue trim around the neck of the T-shirt with fabric glue.

Step 5

Glue trim to the front of the shirt from each shoulder into a point on the front of the shirt.


Wear your shirt with matching tan pants and moccasins. Wrap a strip of trim around your head as a headband. You may also make or buy Indian-style jewelry to go with your costume.