Easiest Indian Costume Ever!!!

Spooktastic September {OneCreativeMommy.com}

Welcome to Day 1 of Spooktastic September! All month, I and lots of fantastic bloggers are sharing projects and ideas to get you ready for Halloween. Let’s start the week off with a fast and frugal Indian costume from yours truly.

You won't believe how easy it is to make this Indian costume | It's almost completely no sew, and you'll never guess what it's made from! {OneCreativeMommy.com} DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Normally, when something gets left to the last minute, I can blame it on my kids, but, not this time. Wind the clock back to last October — less than two hours before our church Halloween party. My daughter’s Indian maiden costume (the one she’d been asking about for weeks) was a flop. An absolute fail. I spent all week trying to make it out of a sheet, and it was a disaster! (Don’t worry. It all worked out in the end!)

How do you DIY an Indian costume in less than two hours? Actually, I found out that it’s really easy, inexpensive, and takes very little sewing. If you don’t count time spent shopping for a few materials, it took less than an hour!

You’ll never guess what this adorable costume is made from. Look closely. Can you guess?

You won't believe how easy it is to make this Indian costume | It's almost completely no sew, and you won't believe what it's made from! {OneCreativeMommy.com} DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

It’s two t-shirts. That’s it! Seriously. No other materials. Let’s get started!

Super Simple DIY Indian Costume

RELATED: Witch Doctor Pun Costume, Best Couples and Family Halloween Costumes

I made this simple Indian Halloween costume in less than an hour! You'll never believe what it's made from! {OneCreativeMommy.com} DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids


Head to your local thrift store and find a brown or tan women’s t-shirt with a neck that will go over your child’s waist. Be sure to take your child with you, because she will need to try it on. The neck will become the waistband for the skirt, so it should fit without falling down. My daughter is quite tiny, so a size small round necked t-shirt worked perfectly for her. (For a toddler, try a child-sized t-shirt.)

Once you find the perfect t-shirt, head to the men’s section. Look for a long-sleeved t-shirt that will fit your child like a tunic — long enough to cover her hips. The t-shirt does not have to be exactly the same color. Go with the closest match you can find, or pick something completely different for a nice contrast. (ie-Dark brown and tan.)

Head home and get ready to make the quickest costume ever. Here we go!

You only need to sew two straight lines to turn this t-shirt into an Indian skirt. {OneCreativeMommy.com} Halloween Costumes for Kids

Turn the t-shirt inside out and draw a diagonal line from the edge of the neck to the bottom edge of the t-shirt on both sides (see image above).

Pin the shirt together along both lines, and stitch down the lines with a sewing machine. Trim off the access fabric along the seams you just created.

The sides of the skirt will be the shortest part, so put the skirt on your child and mark the length you want on the sides. (When we originally made the costume, the sides were knee length. My daughter has grown quite a bit since last year, so now the skirt is a lot shorter.) Find the middle of the front of the skirt, and draw a line from the marks you made on the sides to the bottom middle of the skirt. (See image above.) Cut through both layers of the skirt along the lines.

Now fringe the ends of the skirt (both layers at the same time). Start from the middle and move out toward the sides. Turn the skirt right-side out, and you’re done!

Now for the tunic!

In a few simple steps, turn a man's long-sleeved t-shirt into a tunic for an Indian costume {OneCreativeMommy.com} Halloween Costumes for Kids

Put the long-sleeved shirt on your child and mark the length you would like for sleeve fringe. Cut the sleeves off along your line.

Fringe the sleeves, and cut a v-shape out of the front neckline.

*Optional – Partially stitch closed the arm holes to make them fit your child’s arms. If your child plans to wear another shirt underneath, you may be able to skip that step. Important! When you stitch, the shirt should be right-side out. If you turn the shirt inside-out, you’ll trap some of the fringe inside the shirt. (I don’t know that from experience or anything! Hee, hee.)

Using the same method you used on the skirt, cut the bottom of the tunic to a point and fringe it.

You’re done!

(The headband is made from a ribbon and two loose feathers I had in my craft stash. We just tied a knot at the back and stuck in the feathers.)

This simple Indian Halloween costume requires almost no sewing, and can be completed in less than an hour! {OneCreativeMommy.com} DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Now, really. Wasn’t that easy? I was really pleased with the final look, and Bear loved it! I call that a successful experiment.

*I’ve had a few comments on this post accusing me of being racist for posting this costume idea, and I am a little bit confused. Of course, I don’t wish to offend anyone. I understand if the costume were something sexy or immodest that it would be offensive, but this is a tasteful and modest costume, so I don’t get it. (I’m not trying to be ignorant or disrespectful. I just want to understand.) My kids like to dress as people from history. My daughter is dressed in this costume because she thinks the history and culture are interesting, not because she’s trying to make fun of it. I have some costumes from ancient China that they like to wear as well. If you’d like to contribute to a respectful discussion about this, I welcome your comments.

Thanks for stopping by today. Keep coming back for more great Halloween ideas all month long! Visit the posts below by clicking on the images.

Perfect for Crazy Hair Day or Halloween, this Spider Hair tutorial is easy and fun! {OneCreativeMommy.com}

Free Printable Halloween Photo Booth Props {OneCreativeMommy.com} Perfect for parties or for hamming it up before trick-or-treating!

Candy Corn Pennant Tutorial with Free Pattern from OneCreativeMommy.com {Easy Halloween Decor!} AKA Candy Corn Bunting




  1. What a creative idea! And the costume looks awesome. :)

  2. So easy and looks really comfy too!

  3. This is brilliant. And it looks great!

  4. Hi. I’m sure it’s one of those things that may not have occurred to you, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that many Native Americans find it deeply offensive when people dress up in “indian” costumes for halloween. There is a wealth of information about this out there on the internet and I’m sure you can find some pretty thoughtful explanations directly from the people this hurts that explain this far better than I ever could. Thanks for your consideration,

  5. This Indian costume is unique and amazing. I could not believe you made this out of a t–shirt. Thanks for this one Heidi.

  6. I am trying to make this costume for a teen, but having a hard time finding a t-shirt with a neck hole that will fit her waist. I tried more of a scoop neck t-shirt too but then it’s asymmetrical and sags in the behind. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    • I’d look for the biggest men’s t-shirt you can find. (Thrift store.) If that isn’t big enough, you could always cut slits in the sides of the neck to make it wider. You’d have to reinforce where you cut to keep the slits from continuing to get bigger, though. The top of the skirt will be covered by the shirt, so it doesn’t have to be pretty. There probably is a limit to the size girl this costume will work for, but I don’t know what it is. Sorry! Good luck!

  7. I have to say, you have very creative skill. I wish I can turn my unused clothes for other designs. This post definitely has given me some ideas. Great instructions with awesome showing pictures.

  8. Please google “Cultural Appropriation” and read, read, read. While you may not have intended to offend, this is right up there on the list of things that we as a society should be trying to prevent – not encourage. Please, reconsider this post. Your title alone is cringe-worthy.

    • Leeann: Please do Google Cultural Appropriation. You cannot be serious – it is a halloween-costume, and a very craftable and inexpensive one at that. There is nothing offensive og inappropriate about it. I’m wearing jeans as a European, that’s reaching right up your ‘offend-me’-alley or what?

      Heidi: It’s a great costume and thank you for sharing it. This really is fast and easy to craft!

    • I am a Native American and this does not offend in the least. Society looks for things to raise a fuss about. Maybe they should poll the ones they are saying it offends and get accurate information. Heidi, thanks for the idea. Making it for my niece who is a full-blood Native American and proud of it. :)

      • Thanks, Shonda. Every time I feel pressure to take this down, I remember that the only people who tell me they are offended seem to be offended in behalf of a culture that is not actually their own. I think we’d all do well to spend less time finding ways to be offended —lol. I hope your niece loves the costume.

  9. What a brilliant idea! I will show it to my son who wants a cool costume for their Christmas party.
    Also, I would love to feature it on my blog HelloSewing. – it is a really cool project for the beginner seamstress
    Thanks for the idea!

  10. My daughter is doing her school report on Native Americans in Nevada. The kids in her class are all dressing up as people from history in the state-and doing a wax museum display at the school.
    I didn’t want to buy a costume for $30+ so I found your site and made one with some of the T-shirt’s my husband doesn’t use. I am grateful for you taking the time to post this and for your great ideas to repurpose old clothes. Thank you so very much.

    • I used to do a wax museum activity with my students when I was a teacher. It was one of the kids’ and my favorite activities. I’m glad this was helpful for you!

  11. Cultural Appropriation at its finest. When a white women thinks dressing as a Native American is a costume.

  12. I’m sure you meant well, but yikes. Dressing up in someone else’s culture for Halloween is a bad call.

  13. Love your idea and the title to your website…please ignore people who go around to everyone’s website and post the same post about being culturally offended. The thinking people in America who love God/ Country/ Family and OUR President and his family are with you. The thought police seem to be every where in reality they are such a small insignificant group of America haters and have nothing better to do than to put fear and hate into everything they see and touch.
    You go girl, as a mom you are awesome and very respectful.
    A grandma who loves our country, the American Native Indians especially the Wampanoag Tribe of New England, we study them a little more every year for our family history lesson at the Thanksgiving table. The whole family loves the history and loves to dress up like them!! Its a new family tradition for us and we will not give it up.

  14. Thank you. Just made this today for my petite 8 year old daughter. I used boys XL and XXL shirts from Walmart spending less than 9 dollars.

    • I’m so glad this worked for you, Courtney! I was super excited when I figured out how to do this without spending a lot of money. I’m glad you were able to save money as well.

  15. I am going to teach my (1st grade) child about different people and their music, culture and something like that. This costume idea is perfect for us to do together ❤️

  16. My wife actually loves this kind of native, Indian costumes, I am imagining how she will react when she sees it. I think maybe I will make it for her, it looks surprisingly easy.

  17. I’m going to tell you why this is not okay a calm as I can.
    You said that your daughter wanted to dress up as someone from the past but Natives are still here and we have various amounts of ceremonies that we were our regalia’s (traditional clothing) for. I know we dress in modern-day clothes but our regalia’s are a very important part of our culture and you’re just dressing up in a $5 one.

    I was thinking about being a European American for next Halloween. What do you think? They’re one of my favorite Heroes you know. They kind of slaughtered all of my people. Kill them off with their diseases. Forced them off their land. They held treatise against them. Oh they also forced them into residential schools where they got beat and forced into different religions. They took away all their rights. And then yet still to this day they use my people as mascots, Halloween costumes and call us out with racial slurs. Yeah I highly respect them.

    But you do you, thanks for your consideration. Leona ❤️

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