How to Make a Hawaiian Costume

Written by serena thomas
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A Hawaiian costume can be made into many variations. The traditional Hawaiian costume is a coconut bra, a grass skirt, with a lei or flowered necklace or headband. This look can be made to look silly or beautiful depending on the materials used. Real flowers, coconuts and grass can be used for a more authentic look. Shells, sand and feathers can also be incorporated into the costume.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Assorted fake tropical flowers
  • Glue gun
  • Dried grass reeds
  • Measuring tape
  • 2-inch thick flat cotton band
  • Swimming costume
  • Scissors
  • Fake coconut halves

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  1. 1

    Take the flat cotton band and measure it to fit around your head like a headband. Cut the desired length, then use the glue gun to attach flowers and small pieces of reeds for the desired look. If using reed, cut them down to 3- to 4-inch lengths before attaching, which gives the headband a pointy look resembling a crown.

  2. 2

    Measure the cotton band to fit around your hips just above the widest part. Cut the band and secure with the glue gun. The reeds can be placed closely together for a fuller skirt or more sparingly. Glue the entire length of the cotton band with grass reeds. To make the skirt, fold reeds in half and secure them with the glue gun to the cotton band. The skirt can be shortened by using shorter reeds or ankle length with longer reeds. Choose the length of reed depending on the length of skirt desired.

  3. 3

    Allow the skirt to dry. When it has dried, flowers can be attached to the waist band with the glue gun as desired or not at all.

  4. 4

    Make the coconut bikini top: Cut two 1 1/2 foot lengths of the cotton band lengthwise into strips, then cut each of these into three strips each. You'll end up with six narrow strips 1 1/2 feet long . Glue three strips to the outer edge of each coconut half so that they are evenly spaced from each other, one at the top and two at the bottom of the coconut, like the ties of a bikini. Glue a 3-inch length of the cotton band to connect the coconuts. Cut another cotton band about a foot long for the ties of the bikini top, and then cut it in two lengthwise. These will tie to one another around the neck.

  5. 5

    Glue flowers and reeds to the coconut bikini top for the desired look.

Tips and warnings

  • Be creative with the flower and reed choices. Researching traditional Hawaiian garb can offer many ideas.
  • Be patient when gluing flowers and reeds so as not to end up with everything glued together in a big mess. Take your time gluing each piece carefully for a clean look.

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