How to make your own nativity costumes for kids

Updated April 17, 2017

Many Christian churches or schools put on a nativity pageant or play every year at Christmas time. Costumes for these nativities can be purchased or rented at costume stores, but that is sometimes too expensive. Luckily, most characters in the nativity wear the same type of clothes: a robe and a veil. Therefore, with a little time and some sewing skill, you can make your own nativity costumes and save lots of money. Plus, you can get a little creative and add your own personal touch to the costumes.

To make a robe for Joseph or the shepherds, cut out two pieces of brown fabric, each as wide as the child's shoulders plus 5 cm (2 inches) and long enough to reach from his neck to his ankles. Lay the two pieces of fabric directly on top of one another, right sides together.

Sew together the long sides of the fabric, leaving an opening of about 15 cm (6 inches) at the top of the sides for the arms to go through. Sew the top of the robe together, leaving an opening of about 15 cm (6 inches) in the middle for the collar.

Cut two more pieces of brown fabric, each 20 cm (8 inches) wide and as long as the child's arm plus 5 cm (2 inches). These will be the sleeves. Fold each fabric piece in half (right sides together), bringing the long edges together. Sew up the long side and sew one sleeve to each arm opening of the robe.

Cut the robe open in the front, directly down the middle. Hem the collar, sleeves, front opening, and bottom of the robe. Turn it right side out and secure it on the child by tying a piece of rope around his waist.

To make a head wrap or veil, cut out a piece of purple or blue fabric that is 66 cm (26 inches) long and 33 cm (13 inches) wide. Hem the piece of fabric all the way around. Place the piece of fabric in top of the child's head, allowing the long part drape down her neck. Secure the veil by tying a piece of rope around the forehead.

To make angel's wings, cut out two pieces of white fabric in the wing shape. Hem the fabric all the way around, leaving a small opening. Thread some wire through the hem all the way around the wing until it comes out the opening again. Twist the ends of the wire together and sew the opening closed.

Create an angel's robe by following steps 1 through 4, substituting white fabric for brown fabric. Sew the wings onto the back of the white robe.


Use steps 1 through 4 to make a robe for each character by simply changing the colour of the fabric. Mary's robe should be made of purple or blue fabric and the Wise Men's robes should be made of purple, blue, or red.

Things You'll Need

  • Brown fabric
  • Brown thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Rope
  • Purple or blue fabric
  • Purple or blue thread
  • White fabric
  • White thread
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About the Author

Courtney Clark studied English, creative writing, film and history at Southern Virginia University from 2005 through 2008, earning a Bachelor of Arts. During her time at SVU, Clark participated in the English Honors Society and the university's film club.