How to make a "bananas in pyjamas" costume

Written by jennifer gigantino
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How to make a "bananas in pyjamas" costume
You can also make a banana not-in-pyjamas costume. (banana image by Edvin selimovic from

On the airwaves since June of 1992, "Bananas in Pyjamas" is an Australian children's show about the adventures of a pair of large, sentient bananas, a group of teddy bears and other assorted animals. It is based largely on a nonsense song written by Carey Blyton in 1967. The main characters, B1 and B2, can provide inspiration for an absurd and hilarious costume party getup or even a sideline career entertaining at children's birthday parties.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Balloon
  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Saucepan
  • Flour
  • Bowl
  • Newspaper
  • Box cutter (optional)
  • Gesso
  • Yellow and brown paint
  • Blue-and-white striped pyjamas
  • Yellow dish washing gloves
  • Yellow sneakers
  • Yellow face paint

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  1. 1

    Blow up the balloon.

  2. 2

    Cut a strip of poster board, with a width that approximately equals the height of the wearer's face and a length that approximately equals the wearer's head circumference. Tape this strip of poster board into a tube.

  3. 3

    Place the balloon inside the tube, to create a dome with an open end. Tape the balloon in place.

  4. 4

    Boil 5 cups of water in the saucepan. Mix a quarter cup of flour with a cup of cold water in the bowl, until smooth.

  5. 5

    Add the flour mixture to the boiling water. Stir consistently for two to three minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly. Let cool completely.

  6. 6

    Tear up the newspaper into strips. Dip the strips into the flour mixture and smooth them over the balloon-posterboard dome with your fingers until it is completely covered. Add three layers in this way.

  7. 7

    Build up a 3-inch stem on the top of the dome using crumpled or rolled gluey newspaper. Let the whole thing dry completely.

  8. 8

    Cut two round dents opposite each other on the open end of the tube, large enough to allow for the wearer's shoulders. Pop the balloon, if it has not already popped, and remove it from the inside of the papier-mache shell.

  9. 9

    Place the dome on the wearer's head. Draw a circle on the newsprint around where the wearer's face is. Remove the mask. Cut the circle out using scissors or a box cutter.

  10. 10

    Tear up more newspaper and repeat Steps 4 and 5, if necessary. Apply a single layer of gluey newspaper to the raw edges you created in Steps 8 and 9. Allow to dry completely. Alternately, apply a layer of masking tape.

  11. 11

    Paint the entire mask with two layers of gesso, allowing the first one to dry completely before applying the second.

    How to make a "bananas in pyjamas" costume
    Gesso is used to prime canvases and other surfaces for painting. (oil on canvas image by Peter Baxter from
  12. 12

    Paint the mask yellow, except for the stem. Paint the stem brown. If desired, add bruises and brown banana age spots. Allow to dry completely.

    How to make a "bananas in pyjamas" costume
    Old bananas display brown age spots. (Over ripe bananas (ingredient for banana loaf) image by Sophia Winters from
  13. 13

    Wear the mask with a pair of blue-and-white striped pyjamas, yellow dish washing gloves and yellow sneakers. Paint your exposed face banana yellow.

Tips and warnings

  • "Bananas in Pyjamas" is a good pair costume. Simply multiply all steps by two, and write "B1" and "B2" on the collars of your pyjamas in blue permanent marker or blue puff paint.

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