Ideas to Make a Child's Revolutionary War Costume

Written by kathy bellamy
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Ideas to Make a Child's Revolutionary War Costume
George Washington (George Washington Monument image by Grünig Frank from

You can make Revolutionary War costumes for a child's patriotic play or parade from scratch, or you alter modern clothing picked up at the thrift store. Luckily, children are small and it is easy to find adult clothing that can be cut down and altered.

American Soldier

Alter an old blue coat by turning the lapels inside out and trimming with red ribbon and gold buttons. Fold back the corners of the coattails and trim in red. The boys may not like it, but you will probably have to get the coat in the ladies department. Wear a white button-up shirt, white vest, white leggings, white leg warmers and black shoes or black boots. Get a tricorne hat at a costume shop or make one from a wide-brimed hat--fold the back third of the brim up and pin. Fold the other two thirds of the brim into a point at the front. Glue gold ribbon to the edge of the brim. Wrap a scarf around your neck from front to back and back to front. Tie in front. Wear a white belt across each shoulder.

British Soldier

For the British soldier you will need a red coat, altered the same way as the American uniform and trimmed in gold. The hat can be a tricorne or make the high, pointed hat the British sometimes wore from cardboard and stiffened fabric. Trousers and vests can be tan or white, and you can wear boots or black leg warmers. The white cross belts would be worn here as well.

Frontier Soldier

To look like this soldier, you will need a knee-length buckskin tunic. You can make it out of tan flannel, fleece, suede or faux leather. It should be open at the neck and have fringe on the sleeves, hem and front. Wear it with tan trousers and knee-high boots. Finish with a belt across the shoulder and a tricorne ha, or make a coonskin hat out of a stuffed toy raccoon.

George Washington

The commander in chief would wear a blue and buff version of the American soldier uniform. The hat would have a higher brim and should be trimmed with gold or white. The shoulders of the uniform would have gold fringed epaulettes. Wear with a ruffled shirt and a powdered wig.

Girl's Costume

To make a costume for Abigail, Martha or Betsy (Adams, Washington and Ross, respectively), you will need a long skirt and a square-necked blouse with elbow-length sleeves. Add lace trim to the sleeves and the hem of the skirt. Add a lacy neckerchief and an apron. Make a mop hat with two circles of cloth and a bit of ribbon, or put lace trim on a fabric shower cap.

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