How to Make Simple Paper Dresses

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Simple Paper Dresses

Seeing this girl come  home from summer camp in her delightful bright blue paper dress with ribbons, I was instantly inspired to write about paper dresses here at .

This simple paper dress is easy to do at a camp or kid party and all the girls can line up for a fashion parade in less than an hour.  The crepe paper is rolled out, wrapped around the girl and cut when she’s covered front and back.   Then, it’s simply folded at the top, and taped together at the back. 

The crepe paper is so moldable that it is simply pushed into shape by hand.  Then, some ribbons were added at the back to cover up the tape, and one ribbon was put in her hair for splendor.


Paper Dress Making for A Girl’s Party, Girl Guide Summer Camp, School Event of Birthday Party

A few rolls of crepe paper in inspiring colors, some ribbons, glitter glue, a bit or Scots tape, and voila. Done.  Crepe paper is so forgiving, mouldable and pliable, that you actually don’t really need much by way of tape or glue.  Also consider using a needle & thread and simply gather the paper ‘fabric’.

paper dress

Albeit that to create more durable paper dresses or paper costumes that you can wear more than once, e.g. for a dress rehearsal and  one or more theatre shows, any kind of tool offering extra strength such as glue, stitching or tape is recommended.  As well, create a design that allows you to easily get in and out of the dress…

Some practical tips: particularly for re-usable dresses, often a fabric base garment is used and the paper is stitched on. This would be best for say a school theater costume or Halloween costume, where the child would wear the dress quite a few times. Reinforce any paper sleeves with an extra layer of paper and allow for plenty of space. Crepe paper is usually about 20″ wide, and plan the design accordingly. For skirts (to hang well) ensure that the grain of the crepe runs vertically. For longer dresses on taller girls, you often need 2 paper widths; simply sew or tape them, then use the entire stretch of paper in your paper dress design.


However for paper dresses made as simple as the one shown here, all is simple: you don’t even need a pattern. All you need is good old fantasy! And, at a camp or birthday party, you’ll have plenty of that fantasy going around. So no trouble at all.

Having said this, it is best to prep and have a few dresses (almost) ready before your event, so that you’ll get  your group going faster.

A few demo dress designs will help the children (and adults around) to fill up the nooks and corners of the general idea with their own fantasy, and they can be happy with the (near instant) results.   When someone really can not put one together or rips her dress just before it’s going home time, this little princess can take a demo dress home instead and still be happy.


Tip: You don’t need the occasion of a party of a school play to make this craft worthwhile: making paper dresses is perfect for playing make-believe on a rainy summer afternoon.


Tomorrow we’ll talk about ….Fancy Paper Dresses !!

Meanwhile, here are free and low cost paper dress making resources to help you do your simple projects.

Paper Dress Making Resources

Coffee filters
Templates, Patterns,
& Paper Dress Making Tutorials
Readymade Paper Costumes for kids

Buy stacks of hand-dyed (painted) and baked powder pink coffee filters for your craft projects by clicking here. 





Child Sewing Machine

Click to download  FREE online paper dress making tutorial

plus templates
for 3 different
paper dresses


When I came across this little sewing machine I realized it is a great toy for a young seamstress. I am however not sure if it is possible for a child to sew paper with it, as sewing with thicker, less pliable paper is more difficult than with thin fabric. 

But …  you have to start somewhere, and this machine might bring on the beginning of design greatness. Click the image for details.

Shop Toys at The Land of Nod



All Articles in this Series on Paper Dress Making

How to Make a Simple Paper Dress

Fancy Paper Dresses – (this article)

History of the Paper Dress

Today’s Trends in Toilet Paper Wedding Dress & Coffee Filter Paper Prom Dress Making


  1. my child is studying k.g in her school they are celebrating culturesday for that thear is fashion show i think to make a paper dress i dont know how to make or give some other idea hoe can we dress up

  2. my child is studying k.g in her school they are celebrating culturesday for that thear is fashion show i think to make a paper dress i dont know how to make or give some other idea hoe can we dress up

  3. where can i get ready made paper dress for my 4year child for fashion show in her school pls help me

  4. Fine Craft Guild says:

    Hajara, it’s easy!

    For the easiest idea, just follow the blue dress pattern: wrap paper around the girl, Stickitape it together.
    Take contrast color paper and make bow or belt or whatever and wrap it around the girl. Secure it with a tie.
    Done. Takes 4 minutes, start to finish.

    For more complicated dresses, download any of the patterns I’ve posted here.

    For super fancy dresses, see the various links to this post…

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