Easy and Cheap Paper Bag Princess Costume

How to make a Paper Bag Princess costume (from the Robert Munsch story) for next to nothing.I’m not sure how popular Robert Munsch is these days – if his books are timeless or just a fad from when I was a child. I’m sure all schools have probably banned his books because of his rocky personal life, but that’s a rant for another time.

I decided I wanted to be the Paper Bag Princess a couple years ago for Halloween, and boy, was it easy. And free. It probably won’t be free for you, but it will be cheap. I also did it again this year for the Blissdom Canada costume party. I built the crown a slightly different way this year, which was cheaper and easier.

Things you’ll need:

– a piece of gold foam paper (for the crown)
– a thin headband
– single hole punch
– a large leaf bag
– something to make your hair look ragged. I used hairspray, which worked for about 3 minutes and then my hair looked normal again. Maybe try some of that “Backcomb in a Bottle” stuff.
– packing tape

Depending on how scandalous you’d like your costume to be, you can add in tights and a tank/tee/long sleeved shirt of some kind for underneath. Also, you’re wearing a paper bag. Pretty much the flimsiest costume known to man. Keep that in mind when deciding what to wear under it.

1. Cut bag up one seam and across the top seam.
2. Turn inside out and apply packing tape to the inside and outside of the seam. This will hide the big logo that’s on the outside of the leaf bag. If yours doesn’t have one or you don’t care, skip along.
3. Cut a hole for your head.
4. Cut holes in the sides for your arms.
5. If you want to have it come in to fit your body in any kind of shape, I suggest using packing tape when it’s already on you, as your bag will not give at all like fabric does if you taper it in at the waist and it will rip while you put it on.
6. Make sure you reinforce a lot of the bag (bottom, seams, back end) with packing tape so it will withstand being worn.
7. Cut the bottom a bit to look somewhat frayed/tattered/abused

2. Cut your crown shape out of the gold foam paper ($2 at Michaels). Tall and skinny, with bobbles on the end. Ensure you’re working with the paper in PORTRAIT orientation, not landscape. You want it to be tall.

5. Curl it into a crown shape and secure it that way. Tape, staples, whatever.

6. Use a hole punch and punch a hole in each side of the crown and thread the headband through. Stick on your head.

Below is a photo from my 2010 costume, followed by a less-happy photo from my 2012 costume. I had been through a very traumatic fire, after all.

Congratulations, you’ve made a $7 costume and everyone will think you to be a genius.



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