Bible Costumes for Harvest Festival

Bible costumes do not have to be difficult to make. You don't even have to learn to sew if you don't want to. If you get a bed sheet and fold it in half, you can have your child lie down on top of the folded sheet, with his arms stuck out like a “T.” His head would be overlapping the top of the fold. Then cut the sheet under his arms, making sure to leave enough cloth for the sleeves. Cut the sheet on both sides of your son's body, while he's still lying there. Make sure you make the tunic fatter than you think, because a three-dimensional person occupies more space than the flat sheet would suggest with two dimensions. Then tell your son to go away.

Next, you need to grab your fabric glue (unless you want to sew it, then go right ahead). If you unscrew the whole entire lid, you can pour the glue quickly down the sides of the tunic and the bottoms of the two arms. Close the fabric together. I put newspaper under it so the costume wouldn't stick to the carpet. (After gluing it, pull the newspaper slightly away so it's not glued to the tunic either.)

Your costume is finished except for the head hole. Wait a few hours until the glue dries, then turn it right-side out. Cut the head hole smaller than you think. You can always make it bigger later. If it's too big, it will look ridiculous slipping down the shoulder of your child.

Since I'm talking about Bible costumes, I couldn't resist adding pictures of some costumes my students made for Reformation Day. (I taught at a Christian private school the first two years I was a teacher.) If you have a Harvest Festival at your church at the end of October, this would be a fun time to get your creative juices flowing.

Two of my students were boys who liked to shock people. One year they dressed up as John the Baptist's head on a platter, and the woman who danced before Herod. They had a cardboard box for the table, with a hole in the top for the head. A platter with a top covered the head until the other person opened the top. Some students actually screamed because they didn't know someone was in there. (I let the boy get into the box quietly when no one was in the room. Everyone thought the boy was absent.)

Another year the same two boys did “The Writing on the Wall,” with one boy being the wall in Babylon, and the other boy being the ink pot with a big feather quill. (I'm sure they couldn't think of a way to make a hand appear out of nowhere like the real story.)

Someone came dressed as “The Last Supper.” It was a large piece of cardboard with a white tablecloth. Plates with bread and goblets were hot glued to the table top. The boy wore the whole contraption on his back.

One boy made a huge papier mache lion head, with honeycomb in the ribs. This was the dead lion that Samson found honey in, and Samson used this as a riddle to stump his enemies. (Of course, a woman got the secret out of him, as usual.) I thought this costume was a bit gross, even worse than John the Baptist's head.

A girl dressed up as “The Wise Man Who Built his House on the Rock.” She made a house out of a cardboard box and put a cardboard rock under it. A poster board man was standing beside it with tools in his hands.

Two girls made an ark of the covenant, which they held on poles between them. The poles and the box were painted gold, and two angels were hot glued to the top. Both girls dressed up as Levitical priests.

Another boy dressed up as Moses, holding the ten commandments. He had a brown tunic on, and his long beard was white. He had powder in his hair, and he wore sandals.

A boy dressed up as the ant from Proverbs, with two brown cardboard circles for the thorax and abdomen. He wore antennae made with pipe cleaners attached to a brown construction paper headband, probably stapled.

A girl dressed up as an eyeball. I think it's the eyeball that you're supposed to pluck out if it causes you to sin. It looks like it's made out of cloth, maybe cardboard with white flannel stuck to it. The iris of the eye is blue, with a black pupil in the middle. It was probably colored with markers. The fringe of black construction paper was glued to the top and bottom to represent eyelashes.

There were many other costumes, too. What I remember the most about Reformation Day was the joy in the children's eyes as they wore their costumes to school. Many of their costumes were almost like art sculptures. I'm sure that some of them had help from their parents, but they all had a great time.