How to Make a Last-Minute Shepherd Costume

…Have you seen that QuickTrip commercial where the girls remember the note from their teacher right before their mom takes them to school?

Last night we got an email from church telling us that if Max could show up to the Christmas party with a “shepherd costume” (today) he could be a shepherd in the Nativity play. Now, we didn’t have a shepherd costume, and keep in mind, my craft supplies look like this right now:

These are my crafts!

Max was really excited about it, though, so no way was I going to let a little thing like a costume set us back!

Pictured: a costume.

I took a (conveniently no longer needed) uniform undershirt – basically a large tan t-shirt – and a pair of outgrown, worn-out, torn up corduroys for my materials and set to work. Any sort of contrasting material would work, really, but the pants were unpacked and the old corduroy lent nice texture to the whole thing. First, I sliced the elastic waistband off in one piece to use as a headband. Then I cut off a leg and separated the front from the back (so I had two long pieces). Then I cut things like seams and pockets off of the legs, and I had basically two brown rectangles. I sewed the narrow ends together so that I had one long one to use as a sash, folded it in half, and tied it around Max’s waist. Then Charlie wanted a shepherd costume, so I grabbed another t-shirt, did the same to the other leg of the pants, and used discarded seams to make another headband (one that tied, let’s not get too fancy here).

If I do say so myself, they look pretty adorable.

Hello, little shepherds.

They wore their ‘costumes’ over shorts and t-shirts – you know, since it’s in the 70s here – with sandals for ‘authenticity.’ (Max’s sandals light up, which was pretty funny during the nativity play.) See that sheep he’s holding? It’s from the Noah’s Ark set I made for him lo, these many years ago for his first birthday. He carried that sheep all night and ‘took care of it.’ What a good little shepherd.


  1. Stacey says:

    Fantastic and thank you for the fun of it .. but I have to say as an English mum living in Spain it reminds me of 2 years ago when 3 of my 5 had to go as “pastor” (shepherds). Not a problem I thought and dutifully cut and sewed a stripey sofa cover into tunics and tea-cloth style headwear. On the big day it wasn’t hard to spot my matching 3: all the Spanish children were kitted out in shop bought woolskin lined waistcoats, furry hats, white blouses and puffy black trousers (rather similar to traditional Greek dress …
    I’m sure my costumes were more authentic though ..

  2. Norita Sorenson says:


    I am going to pass your Blog along to my friends and family. Thanks for you ideas on Shepard costumes. Our program is tonight and I need 4 costumes!! Your suggestions were just what I needed!!
    I am also LDS, live in Enterprise Utah, originally from Seattle area! I am a grandma, great grandma, wife, mother and still work from home sharing health, wealth and freedom!

    Thank you,
    Norita SOrenson
    Norita Sorenson recently posted..Isagenix VisionMy Profile

  3. Cat says:

    Thank goodness for this post! I need to produce a shepherd’s costume by tomorrow morning and I was beginning to panic but I think I can manage this. It looks really good as well as simple.

  4. Tin says:

    I am so, so glad to have found this! My son’s teacher just told me he’s playing a shepherd next Friday — instead of sewing, I went to my husband’s closet and found him the perfect outfit.

    You are a lifesaver!

    Many thanks!

  5. rachel simon says:

    I am so grateful for you posting this. I am doing a Nativity at my church and I am trying to spend 150.0 for a youth cast.From Joseph to the 13 angels. So thanks. I am using Dollar store white table cloths for my angels. So I loved this idea. I am also using things from my belongings to having some helpful moms’ support. Thanks again.

  6. John Prete says:

    Thanks for this. I was in a store searching (fruitlessly) for a shepherd costume for my four year old son and found your post on the Internet. It inspired me to make my own costume for him, which I did. And it worked out really well! Thank you!

  7. PEGGY HERTZ says:

    I’m in Maui visiting my son and his family.. My grandson is a shepherd and I said I’ll make is outfit…Perfect. No money spend.

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