DIY Pocahontas Costume for Under $5 Tutorial

DIY Pocahontas Costume for Under $5 Tutorial

So the last minute Pocahontas costume that I wore for the Disneyland Half Marathon was a hit! Here’s a step by step photo tutorial for you.


1. 1 adult XL tan colored t-shirt (the longer the shirt, the better because you’ll want some length in your skirt)

2. A pair of fabric scissors


1. Lay your shirt on a flat surface.

2. Cut off the sleeves from the armpit to the neckline. Do not cut off the stretchy collar around the neck. That is what will make your halter stay on!

3. Cut about 1/3 of the shirt off on the bottom. You can increase or decrease this length based on how short you want your skirt and how long you want your top. Getting a longer shirt is better so that you can make both longer and cut to desired length later. Remember that even if you think your skirt is long here, it will get short because of your butt and hips! So be generous. If you have to, get 2 tan shirts.

4. Cut off the bottom seam of the shirt. But do not cut the stitching of the seam. This will be your belt so you want it to be as strong as possible. Once you have a huge loop, cut it in one place so you have a long belt instead of an “O”. Next, cut mini slits about 1” down from the edge of your skirt. I made the distance between each slit about 1.5” a part all the way around the waist. After you do this, “sew” the belt through the loops. Because I wanted my bow tie to be on the side, I started “sewing” by a side seam so that the belt could end by the side too. When finished, loop knots for the ends of the belt.

The best way to make slits is to fold your material in half along the edge and cut small half slits. When you open up you will have full slits.

5. Start cutting off thin strips from both of the sleeves you removed earlier. This will be your fringe. I cut parallel to the sleeve’s edge so that I had a ton of thin O’s. Then cut the O’s in 1/2. Next, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you hold onto the edges of each strip and tug as much as you can. You want the strips to get thin and for the edges to curl in. It is nice that jersey cotton does this. Also, this makes the fringe look more suede-like in my opinion.

6. About 1/2 inch from the bottom edge of the skirt begin cutting double mini slits 1 inch away from each other. A double slit is basically 2 mini slits right next to each other. Do this all the way around the skirt. Then “sew” the thin strips through each double slit. Double knot. Done.

This is what your skirt will look like!

7. Next, fold the back if your shirt in half and cut about 3” in. Make each cut about 1” away from each other. Start the first cut 2-3” from the neckline and go all the way down. Then open up the shirt and cut right down the middle so that you have a bunch of loose ends to tie.

8. Next try the shirt on and have someone tie the loose ends together. This allows the shirt to now fit the shape of your body. Make it comfortably tight as the shirt will most likely stretch a little afterwards. Double knot each tie.

9. Create fringe around the edge of the shirt as well. Use the same technique as you did for the skirt. I thought I was done until I noticed that the costume needed a little bit “MORE”. Then came the idea for a fringe bib “necklace”. Cut double slits about 1/2 inch away from each other along the curve of the neckline. Then loop long strands through and double knot. When done, cut the ends of the strands so that it looks like a “V”. Long in the middle and shorter as you move up the sides of the V.

Also, if the shirt does not fit correctly, you can make adjustments by tying 2 knots at the sides of the crew neck. This will help lift up the arm pits if they sag too much. These last 2 knots will also work as part of your fringe bib. Can you see it?

The final product! A gorgeous one of a kind DIY Indian Princess costume project that requires no thread and needles for under 5 bucks.

Tie your hair in braids and wear your costume with some moccasins or tan sandals.

I encourage all of you to make your own costumes this Halloween! Not only is it more satisfying (like cooking your own food), it also helps strike up a conversation with a “beautiful stranger” if you’re ever in need of a topic at a costume party.

If you make this, I wanna see!

<3 Cassey

62 thoughts on “DIY Pocahontas Costume for Under $5 Tutorial”

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  1. Galina says:

    That’s insane. What a fantastic costume you have created. I am so inspired by your creation that I can’t wait to make one for my daughter. Thank you so so much ❤️🙏🙏

  2. Alene says:

    Great article! Love this idea. I shall try made this costume. Thanks for sharing this. I provide for by my given business to sale this product online wholesale Clothing

  3. KelleyE says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!!!! I just made this for my daughter’s Thanksgiving party at school. I used one of my old shirts, so it cost me nothing! I am going to bejewel it with some turquoise. Thanks again!!!! I would never be this clever on my own.

  4. Shing says:

    LOVE IT!! I was pocahontas last year too!!

  5. clari says:

    did you use a mens large or a womens?? im about the same size as the girl in the photo.

  6. Jane says:

    I just made this costume! Super cute. I bought a kit to make a little suede pouch from hobby lobby and sewed a few faux turquoise stones into the costume and bag, and I made some leg fringe with leftover scraps 🙂 such a great idea. Instead of doing the fringe collar though I just cut a few slits vertically down from the neckline (about 2″-3″) and stretched those the same way the fringe is done. It turned out so well. And I spent a total of $13. Not too shabby.

  7. says:

    waw I love your Idea…very creative…. 🙂 I unfortunately already both the costume for this Halloween…
    Although I made Pocahontas necklace… I was really figuring out what is the best way to do it for me…. here you can see my result 🙂

  8. joy says:

    Hi Casey,

    Thank you for sharing this awesome costume idea.. We (with my friend) made one for me to be used in a program as a creative costume. The organizers required that one of the costumes should have a touch of a “Wild Wild West” concept. We’re surprised that I won the Ms. Wildest Outlook (Best in Creative Wear)..

    Here’s the link..

    Thank you..

    Best regards,


  9. Peter says:

    Wow – this is very clever! An amazing Pocahontas costume for under $5 – that’s awesome.

    I thought you and your readers might be interested in the Creative Costume Contest over at – the best part, there’s a $250 grand prize. You can also enter more than once as long as each entry is for a different costume.

    Thanks again for sharing this how to – it’s very inspiring.


  10. Samantha says:

    Just made my own! Thank you so much for this! I’m wearing it to an upcoming 18th and this saved me! Took me about 2 hours tops and looks awesome!

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  12. jill says:

    You are a genius. You have made my Pocohontas-obsessed 5 year old so very happy! Great idea, and better quality than “real” disney princess dresses!

  13. Deena says:

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  14. krista says:

    Awesome, thank you, made this for my daughters school project. Super easy. We did a few different things, first we took an adult T-shirt white and dyed it with tea.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. J says:

    Genius! Love it. Though, I’m a little heartbroken you cut up a RL. 😉 Worth it though.

  16. marilyn says:

    this is very cute idea. my daughter and friends having an orphan thanksgiving and encouraging people to dress in period costume. she told me you could make an indian out fit out of at-shirt so i just started googling and found this way cool outfit. i have dressed up before as i am atad bit cherokee indian! i will try to make and post a photo.

  17. Taralight says:


    This was a lifesaver Halloween costume this year. I put it together very last minute. I did tweak it a little bit to make it look a little more like Pocahontas. I cut it off the shoulder and made it into a dress versus a top and skirt. I just cinched the waist with a braided belt to give it shape. I also made a little turquoise necklace by braiding some turquoise leather strings at Michael’s with a charm I already had. Enjoy the pics and thanks again! Great idea!

    1. Sarah says:

      I loved hers & then I saw yours cause I too wanted it to look more like Pocahontas & it pretty much captures her dress! Love it! Too bad I already bought the fabric & my grandma is sewing it for me. Still cheaper than buying it though

  18. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful tutorial! Your costume is prettier than the Disney store ones I was just searching for! I am going to make this for my daughter who loves watching the Pocahontas movies and maybe for some Thanksgiving festivities!

  19. Keisha says:

    So sad this is still up and people are like LOL it’s totally funny. No Doubt just got called out for dressing up similarly and apologized. Cassey you don’t seem to care about other cultures at all but here’s what the department of American Indian Studies had to say about the impact of costumes (that I admit you clearly have good intentions) like this

    1. Lindsay Williams says:

      I highly doubt she “doesn’t care”about other cultures. She made the costume for Halloween! There are MILLIONS of people who are NOT Native American that dress up as Pocahontas for the holiday. And seriously, who even cares about No Doubt anymore? It’s not 2003 anymore… Your comment is seriously WAY over the top and rude.

    2. Susan Eckles says:

      are you serious? She made the costume for a race at Disneyland! Nowhere in the world would it be more appropriate to dress up as Pocahontas then the place that created her!

  20. Jamie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this costume! It cost me $5 for the shirt—cheapest costume and it was super cute! Can’t thank you enough! 🙂

  21. Camila says:

    THANKS so much for posting this, I was able to make it in a short period of time 🙂

  22. Coreena says:

    How did you pull up the sides? Im not really sure how you did that..

  23. tiffany says:

    ty for sharing made this for my 2 yr old daughter’s costume all for 4.00! & i just added beads to the fringe soooo cute, we got mocassin boots as well 🙂 & made earrings & headband w feathers:)

  24. Bianca says:

    loooove this! its ridiculous that costumes can get super expensive nowadays… going to make this for halloween this year… maybe i’ll use this technique to make a matching guy shirt for my hubby

  25. kaadev says:

    I made your costume idea and it saved me and my grandmother hours of trying to create our own costume idea. Thank you very much, it turned out fantastic 🙂

  26. Heidi says:

    Thank you for this idea!! I made one this afternoon for my daughter for “trunk or treat”…. And made it free!! I tea-dyed one of her daddy’s t-shirts and set to work with a pair of scissors. She is 7, so was able to do all the fringe work herself. She is so cute in it and loves it! Thank you for taking the time to share your idea!!

  27. jess says:

    my number was 3154

  28. jess says:

    very cute – i was pocahontas at the 2011 Disney Half too! but i got my outfit at the thrift store

  29. Heather says:

    Ahhh this is perfect!!!!!! Thanks for saving this Halloween for me, I didn’t know what to do and I am just so darned broke 🙂

  30. Terri Young says:

    Thank you so much. I love this pattern. I’m having a fun
    Halloween party for my ten grandchildren and wanted to
    do something inexpensive and this rocks. I made it in
    an hour and love it.

  31. Victoria says:

    I’m being the Morton Salt Girl for Halloween this year!! 🙂

  32. leisha says:

    wow that is awesome. looks great for no sewing! Im gonna try something like this!

  33. Jennifer says:

    OMG you answered my prayer haha! I’m trying to be Pocahontas for Halloween, but I was just scared for the price of how much it would be to make it. THANK YOU SOO MUCH <3 xo

  34. Melissa says:

    Cultural appropriation is not a good look. This Halloween costume is offensive at best and the term “Indian Princess?” Girl.

    1. Mike says:

      “cultural appropriation” LOL! Someone needs more fiber.

    2. Jessica says:

      Dont hate. It’s a beautiful costume and in no way disrespects any culture. LOVE IT Girl. Making this for my costume this year! Brilliant!

    3. A.Y says:

      I happen to be native american, my tribes are Kickapoo and Potawatomi, and in no way do I find this Halloween costume offensive. It’s adorable and creative.

      1. Keisha says:

        you don’t speak for everyone just because you’re Native doesn’t mean that people can’t be offended….

        1. Lindsay says:

          And you don’t have to be rude to a woman who has done nothing but give out FREE advice, tips, videos, etc. to help YOU lose your body fat. Have a little respect.

        2. Lindsay says:

          This is not a site for negativity. Why are you trying to be mean to a person who gives you FREE advice & work outs to shave off your body fat? YOU do not speak for everyone either, this costume may offend and may not. The point is that it is a HALLOWEEN costume, and on Halloween anyone can dress up to be whatever they want.

  35. Pixie says:

    What about the other accessories like the famous blue necklace of hers? Please do a YouTube tutorial, it would be so much clearer!!! 🙁

  36. Devon says:

    you should do a tutorial on youtube

  37. Phyllis says:

    How was it running in that costume? I’m thinking of doing pocahontas for the WDW marathon. Did all the cotton cause any chafing?

  38. Mairi says:

    You might enjoy reading my blog post! Great tutorial! (sorry, the previous link was wrong!)

  39. Essie says:

    We did this today! I think it was actually less than $3 !!!

    Thanks so much

  40. paige says:

    Where did you find the tan t-shirts?

    1. blogilates says:

      I just had it in the back of my closet but I am sure you can find it at your local tshirt shop.

      1. paige says:

        thanks! i found some at michael’s! making my costume now….

  41. Ja9 says:

    Love this idea def. tryin this…but wat type of material the shirt is made from?? Is it 100% cotton??

    1. blogilates says:

      not sure…maybe?

  42. Jayy says:

    im definately making this costume! its really cute 😀