Adapting a sewing pattern for cardboard

It’s often handy to work from a pattern if you’re feeling squeamish about designing a headpiece for your costume from scratch. Sewing patterns are a great option if you can get your hands on an appropriate pattern for the costume you’re making. Here I’ve adapted a simple child’s hood pattern into a headpiece that is big enough to fit an adult.

1. Trace your pattern pieces onto cardboard and cut them out.

2. Texturize your cardboard by crumpling it up and twisting it, this will give your cardboard a more leather-like texture and make it easier to work with.

3. Cut thin flexible strips of strips of cardboard about 1.5 to 2 in. wide by whatever length you will need (I like boxes that are similar in weight to pizza boxes) and glue these strips one side at a time to the two pieces that you are trying to join. Regular white glue and clamps or clothespins work great for this.

4. Continue adding your cardboard seams as you put all your pattern pieces together. trim as needed.

5. Now you can begin to modify your piece for your individual costume. Here I added more pieces with the same technique by gluing thin strips of cardboard for the seam and then attaching a forehead and jaw piece.

Links to a few handy patterns suitable for costume making:

Vest pattern by the Mother Huddle

Hood pattern by Fabric link

Children’s fitted hood/hat pattern by Martha Stewart Living

Baby cowboy boots pattern by Nap Time Crafters (You could adapt this pattern for making any kind of boot-like shoe covers.)


6 thoughts on “Adapting a sewing pattern for cardboard

  1. Hello there your mask is stunning I’m trying to adapt it for my 5yo son. My question is which material did you used for the eyes?

    Thank you in advance and keep on the good work


  2. I am doing a school project, and I am in love with this! Could you possibly give a 16 year old more detailed instructions? I would love to recreate this!

    • Hi Leia,
      So sorry, I live in a small apartment with my family in Tokyo. We long ago recycled this piece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *