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Fun kids Davy Crockett costume cardboard paper bag

I have always had this fascination with Davy Crockett and his story. I think it may have started in the fifth grade when we studied United States History and learned about the exploration and taming of the American frontier. Being from the west, I've always felt a connection to those early explorers. 

David (Davy) Crockett was born August 17, 1786, and became a larger-than-life hero during his lifetime being dubbed the "King of the Wild Frontier." His death at the Battle of the Alamo on March 6, 1836 (182 years ago today) added to his legend. In the 1950s Disney repopularized his legend and added the iconic coon-skin cap, which donned the heads of many children during that time.

DIY costume vest hat davy crockett

JoJo has such an explorer's heart and loves adventuring and discovering. I thought it would be so fun to dress her up as the "King of the Wild Frontier." Going back to grade school, while learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition, we made paper grocery bag vests. I used that same concept and adapted it to our Davy Crockett Costume.

craft supplies paper cardboard beads pencil ruler

To make your own Davy Crockett costume, here's what you will need:
  • Cereal Box
  • Cupcake Liners in Brown and Black
  • String
  • Plastic Needle (not pictured)
  • Pony Beads
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Double Stick Tape
  • Masking Tape
  • 2-3 Brown Paper Grocery Bags
  • Bowl large enough to fit child's head (not pictured)

paper bag craft diy step by step

  1. Lay the folded grocery bag on a flat surface with the smooth side facing upward and the opening toward you.
  2. Find the middle of the bag and on the end farthest from you draw a large 'V'. Draw a straight line extending from the bottom point of the 'V' to the opening. Draw two slightly angled lines on the top left and right corners of the bag to indicate where to cut to a make the armholes.
  3. Cutting through just the top layer trim along the 'V' and the center line. Cut through all layers along the armhole lines.
  4. From the top of the 'V', use a bowl to draw a circle on the base of the bag, and extend the cut from the 'V' along that line. This will make room for the neck.
  5. Open up the vest, and remove excess paper from around the armholes.

beads diy craft costume step by step fringe vest

  1. Turn the vest inside-out and distress it by crumpling and rubbing the paper together. By distressing the paper, it makes it softer and more leather-like.
  2. Distress a second paper bag. Cut a three and a half inch wide strip with a length twice the width of the bag.
  3. Cut parallel lines about a half inch apart along the length of the strip, cutting only around 3/4 of the way through the strip. This will create a fringe. On each fringe strip, add pony beads.
  4. Trim fringe the fringe into three sections. The longer section will be attached to the back of the vest. The two shorter sections will be placed on each side of the opening on the front of the vest. Attach with double-stick tape.

cereal box cardboard ruler hat tape step by step how to

  1. To start making the coon-skin cap, cut open the cereal box so that the cardboard can be laid flat. Trace a circle around a bowl large enough to fit comfortably on the intended head. 
  2. On another section of the cardboard cut a 21 by 3.5 inch strip.
  3. Cut a circle about half an inch out from the traced circle line. Around the outside edge of the cut circle, make small slits about an inch apart from the cut edge to the traced line. Fold the resulting tabs up to create a ridge.
  4. Take the long strip of cardboard and attach with masking tape to the tabs around the width of the circle. 
  5. From a distressed paper bag, cut a circle and strip to the same dimensions as the same dimensions as the cardboard used for the hat. Attach the paper to the hat using double-stick tape. Leave one end of the paper strip loose (it will be used to cover the area where the tail attaches).

hat cupcake liners coon skin cap how to diy step by step craft

  1. Using the plastic needle, thread a length of string through the bottom of a brown cupcake liner.
  2. Thread two pony beads on the string (these will act as spacers). Thread another brown cupcake liner, followed be two more beads.
  3. Continue the process of the threading cupcake liners and beads, alternating between black and brown cupcake liners in sets of two, until you've reached the desired length. Knot the end of the string.
  4. Attach the tail to the hat using masking tape. Cover the extra string with the overlapping paper and attach with double-stick tape.

Davy Crockett Costume hat vest coon skin cap diy step by step

Costume diy creative fun vest hat kids craft

JoJo had such a fun time dressing up as Davy Crockett, she loved the way the tail of the cap would swoosh around her shoulders. She even insisted that she wear the cap while coloring and playing around the house. She wore it for a whole hour while just puttering and playing around the house! I think this costume was a success!

create play davy crocket costume paper cardboard vest

costume davy crockett diy playful creative paper cardboard


  1. I love this fantastically fun pretend play idea! That coon skin cap is adorable!

  2. Thanks Ali! The coon-skin-cap is my favorite!