How to Make Simple Paper Dresses

Clothing, Crafts For Kids, Paper Crafts, Sewing Patterns

Simple Paper Dresses are so charming! Seeing this girl come home from summer-camp in her delightful bright blue paper dress with ribbons, I was instantly inspired to write to you all about paper dresses here at

This simple paper dress is easy to do at a camp or kid party and all the girls can line up for a fashion parade in less than an hour.  The crepe paper is rolled out, wrapped around the girl and cut when she’s covered front and back. Then, it’s simply folded at the top, and taped together at the back. The crepe paper is so mouldable that it is simply pushed into shape by hand. Then, some ribbons were added at the back to cover up the tape, and one ribbon was put in her hair for splendour.

Paper Dress Making for a girl’s party, girl guide summer camp, school event or birthday party

How to Make Simple Paper Dresses for girls

A few rolls of crepe paper in inspiring colors, some ribbons, glitter glue, a bit or Scots tape, and voila. Done.  Crepe paper is so forgiving, mouldable and pliable, that you actually don’t really need much by way of tape or glue.  Also consider using a needle & thread and simply gather the paper ‘fabric’.

Albeit that to create more durable paper dresses or paper costumes that you can wear more than once, e.g. for a dress rehearsal and one or more theatre shows, any kind of tool offering extra strength such as glue, stitching or tape is recommended.  As well, create a design that allows you to easily get in and out of the dress…

Some practical tips: particularly for re-usable dresses, often a fabric base garment is used and the paper is stitched on. This would be best for say a school theater costume or Halloween costume, where the child would wear the dress quite a few times. Reinforce any paper sleeves with an extra layer of paper and allow for plenty of space. Crepe paper is usually about 20″ wide, and plan the design accordingly. For skirts (to hang well) ensure that the grain of the crepe runs vertically. For longer dresses on taller girls, you often need 2 paper widths; simply sew or tape them, then use the entire stretch of paper in your paper dress design.

However for paper dresses made as simple as the one shown here, all is simple: you don’t even need a pattern. All you need is good old fantasy! And, at a camp or birthday party, you’ll have plenty of that fantasy going around. So no trouble at all.

Having said this, it is best to prep and have a few dresses (almost) ready before your event, so that you’ll get  your group going faster.

A few demo dress designs will help the children (and adults around) to fill up the nooks and corners of the general idea with their own fantasy, and they can be happy with the (near instant) results.   When someone really can not put one together or rips her dress just before it’s going home time, this little princess can take a demo dress home instead and still be happy.

Tip: You don’t need the occasion of a party of a school play to make this craft worthwhile: making paper dresses is perfect for playing make-believe on a rainy summer afternoon.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about ….Fancy Paper Dresses !!

Meanwhile, here are free and low cost paper dress making resources to help you do your simple projects.

How to Make Simple Paper Dresses – Resources

Coffee filters

Templates, Patterns,
& Paper Dress Making Tutorials


Buy stacks of hand-dyed (painted) and baked powder pink coffee filters for your craft projects by clicking here. 




Child Sewing Machine

Click to download  3 FREE online paper dress making tutorials by, completed with templates for 3 different paper dresses: Renee, Femke and Riet.


When I came across this little sewing machine I realized it is a great toy for a young seamstress. I am however not sure if it is possible for a child to sew paper with it, as sewing with thicker, less pliable paper is more difficult than with thin fabric. 

But …  you have to start somewhere, and this machine might bring on the beginning of design greatness. Click the image for details.

All Articles in this Series on Paper Dress Making

How to Make a Simple Paper Dress

Fancy Paper Dresses – (this article)

History of the Paper Dress

Today’s Trends in Toilet Paper Wedding Dress & Coffee Filter Paper Prom Dress Making

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