Angel Costumes – Religious Costumes for Children

An Angel costume generally contains a long pale, plain dress, a large set of white, angular Angel Wings, and a Halo.

Simple (and cheap!) homemade Angel costume


In order to be simple, fast and cheap, without looking at it, all of the items need to look well made and matching in style. As this isn’t doing to happen naturally, with the limits above – this is when you cheat. If you add matching trimmings to each item in the outfit (e.g. small fake flowers); it will look more like a set. If you add them with a tacking stitch, the trimmings can be easily removed afterward.




Choose a very simple smock style dress/slip/nightdress in a very pale pastel color or white. It should be long enough to touch the top of your child’s shoes.

Sourcing it:┬áIt is quite likely that this item of clothing may not be fixable after it is adjusted for this, so don’t choose your favorite nightdress for your kid’s school play outfit. Try your local thrift store.

If the item is more than an inch too big, go for something sleeveless, as it will be much easier to adjust. If this isn’t an option, make sure the sleeves will be easy to remove.



Do not use any of the following methods on clothes that are for regular wear.

Adjusting a poor fit


Removing sleeves: Cut the sleeve off, about two inches away from the seam. Make two cuts all the way to the seam, under the arm, about two inches apart. Roll up the sleeve, and use a tacking stitch to hold it.

Adjusting the width across the chest: If the garment is huge it will look best converted to an empire line dress. Make four-folds – one in the center of the chest, one under each arm, and one in the center of the back. Tack them down to a just under the breast bone. Tack a line around the dress at this point, and pull to reduce down to the correct size. If you have time, you can stitch on a cord at this point, to dress up the seam. Do not use tinsel, as it will guarantee you can’t use the costume again (not washable) and it will make the costume look thrown together at the last minute. (Even if it is, why advertise this?).

Adjusting the length: There are four possibilities:

Wear a hoop or large skirt underneath
Do a zigzag cut to the correct length, and glue dip the ends (this seals the material and prevents fraying)
Turn up the material and tack it
Do “Scoop” finish on the end of the dress; (just like the bottom of Belle’s yellow princess dress). This is achieved by tacking a straight line down the dress, at four to eight points around it, and shortening the thread to the length you want.




Wire coat hangers make the best halos. The metal in them is quite heavy though and will need to be anchored to the wings, and not to a dress, as the weight of the metal will tear the dress.

The end result, before decorating, will be a head-sized loop at right angles to a long metal stick, with two small loops at the end of it. The wire coat hanger is springy and sharp; so this craft can lead to scrapes.

Check the perimeter of your child’s head using a measuring tape. Add it to the distance from the top of their head, to the waist. Add two feet to your total. Straighten out a wire coat hanger and measure the hanger’s length. If it’s too short, join two straightened hangers together by twisting at least 12 inches from each coat hanger together using pliers. Then tape them firmly together using two layers of tape over the whole overlap.

Cut the tights into two legs, and thread both legs over the wire (one leg over each end). Do not try to stretch out the legs, as the wire will tear through the tights. Use the crotch of the tights to tie the legs to the wire and to hide the join.

Form a loop at the top of the wire that is the same size, or slightly larger than the child’s head. The loop is closed by twisting the wire end around the loop, and by tacking the tights together at the joining point. Remember that the stick pointing down should be going from the middle at the back of the halo.

At the bottom of the stick, form a small figure of eight, and twist the loop closed with pliers. This double loop will allow you to sew the halo onto the wings. Make sure the finished halo and wing set will leave the halo hovering at least 4 inches above your child’s head.

To finish, rub a generous amount of glitter glue over the halo.

Cover a straightened coat hanger with tights as described above. Bend it into two hoops, the same size as the child’s head, with a 4-inch line between them. Rub a generous amount of glitter glue over the halo. Secure it to the child’s head with straight pins.

Or a circlet:
One wire hoop, covered in tights/ pipe cleaners/ ribbon. If you go with this option, add a little zing with sequins, fake flowers, fake jewels, etc. as the circlet will not show up as well from the stage.


You will need:

  • Pliers
  • Two wire hangers
  • Heavy tape
  • Old white cotton tights
  • Glitter glue
  • Measuring Tape

Angel Wings

Due to the cost of materials to make angels wings; it can be much cheaper to buy them, as they are now a very common dress-up item for girls.

Converting Fairy wings: Angel wings have a long point at the outside, and softer points towards the center. The outside line of the wings is straight down, so flatten the edges on either side. Once the wings are re-shaped, brush white poster paint over the netting of the wings. Sprinkle a generous amount of glitter over the top and ends.
Making Angel Wings from Scratch


Make a figure of eight out of the wire, a bit larger than the size you want the wings. Join the wire in the center of the figure of eight. Squeeze the wire into a 3-inch line at the joining point, and duct tape over this line heavily. Cut the tights in half at the crotch, and put one leg over each wing. Tie the crotch over the duct tape – when you are painting, cover this area really well. Attach ribbon or elastic loops to each end of the join line, large enough to put their shoulder into.

Adjust the shape of the wings into the old fashioned angel wing shape, as described above, before finishing off with white paint and glitter.


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You will need:

  • Lightweight wire
  • Tape
  • Queen sized pantyhose
  • 2 yards of ribbon or elastic
  • Glitter glue