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Christmas pagent costume for adults

lbbray | Posted in General Discussion on

Our church has a drive thru nativity during Christmas and our class does the wisemen portion. We are updating our costumes this year and I am heading that up. I have a pattern for how I want the robe/cape etc. I’m seriously stuck on headgear. Since the scenes are viewed from cars, they need to be pretty ornate (one year we added jewels to Burger King crowns but we are so not doing that again!) The players are adult men so we can go more extravagant that with children. Any ideas? We don’t partularly want/need them to look like the standard crown (again, no Burger King look-a-likes) Anybody done this before who can help?


  1. GailAnn | | #1

    I'm not moslem, but I have spent some years in the middle East.  Men wear a headscarf of sorts, I believe called a Hootra.  Over this they wear two of what appear to be rope or perhaps braided circles, I think these are called Gallabee.  Neither Hootra, nor Gallabee is probably spelled correctly.

    At a store or website that caters to Middle Eastern folks,  (The Wise Men were, after all, astronomers, men of science and learning from what is now, modern day Irac.)  Perhaps you could purchase some Gallabee and decorate them with beads from Michael's or Grandma's old costume jewlery.  Gail

  2. Cherrypops | | #2

    Hi Lbbray,

    I will enjoy reading this thread. I am sure you will receive a lot of ideas.

    I am starting to make the Nativity Play Costumes for my sons class (ages 5-6).

    My first one at making a variety of Kings and shepherds robes, Mary and the angels. Very much looking forward to it.

    Cp (australia)


  3. cookymom | | #3

    Our church started a pageant and sewed all the costumes.  The patterns we used included a head dress, a hat with roping around the head with a flap that hung down at the back.  We made that for the kids and adults.

    For the wisemen, I took wool felt hats from the thrift shop and covered them with fabric and added some gems.  I used cheap Christmas ornaments that were flat, took off the hook, placed it against the hat and whipstitched it in place. 

    Someone had the brilliant idea of cutting out all the costumes and setting up kits with instructions.  Then we asked members to sew each one. We found that people who worked had time to sew but not time to shop and cut out costumes.


    1. lbbray | | #4

      What a great idea about using the felt hats. We have several thrift stores and junktique stores in town. I bet I can find some hats there to use as headdress bases. And I like the idea of costume kits too. And it's funny about the modern Iran/Iraq headdress. My husband (who will be a wise man) suggested I try to replicate what we had recently seen on the news. Super ideas.

  4. User avater
    Becky-book | | #5

    I think you would do best to avoid the 'crown' look. The Bible calls them Magi or wise men. They may have been wealthy; but the "King" idea comes from a song, not the scripture.

    1. lbbray | | #6

      One of the ladies working with me on the wise men garbs brought me drapes she was tired off. They have a gold color background with deep red "scrolls" and heavy fringe. I am thrilled. The richness of the fabric in her drapes have steered us in a great direction. I am going to hit one of the Dollar General type stores and check out the drapes they have there. I think we can buy them for way less than an equal amount of fancy fabric at a store. I am also going to hit Goodwill and the Salvation Army stores. As soon as I have one done I'll post a picture.

      1. GailAnn | | #7

        Oh, what a good idea.

      2. user-51823 | | #8

        something cheap i have usd for rustic costumes is burlap. wash it with liquid fabric softener and run through the dryer, and REALLY clean out the lint traps because it sheds heavily. but after washing, it has a great texture and wonderful 'body' for early and/or rustic costumes. it comes in amny colors and light colored burlap takes dyes well. a wee bit itchy, but you can insert a circle of soft cotton fabric into headgear, and line costumes or wear over silky (nylon, poly, etc) tops and pants or slips for comfort.

      3. Ralphetta | | #9

        While you're at the thriftstores you might check the bedspreads also.

    2. Cherrypops | | #10

      Hi Becky,

      I have been asked to make the xmas play costumes for the kindergarten. 18 total. They are doing the nativity scene.

      Crowns were on my pattern but I have chosen to do turbans for the three wise men, although the teacher calls them kings. I was taught 'wise men'. Anyways, it will be fun, i've made a start, inn-keeper and mary are done. shepherds are cut out. I'll get there. I have given a mum a sneak peek and she says they look very good - all will be impressed.


      1. rodezzy | | #11

        You are amazing.  I thought I smelled a sewing machine smokin' somewhere, it must have been yours (smile)

        1. Cherrypops | | #12

          Yes, it's keeping me out of mischief...

          The overlocker is great. Simple neck finishes and hems on the sewer. It's the cutting out that takes up the time.

          Instructions given were - make all to fit Thomas but another head higher, (he is the shortest in class). He's been fine playing dress up, hates the pins though.

          I will post photos when finished.



          1. rodezzy | | #13

            Awesome, keep up the good work, looking forward to the pics.

  5. mygaley | | #14

    Dear LBBray and all others who are sewing costumes for Christmas plays. Here in the South we always have a warm spell around Christmas and clothes/costumes have to be lightweight. You can always put long underwear underneath if you have to. Sometimes it is around 90 F on Christmas day, so no red velvet dresses--they are just too hot. I wish I could see every Christmas program mentioned; I'm sure they will be a blessing to those who do. Galey

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