Arts and Crafts Costumes

Newspaper Dress

Me and my daughter designed a newspaper dress for her and I would like to show you how to make the same one or similar. It’s not as difficult as it might seem and it’s a lot of fun!

newspaper dress

I didn’t want to use a glue gun originally to eliminate the risk of burning but other types of glue just didn’t do the job. Therefore, I cannot recommend to make this dress on a small child. The person you make the dress for has to be mature enough to know to stand still and they need to have enough patience.

We wanted to make a dress with a simple straight bodice with some decoration and a pleated skirt that would be longer in the back.

In the end, my daughter loved the dress and even more the fact that I let her rip it off herself in the end!

Check out also my other Costume tutorials.

newspaper dress

Supplies for the Newspaper Dress

  • Newspapers (amount can vary significantly depending of the person’s size)
  • Mod podge
  • Glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Zipper
  • Plastic wrap

Newspaper Dress Tutorial

Prepare Skirt, Straps and Decoration

Much of the work on the dress can be done before you put anything on your model.

We will start with the skirt – pleat newspapers on the shorter side for the front of the skirt and on the longer side for the back of the skirt.

You’ll need to join several pages for this (I use double pages), do it after you pleat them, apply some mod podge on the edge pleat and attach the edge pleat of another page.

Then we’ll need several braids – two short for the shoulder straps and one long for the waist. So cut three stripes of newspaper and crumple it up. Prepare three stripes for each braid.

Braid the braids. Or you can measure the needed length ahead or you can just make longer braids and cut them later.

Make two cones for the front of the bodice. Make the shape out of a newspaper page, glue the edges and cut off the excess paper.

newspaper dress

If you want to add one more piece of decoration to the front, braid one more braid, cut it in half and create a heart. I made our waist braid much longer so I created the heart later from the piece of the braid I cut off.


Because you’ll be gluing, you need to cover the body with a thick layer of plastic wrap. It should cover the whole trunk and a little below.

I remind you again, you’ll be gluing with a glue gut, therefore, your model should not be a small child.

Fold a page in half and wrap it around the body, open side in the front. Apply some mod podge on the edges.

Place another folded page around it, but this time from front to the back. Glue the edges to the layer below. Don’t make the bodice tighter than need be because it will make taking off the dress easier.

Then glue on the shoulder straps, this already has to be done with the glue gun.

Glue the two cones on one side of the front so that their lower ends are more or less at the waist – where the waistband will be.


newspaper dress

Now you’ll be gluing the skirt, shorter part to the front and longer part to the back. I recommend to try the layout first without glue so you know more or less how much to stretch each part.

Apply some glue to the center of the waistline of the bodice and place the center of the front (shorter) part of the skirt on it. Your model should hold the sides.

Little by little, glue on the sides stretching the pleats as much as you need. Then glue the long braid (waistband) on this front part of the skirt, to be exact, on the upper edge of the skirt. It will cover the edge and also the lower ends of the two cones and it will make the result look neater.

newspaper dress

Follow the same steps to glue on the back of the skirt, then glue the connecting pleats of the back and front (so that there’s no opening between the shorter and longer part of the skirt) and attach the waistband also to the back. Cut the braid and glue its ends in the center back.


Cut a line in the center back (red line in the photo) all the way to the waistband. This is where the zipper will be.

newspaper dress

Take the dress off carefully and glue in the zipper. It the zipper’s longer, just hide the end of the dress below the skirt.

You can add more decoration to the dress, I added the heart.

Put It Back on and Make Awesome Pictures of your new Newspaper Dress!

newspaper dress newspaper dress

The dress is done and you can put it back on and have some fun! It let my daughter rip it at the end 😉

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