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Cheap Hula Costume

hula costume twin hula dancers

Young kids always like to dress up and pretend they are someone else.

The hula costume makes the hula dance fun for kids, especially since they pick up the dance quickly and like to shake their bodies with a skirt that sways back and forth.

These kids activities came from a combination of ideas from several of my family members.

My youngest son first told me how his wife and he had made the hula skirt for their daughter's birthday one year.

They had purchased a few hula skirts from a company but did not have enough for all of the other girls that were coming to the birthday party.

So they got creative.

Hula Skirt

hula costume dancer bending down
Items Needed:
  • String
  • Newspaper, regular (not the shiny ads)

  1. Fold a full sheet newpaper over the string so half of it is on each side of the string.

  2. Cut one inch strips up from the bottom to about 2 inches below the fold.

  3. Wrap the string with the newspaper around the child and tie the string.

Instant Hula Skirt!

Another Way to Make a Hula Skirt

One of my granddaughters also suggested another way of making a hula skirt.

She suggested using shredded paper from a 1/4" paper shredder and threading it together to make the skirt.

The paper shreds would be shorter than the newspaper strips but will still work for the effect of moving the skirt back and forth when dancing.

hula costume hawaiian lei

To complete the hula costume, I thought about adding a Lei both for around the neck and in the hair using scrunched up newspaper for flowers.

Items Needed:
  • Newspaper, regular
    (not the shiny ads if you want to color them)
    Newspaper, shiny colored ads
    (if you don't want to color them)

  • Needle and Thread

(If you don't want to color the flowers, use the colorful, shiny ads.)

  1. Cut or tear newspaper pages into 1/8ths. To do this easily, take a page and cut or tear it in half along fold line for the double page.

  2. Then fold it in half and cut or tear again. That gives you two big halves.

  3. Cut or tear the half sheet in half again for each of those pages. You should now have four pieces.

  4. Then cut or tear those four pieces in half again so that you have eight pieces approximately 5 x 6 inches.

  5. Scrunch each small piece into a ball shape.

  6. Repeat for as many flowers as you need to go around the neck.

  7. Take needle and thread and sew through the balls until it will fit over the child's head easily.

    An older child could do this step themselves, but a younger child would need the adult to do this step.

  8. Tie the ends of the thread together.

Instant Lei!

Coloring the Lei Flowers

I was telling one of my granddaughters about this project, and she came up with a way to color the flowers.

NOTE: The newspaper must be the regular dull paper, not the shiny ads if you want to do the next step of coloring the flowers.

If you want to color the flowers, my granddaughter suggested that we dip them quickly in a cup or bowl that had water and a couple of drops of food coloring. That worked out great!

I found it was easier to do before I scrunched each piece.

Also it dried quicker if it was flat rather than scrunched up.

Let the paper dry completely, at least a couple of hours.

After they have dried good, scrunch each one up into a ball and then sew them together as above.

You could make the flowers all the same color or make them different colors for a rainbow effect.

Headpiece, Wrist and Ankle Bracelets

To complete the hula costume, make a smaller lei for the children's heads or just make one flower to put in their hair with a bobby pin.

You can also make a ring of flowers for their ankles and wrists if you want to. Just make them smaller around to fit.

Group Activity

Make one hula costume with your child.

Then invite other kids over and make some with them also.

It might take one time making the costumes and another time to actually use them.

This could be for a birthday party, for a scout troop, or just for the neighborhood kids in the summer.

The Hula Dance

hula costume dancer facing righthula costume dancer bending downhula costume dancer facing left

Finally, when the hula costumes are all made and ready, put on some music and let everyone pretend to dance the hula.

They will have a blast!

Don't forget the camera. There will be some great photo moments.

When my youngest granddaughter did this, she couldn't say hula correctly. She danced and said "Bula, Bula." So we called it the Bula, Bula dance.

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