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This topic originally began as a request in the Teachers Lounge for help finding a "Camel Costume pattern." We've since expanded it to include other Advent ~ Christmas costume and prop resources.

Feel free to add your suggestions.



Oriental Trading Company (online) carries a lot of inexpensive "Bible costumes" including this cute camel costume we've referenced from their site.  

The costume photos on their website (as well as what you can see doing a general internet search for images) can give you a lot of good ideas for those who want to make their own. 

Tip:  Use safety pins to adjust the size and length of costumes for use by different age groups.

orientaltrading-camel

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Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Fabric Camel Costume sewing directions

Here's how we created "camel costumes" for our Christmas pageant:

We were making a two-hump camel costume worn by two children. Their legs provide the camels four legs and they each have their head in a hump. The hump has a rectangular section cut out and replaced by netting so they can see where they are going.

The child in front controled the camel's head by holding up a broom handle which was the "spine" up the camel's neck. It was kind of hard to control which resulted in the camel moving it's head and "looking around" at the congregation - really cool.

To sew the camel we started with a large rectangle - fold this in half and sew up the sides to create a big envelope which is the body of the camel. The open end is the bottom where the kids' legs will stick out.

For the humps cut out two semi-circles for each and sew each pair together around the rounded edge. Attach the humps by cutting slits in the top fold of the camel body piece and sewing the flat open edge of the hump around in the slit. (Sort of like sewing a pocket into a pair of pants.)

For the neck Just sew a long tube open on both ends.

For the head we just drew the basic shape of a camel head on paper and made a pattern peice. Cut out 2 of that shape and connect them with a long strip about 3 inches wide in between to give it some width. We ended up with two odd points in the front that we tacked together in the middle making somehting that looks like a nose.

Add ears and long black fringe trim for eyelashes/eyes.

Attach to the neck tube. To attach the neck to the body cut of one of the top points of the body rectangle and attach there.

Braid 3 strips of material for a tail and tack on the back end.

Stuff the head and neck with something lightweight. Insert a broom handle up the neck to hold up the head.

We also sewed fake fur to the tops of the humps.

Angie

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Camel made from 4 by 8 sheet of cardboard (tri-folded)

We have done a camel in a very simplistic but effective way with a 4 by 8 sheet of cardboard cut in camel shape minus the legs and detailed with chalk. Spray it after chalking with hairspray or clear matte acrylic.

We attached reins to the mouth and added handles on the back side. You can even add fake cloth human legs to the outside if you wish. The two children stand back side and hold the camel by the handles. You can use fabric to make leg cuffs if you want as well.

We tri fold for storing and for making movement different on stage.

Very simple, very storable and you do not need to worry about if it will fit next years children.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Camel Costume made from a BOXBook Cover Christmas Promise

The book "Christmas Promise" by Abingdon Press, 9780687064977, has a photo on the front cover of a camel costume made out of cardboard that is really neat and looks easy to make. (Note I have this book and there are no comments or directions in the book regarding the camel costume pictured.)

Here are directions I've cobbled up:

Supplies (per camel): 

  • Head:  is cut from a single flat piece of cardboard.
  • Body:  medium to large cardboard box, newspaper, brown wrapping paper, tape (shipping tape would be strongest)
  • Accessories:  red ribbon (halter); gold rope (reins);  and two pieces of thin rope (suspenders).


Directions: 

  1. Body: Use a medium to large box for the body.  The top of the box needs a hole big enough the child can get their top half to their waist through it easily.  Cut the bottom out of the box.
    The top of the box will sit at their waist.  The bottom of the box will sit around their knees (so they can walk, their legs are the camels legs).
    Attach two ropes to top of box on each side of the holes to create suspenders.  These will go over the child's shoulders to hold camel's body in place.
    Crumple up newspaper and tape around hole in top of box to create a hump.  Because the suspenders will be holding the body up it does not need to fit tight to the waist.
  2. Head/Neck: Draw neck and head of camel from a flat piece of cardboard (use a coloring book picture as a guide). Just make sure you draw it larger than the picture - so the head is in correct proportion to the box (body of your camel).  Make sure you draw the head on both sides!
    Note: Draw an extra long neck so you can use the extra to attach your neck to the camel's body (box).  I'd suggest you cut the neck end that's being tape to the box with a lengthwise cut.  Cut a slit in front of box for neck, on front of body, in the center, near the top.  Insert extra neck, then bend the neck where you have cut it, to the left and to the right and then tape down really good on the inside and outside of box.  This should keep the head facing straight ahead and so it will stay attached.
  3. Wrap the box in brown wrapping paper to cover any writing on box and and over padding (hump) to make the body uniform (look like one piece).
  4. Glue on red ribbon to head to make a halter.
  5. Attach long gold rope (halter), so an end is attached to each side of halter.  The halter will then lay across camels neck, easy for child to reach.  And if they drop it, being one piece it will stay on neck, easy for them to grab again. 
  6. You may want to add a tail!
  7. Make as many camels as you need.
  8. Lower box over child, place suspenders over their shoulders.  Give them reins to hold.

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Friendly Beasts Puppet Ideas

A great puppet resource is Puppets and Masks: Stagecraft and Storytelling, by Nan Rump, Davis Publications, 1996, ISBN 0-87192-298-3.

This book describes how to make puppets from basic art supplies (paper plates and construction paper) and recycled objects (empty plastic bottles, fabric scraps, ....).

You can also use your imagination and adapt instructions for one sort of animal to another (i.e. make a camel or donkey using the horse or dragon suggestions).

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