Dressing up is definitely the children’s area of expertise not mine. Whilst I may give pointers if I think something is inaccurate historically, mostly I just sit back and watch the process. Dressing up is a huge part of our presentation and I dread the day when one or more children come and say they don’t want to do it anymore. We had only just made some Anglo-Saxon costumes for our Anglo-Saxons unit, who wore similar clothes to the Vikings. We decided to use as much as we could from that presentation, adding one or two items that were distinctly Viking in character. The girls had expressed a wish to have lots of jewellery and brooches. I looked on the internet for pictures to try to copy. I hope you enjoy this post on how to make Viking costumes for next to nothing!
How to Make Viking Costumes
Looking At What You Have
The first thing I do is ask the children to bring in anything that they might like to include in their outfit from the dressing up box. We have an extensive dressing up box full of odds and ends. Often half of what they bring out has to go back simply because they don’t have enough room on their little bodies to hold it all!!
Next, we check around the house…dad’s old clothes, clothes for the charity shop, art supplies, material scraps and in this case picnic rugs 😁
Then we play about with possible outfits on the floor. This has two purposes: It is quick for me and it is less wearing (no pun intended!) on the children. They do love dressing up, but only for the play opportunities it allows them. The actual changing in and out of costumes holds no interest at all. This way they only need to try on the dress up once. The children put together three different costumes.
Thomas’ Viking Costume
Thomas’ outfit is made from a pair of my pyjama bottoms, some cream material strips for the bottom of his legs, a long-sleeved top with a t-shirt over it. The t-shirt we bought for our Celt dress up from a charity shop. The belt is a ripped piece of miscellaneous material, the axe I bought for one of the activities we will be doing on the Battle of Hastings next year. The wig a neighbour dropped in yesterday and was perfect for the look I wanted. And the helmet we bought especially for the Viking study. The throw around his shoulders is a hand-woven picnic rug we bought when we went to see the reenactment of the Battle of Hastings.
Lillie’s Viking Costume
Lillie made her costume from Indian sari underskirt and a Robin Hood dress up top. I also sewed a large piece of material to make a tube. We held the tube in place by two homemade Viking brooches. The necklaces are also homemade from some thin rope and large handmade buttons. The pendant is simply painted and jewelled card. I ripped some cotton for the belt:
Charlotte’s Viking Costume
Charlotte’s Viking costume was similar. However, she will wear a white shirt and heavily pleated brown cotton skirt, both bought from charity shops. I cut a large piece of material for her head-dress:
My inspiration for these clothes came from the following website about Viking Clothing and Jewellery. I hope you have found some helpful ideas to help you make your own Viking costumes.