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5 Beginner-Friendly DIY Costume Projects!

By Mao of Sparkly Belly Do you make your own costumes? Curious to try?

Hi everyone! It’s Mao from Sparkly Belly.

I love making costumes and sharing what I learned along the way. On my website,, I’ve shared over 100 tutorials in the last 7 years, and the number continues to grow!

Today I’m excited to share with you 5 beginner-friendly DIY costuming bits! All of these require just a small amount of sewing (with some no-sew options!), and you can make many of them in 1 afternoon.

Let’s get started!

#1. DIY Easy Overskirts

We can’t have enough hip scarves and overskirts, and this is one of the most popular projects on Sparkly Belly!

This super easy 10-minute overskirt can be made by cutting the fabric 3 times and doing a few stitches (or if you want to avoid sewing, use safety pins ;))

Or if you know how to sew, you can do a little more advanced version of the above design like this lace overskirt:

You can use stretch lace or any other stretch fabric…. The asymmetrical design and the ruffles will make your dance practice more fun!

#2. DIY 10-minute Ruffle Skirt

Can you believe you can make a skirt in 10 minute!?

You can! And many of the Sparkly Belly readers have tried this one. It’s easy, and perfect for that last minute costume or troupe costumes!

I did a 1-hour costume making challenge a while ago, and I used this method to create this outfit.

If you need a quick skirt, it’s worth a try ;)

#3. DIY Harem Pants

Ready to make something more professional?

These harem pants are the simplest harem pants to make, yet they are comfy and custom made to your size!

For these harem pants, we use the entire width of the fabric, so there’s very little raw edges to finish! They’re so easy, many people are making them to wear to lessons or lounge in around the house :)

#4. Adjustable Belt Trick

If you’re not ready to make a costume, but curious to do some alteration, this is a cool trick to try on your belly dance belt!

Sometimes our bodies change sizes, and it’s frustrating to have to move hooks each time!

So instead add more hooks and another secret ingredient, and your belt will be able to accommodate future size changes! It’s an easy, fun project.

#5. DIY Beaded Appliques

How about beaded appliques? They are more time consuming than above projects, but they are much smaller in size and less intimidating!

Try a paisley design like this:

You can get a free pattern at above link, and see how to sew on beads to create a pretty applique like that. Beautiful handmade appliques like this one will instantly add excitement to a boring costume!

Give it a try, and you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can learn to do bead embroidery!

So what do you think? I hope you got inspired to try some of these projects this weekend!

I personally believe every dancer should learn how to sew. It gives you confidence. I’ve seen it in so many of my blog readers and students.

You feel confident that you can fix a costume malfunction.

You feel great because you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars each time you need a new costume!

You feel free because you don’t have to look everywhere looking for a costume that fits you AND your vision!

So I hope this post inspired you to give costume making a try.

And if you’re ready to up your game, you can try a project like this:

Or you can start from learning simple beading techniques like this one:

This professional look can be made without a sewing machine! You can download the Swirly Belt pattern or make your own design using the method shown in the course.

Make your very own Swirly Belt here! (& see the Swirly Belts made by other dancers)

Or if you want to start slowly and get more ideas, you can join my free email course, Belly Dance Costume Making 101! You’ll be introduced to more beginner-friendly projects that you can try right away.

And if you have any questions about costume making, feel free to email me at I’d love to hear from you and discuss costumes with you!

Thank you for reading, and keep sparkling!

Mao Murakami is the founder of Sparkly Belly, an online belly dance costuming resource, where belly dancers can learn to sew and DIY their own costumes, even if they are new to sewing!

She turned her love of belly dance and costumes into one website with the goal to empower belly dancers around the world with sewing and DIY skills, and help them feel beautiful and confident on stage. What’s belly dancing without sparkly costumes that celebrate your uniquely beautiful body? ;)

Visit her website to check out her free tutorials (100+ of them and counting!) at

Have costuming questions? Want to bounce ideas? You can reach her at

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