Paper Bag Alien Hats for Concert
Have you ever found yourself looking for that perfect costume to finalize your concert plans? I needed a simple and FREE alien costume for my upcoming concert called “Space Invaders” (learn about the concert here). What to do!? I work at an elementary school in a low-income neighborhood and we have no budget for costumes. Since I have to do the program at the local high school I can’t make sets or scenery. If I’m going to have any sort of props or costumes I have to make them and pay for them myself. Time to get to work!
I needed an alien! It wanted it to be minimal work/stress and yet I needed it to be quickly recognizable as an alien and super fun for kids to wear. It also needed to be cheap to create and kid-friendly so that it was easy to put on and take off. Last summer at a local kids music festival I saw kids running around in cool paper bag hats. I didn’t know how I would incorporate the idea but I took pictures and kept the idea in my head. When I realized I needed an alien the paper bags seemed perfect (to learn more about this sort of paper bag hat, check out this post about something that’s happening out in San Diego… not the same thing I saw, but similar).
Creating the Alien Bag Hats
You’ll need a few things to make this project really successful. Some of the art supplies and add-ons you might already have available. Others you’ll need to run to the hardware or grocery store to collect.
- Paper Bags – Easily gathered or donated by grocery stores
- Colored Spray Paint – I used lime green
- Stapler to hold the form of the crown
- Construction paper and pipe cleaners for finishing touches
Creating these paper bag hats was super simple and quick! I started by unfolding the paper back and spray painting the bags lime green. Then I popped in the corners to make it the overall shape more rounded and less boxy. The next part is a little tricky. I started rolling the opening of the bag to make a sort of hat brim. You have to do some rolling, adjusting, scrunching, and squeezing to get an opening that will fit on a kids head. Once you’ve got an opening that you like you can staple along the brim of the hat to keep it from unrolling later.
After forming the back it was easy to cut some black construction paper to look like alien eyes and add some pipe cleaners and fuzz balls to make antenna. To finish off the hat and cover up the rolled paper bag/hat brim I grabbed some really really cheap garland that I have left over from last Christmas and stapled it to the edges.
One more thing I added to the costume was a silver/grey “stole” that kids could throw on over their normal clothes before they put on the alien heads. This was the world’s easiest little overlay to make. I just cut out a circle shape from a silver table cloth liner that I bought from the Dollar Tree. It added just a little bit to the overall costume and covered up the shirt that the student was wearing.
This was a super fun and easy project! The kids were easily able to put on and take off the hats as needed and after the concert was over I was able to refold the paper bags so that I can use them for another concert some time in the future. I’m sure this idea could be adapted to make other hats or character heads. I’m totally going to use this sort of hat again in the future!
If you want to learn more about the concert that this hat was used for then check out this live video I recorded where I shared the songs, resources, and script that I used for the show. You can also read through this blog post to see how I advertised for the concert with a spectacular, light-up bulletin board!