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Easy DIY Moana Costume

Make this easy DIY Moana costume for Halloween or dress-ups with just a few simple supplies. 

Every girl will love this DIY Moana costume. And every mom will love how easy it is to make. With very little sewing, you can have your daughter ready to take on Maui in no time.

Little girl dancing in DIY Moana costume for Halloween

Perfect for a princess Halloween costume or to add to your dress-up stash for lots of imaginative play.

Halloween is just around the corner. When my daughter asked for a DIY Moana costume I was very excited to make one because I too love the movie Moana.

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Smiling girl in a diy moana costume

Maybe it was because we saw it right after coming home from a trip to Hawaii, or because I have always loved the ocean.

Whatever the reason, I was eager to tackle this year’s costume. And I am happy to report it was so easy to make!

Girl dancing in her homade moana costume.

Luckily I had some thick red knit fabric in my leftover fabric stash (from making Incredibles costumes for me and the hubby many years ago). I knew with a little ingenuity I could turn the plain red fabric into the perfect Disney Moana costume top and sash.

Knit fabric is perfect for the island style top because it has a bit of stretch to it and doesn’t fray so you can easily cut the zigzag detail into the bottom of the top without having to spend all day trying to hem it.

Toddler in a Easy DIY moana costume.

But when it came to the skirt I was a little stumped. As I rifled through my fabric stash I pulled out a piece of drop cloth. I love using drop cloth for all kinds of home decor (like this hanging shoe storage and farmhouse style produce basket), but I have never used it for clothing.

However, the stiffness and color of the drop cloth perfectly reminded me of the island grass cloth so I decided to give it a go.

DIY Moana costume with red top and beige grass skirt shown on little girl outside.

Can you believe how amazing the skirt turned out? The entire skirt was made with no sewing (except to attach a small piece of velcro which could have been done with glue)! And it looks just like Moana’s skirt.

And my daughter loves the sound it makes when she practices her hula. She definitely looks just like an island princess (or chief).

DIY Moana skirt with red sash.

After finishing the skirt we made the perfect Moana necklace with a turquoise charm and some wooden beads. I let my daughter help with the necklace and she loved being able to help make her own DIY Moana costume.

Then all that was left was to add some island flowers to her hair and sing her favorite Moana songs.

Handmade Moana costume with grass skirt, red sash and red shirt.

Because it gets pretty cold here by the end of October, I bought a long sleeve nude leotard and a pair of leggings for my daughter to wear under her costume. As cute as she looks, I know she will be freezing after the sun goes down on October 31st.

Even tonight she exclaimed it was cold outside and promptly left the photo shoot.

Back of DIY Moana costume with grass skirt and red shirt.

If you are ready to make your very own easy DIY Moana costume, read below for the complete tutorial. Then don’t forget to check out the rest of my DIY Halloween costumes.

How to Make a DIY Moana Costume

Tools:

  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Iron
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Black, brown and orange markers

Supplies:

  • Red knit fabric
  • Drop cloth
  • Tassel trim
  • 1/2″ elastic
  • Hem tape
    • I use iron on hem tape to hem things without sewing. Great for Halloween costumes.
  • Grass skirt
  • Turquoise pendant
    • I found an inexpensive one at Michael’s and used a coupon to get it for a deal.
  • Wood beads
  • Leather cord
  • Hawaiian flower and hair clip
Princess Halloween costume shown with skirt and shirt on wood background.

For the Moana Top and Sash

Measure the bust of your child and how long you want the top. Cut a rectangle out of a piece of red knit fabric to this measurement plus 1″ on each side. Cut the bottom so it is zig zagged.

Red material shown being cut out with scissors.

Roll over the 1″ on the top and sew along the edge to create a pocket.

Red material being pined and measured for handmade Moana Costume.

Before moving on, it’s time to decorate your top. Using a black marker, add slashes and starts and marks to mimic Moana’s top. I found it was much easier to do this while it was flat. After it was sewed together I tried to add some more elements and it was really hard.

Red fabric shown with black fabric marker.

Cut a piece of 1/2″ elastic so it is snug on your child just above the bust plus 1″. Feed it through the pocket on the top of the top. pin it flush with each end of the fabric. Sew down the center back of the top with a 1/2″ seam, making sure to catch the elastic in the seam.

To make the sash, cut a piece of the red knit fabric to the width and length you need. I made mine 3″ wide for a small child, a bigger child might need a 4″ sash. Make designs on the ends of the sash with the black marker and you are done.

Red Knit fabric marked with DIY Moana costume.

For the Moana Skirt

Measure the hips of your child and the length you want the skirt. Cut a piece of drop cloth so it is the width of the child’s hips + 6″ and the desired length + 6″. I used the hem on the bottom of the drop cloth as the bottom of my skirt so I didn’t have to hem it.

Drop cloth fabric for DIY Moana costume skirt.

Fold over the 6″ on the top of the island skirt and iron it flat. Then using iron-on hem tape, fold over about 1/2″ seam on the sides of the skirt and iron them flat with the hem tape so they stay.

When you get to the top of the skirt that is folded over, you will need to iron back the hem so it is still in the back of the skirt. just kinda twist the hem at this point so that when the top part lays on the top of the skirt, both the hems are in the back.

It’s a little tricky, but the bump it leaves will be hidden by the sash.

Drop cloth fabric shown being ironed for Disney Moana skirt.

You can also hem the bottom (if needed) and the top flap, I chose to just serge the edge of my top flap and then hid it in a later step. Also, use the hem tape right under the fold of the skirt to keep it flat.

Hem tape shown on skirt to DIY Disney Moana costume.

Now it is time to decorate your skirt. Using brown and orange markers, add the embroidery details to the Moana costume skirt. Use dashed lines to make it look like embroidery.

Fake beautiful island embroidery on DIY Moana costume.

To make the flower pieces, I cut a template out of paper and then traced it on the drop cloth with my orange marker. Then I added a bunch of dashed lines to fill in the flower so it looked like it was embroidered on the skirt.

Faux embroidery shown on DIY Moana skirt.

Now try the skirt on your child. Wrap it around their waist so it overlaps about 3″ at an angle. Mark where the skirt overlaps with a disappearing fabric marker.

Cut a 3″ piece of velcro and sew one side to the top outside of the skirt closure. Then sew the other side at an angle to the bottom piece of the skirt. You could also glue the velcro on if you don’t want to sew, but I find velcro can sometimes come off if it is not sewn.

Glue a tasseled trim to the bottom of the skirt flap. Wrap the ends around the back of the flat to finish off the ends.

Beautiful tassel detail on handmade  Moana costume skirt.

Wear the drop cloth skirt over the top of a grass skirt for the complete Disney Moana costume effect.

For the Moana Necklace

The last element of the costume is the Moana necklace. We found a turquoise pendant at Michael’s and used a coupon to get it for only $3.00. String the pendant on a piece of leather cord. Make sure the leather is extra long if you just want to tie it in the back because it will get shorter as you tie the knots to hold the beads in place.

I cut ours too short so I had to use a piece of chain and necklace clasp to allow it to fit over my daughter’s head.

Put the pendant in the middle of the sting. Tie a knot on either side of the pendant where you want the beads. Then string on the beads and tie a second knot to hold the beads in place. Repeat for as many beads as you want. Then tie the necklace together at the back.

This easy DIY Moana necklace with brown cord and ivory beads with large turquoise bead.

We also decided to add an island flower to her hair. We couldn’t find one the right color, so I decided to paint the petals so they were closer to red than purple. Then I glued it to an alligator clip for her hair.

Painted Hawaiian flower to wear in hair for DIY Moana costume.

Now she has the perfect DIY Moana costume for Halloween. And I know she will be using it in her dress-ups too. We are all in love with Disney’s Moana!

DIY Moana costume from Disney's Moana movie.

She’s been practicing her hula and Moana songs so she’s ready to play the part!

Easy DIY Moana Costume

I’m so glad we are one step closer to Halloween, now it’s time to finish up the rest of the costumes and bust out all the Halloween decor.

Make this easy DIY Moana costume for Halloween or dress-ups with just a few simple supplies. The perfect princess costume for any little girl.

Easy DIY Moana Costume

Yield: 1 Moana Costume
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $20
Make this easy DIY Moana costume for Halloween or dress-ups with just a few simple supplies

Materials

  • Red knit Fabric 1/2" 
  • Drop ClothTassel Trim
  • Elastic Hem Tape 
  • Grass Skirt
  • Turquoise Pendant
  • Wood Beads
  • Leather Cord
  • Hawaiian Flower and Hair Clip

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Iron
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Black, Brown and Orange Markers

Instructions

Moana Top and Sash

    1. Measure the bust of your child and how long you want the top.
    2. Cut a rectangle out of a piece of red knit fabric to this measurement plus 1" on each side. Cut the bottom so it is zig zagged.
    3. Roll over the 1" on the top and sew along the edge to create a pocket.
    4. Using a black marker, add slashes, stars and marks to mimic Moana's top. I found it was much easier to do this while it was flat.
    5. Cut a piece of 1/2" elastic so it is snug on your child just above the bust plus 1". Feed it through the pocket on the top of the top and pin it flush with each end of the fabric. Sew down the center back of the top with a 1/2" seam.
    6. To make the sash, cut a piece of the red knit fabric to the width and length you need. Make designs on the ends of the sash with the black marker and you are done.

Moana Skirt

    1. Measure the hips of your child and the length you want the skirt. Cut a piece of drop cloth so it is the width of the child's hips + 6" and the desired length + 6". I used the hem on the bottom of the drop cloth as the bottom of my skirt so I didn't have to hem it.
    2. Fold over the 6" on the top of the island skirt and iron it flat. Then using iron-on hem tape, fold over about 1/2" seam on the sides of the skirt and iron them flat with the hem tape so they stay.
    3. Use the hem tape right under the fold of the skirt to keep it flat.
    4. Using brown and orange markers, add the embroidery details to the Moana costume skirt.
    5. To make the flower pieces, cut a template out of paper and then trace it on the drop cloth with the orange marker. Add a bunch of dashed lines to fill in the flower.
    6. Cut a 3" piece of velcro and sew one side to the top outside of the skirt closure. Then sew the other side at an angle to the bottom piece of the skirt.
    7. Glue a tasseled trim to the bottom of the skirt flap. Wrap the ends around the back of the flat to finish off the ends.

Moana Necklace

    1. String the pendant on a piece of leather cord. Make sure the leather is extra long if you just want to tie it in the back
    2. Put the pendant in the middle of the sting. Tie a knot on either side of the pendant where you want the beads. Then string on the beads and tie a second knot to hold the beads in place. Repeat for as many beads as you want. Then tie the necklace together at the back.

Moana Flower

    1. Paint the petals of the flower the color that you want. I painted them so they were closer to red than purple.
    2. Glue it to an alligator clip.

    Did you make this project?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

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