Go into the woods with these classic costumes: a red cape crafted from art-store paper and a wolf wardrobe made from newsprint, an oatmeal container, and paper.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf costumes
Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Little Red Riding Hood

What You'll Need

  • 4 large sheets red paper (approx. 19"x 25"; we used Canson)
  • Red electrical tape
  • Scissors
  • Small cardboard box
  • Yellow paper strips
  • 1" strip of cardboard (for handle)
  • Hot-glue gun and glue sticks
Little Red Riding Hood cape
Credit: Peter Ardito

Make It


  1. Attach three sheets of red paper together lengthwise with red electrical tape to form a 25"x 57" rectangle.
  2. Fold in half widthwise (forming a 25"x 28 1/2" rectangle) and cut away an open corner to create a quarter circle. With paper still folded, cut away a 5"-radius quarter circle at the opposite folded corner to create neckline (see photo).
  3. Cut a 12"x 25" rectangle from fourth sheet of red paper. Set aside for hood.

Cape clasp

  1. Cut a 3" x 12" piece of red paper from remainder of fourth sheet and fold it to 1"x 12". Tape horizontally to inside of cape at chest level.
  2. Cut a 5"x 3" piece from remaining red paper; fold it in thirds to create a 5"x 1" rectangle. Attach it vertically on opposite, interior side with more tape (this piece will act like a belt buckle for the 1"x 12" piece; see photo).
  3. Thread folded 1"x 12" strip into loop and fold back to keep cape on child.
Little Red Riding Hood cape hood
Credit: Peter Ardito


  1. Fold 13" x 25" red paper rectangle in half widthwise, forming a 13" x 12 1/2" rectangle. Unfold, lay flat, and fold one long edge back 1". Maintaining the 1" crease, fold in half again along previous fold line. Use tape to close long, non-folded edges together, creating a hood shape.
  2. Ties: Cut two 2"x 25" paper strips from remaining paper and attach to hood with tape.
  3. Attach hood to neckline with tape.


  1. Cut top flaps off of assembled cardboard box.
  2. Make 1"-wide vertical cuts on all sides of the box, leaving bottom intact.
  3. Weave 1"-wide yellow paper strips into cardboard slits. Hot-glue a 1"-wide cardboard strip to inside of box to create a handle.

Big Bad Wolf

What You'll Need

  • 42-oz. cardboard oatmeal container
  • scissors
  • wolf template
  • pencil
  • clear tape
  • newspaper
  • large snack bags with silver-foil interior (such as for chips) 
  • hot-glue gun and glue sticks
  • paper egg carton, circle stickers
  • hole punch
  • elastic
  • gray paper
  • white paint
  • paintbrush
  • ribbon
  • chenille stem
  • large safety pin

Make It


  1. Snout base: Cut oatmeal container open lengthwise, making one long vertical cut until you get to bottom of container. Cut off bottom. Download and print our template. Cut out template, lay over oatmeal container, and trace. Cut out traced snout shape, and cut teeth from excess oatmeal container; tape teeth to snout.
  2. Fur: Fold 5"-wide strips of newspaper and silver foil (long enough to fit across snout) lengthwise. Unfold; cut triangles halfway into long side of each strip. With triangles facing front of snout, hot-glue uncut half of each strip to container, alternating newspaper with foil.
  3. Ears: Fold a sheet of newspaper in half and then in quarters. Holding it by the center, folded corner, roughly crease lengthwise. Then crumple up bottom to create a triangular ear shape (it will be about 8" tall). Attach to snout with hot glue.
  4. Eyes: Cut out 2 egg-carton cups and hot-glue to oatmeal container. Add circle stickers for pupils.
  5. Punch holes at both sides of container where indicated on template, and thread elastic through to make chin strap.
Big Bad Wolf body how to
Credit: Peter Ardito


  1. Cut an oval-shaped piece of gray paper about 14"x 17". Fold the oval widthwise in 1 1/2" accordion-folds (see photo).
  2. Make small angled cuts into the folds: Cut through individual folds and not through entire stack, and alternate so cuts are staggered. Flatten paper and paint triangle tips white (see photo).
  3. Pull a 50" piece of gray satin ribbon through two top triangle cuts to attach to your child.


  1. Layer four sheets of newspaper into a stack. Roll into a cone shape; secure with clear tape.
  2. Holding narrow end of cone, cut entire cone into seven vertical strips, stopping about 5" from the narrow end.
  3. Trim ends of individual strips into points; fluff and pull the strips to make the cone look like fur.
  4. Add a few pieces of jaggedly cut silver foil and tape them to the tail.
  5. Punch a hole through thin end of cone and push a large chenille stem through the hole. Bend into a loop to attach to waistband of child's clothing with safety pin.

Originally published in the October 2015 issue of Parents magazine.

Parents Magazine