How to Make a 16th-Century Explorer's Costume

In the 16th century, much of the world's geography was a mystery.

The 16th century is filled with explorers, from Vasco Nunez de Balboa to Francis Drake. Make history an entertaining experience by making a costume of a 16th-century explorer. Use the costume for playing dress up, as a Halloween costume or for a school play.

Obtain a list of 16th-century explorers and read about them. Have your child pick one. Obtain pictures of the explorer's portrait chosen. Have the child pick colors of fabric markers and fabric paint as well as the colors of the T-shirt, long-sleeved shirt, tights and Capris based off the portrait.

Measure the child's head. On a stiff piece of poster board, draw a circle using the head measurement. Draw a larger circle around this circle. Cut out the larger circle and also the smaller circle. Draw and cut small sections of the paper circle so that it looks like lace to make the lace ruff.

Cut the sleeves off a T-shirt. Assist the child in decorating it, along with the long-sleeved shirt and Capri pants with the fabric paint and fabric markers. Use the portraits as a guide.

Sew a ribbon around the section of the hat that encases the head with a needle and thread. Stick a large feather between the ribbon and the hat.

Draw an outline of a breastplate on a large piece of cardboard. Cut several holes for attaching arm straps. Assist the child in painting the breastplate silver. Loop long strips of cloth through the holes, and tie them loosely. Have the child try on the breastplate to see if it is a comfortable fit. Adjust as needed.

Joan Reinbold is a writer, author of six books, blogs and makes videos. She has been a tutor for students, library assistant, certified dental assistant and business owner. She has lived (and gardened) on three continents, learning home renovation in the process. She received her Bachelor of Arts in 2006.