How to make a Native American Breastplate
If you are going to a fancy dress party with a ‘cowboys and indians theme’ then you will be able to find native american head-dresses in party stores.
However, you never see the lovely breasplates (this design is based on those originally worn by Soux warriors). So, here is how you can make one for yourself or the kids using very cheap and easy to find materials.
To make the american indian costume you will need:
100 plastic drinking straws
- 100 large beads
lots of string.
- feathers for decoration
Breastplates were made of bone, so white or striped drinking straws are fine. If you want to paint them first, go ahead using acrylic paints. We recommend just sponging a little dark paint at one end
Cut each straw into two equal lengths. Thread them together as per the following diagram.
We only put beads at one end, but you can add them at both if you wish. Make two of these strips and then make two more using quarter length straws. You will then have 4 strips of strawsand beads (two thin, two thick) all of equal length. Knot them together (the two thin ones in the middle as per the original soux breastplate). Add feathers to the outer edges and bottom and hang the completed indian beads around your neck. This really adds something to a native american costume. Because it is made from drinking straws it is light enough to wear all evening without becoming a pain in the neck.
If you cannot get hold of feathers, an equally effective fringing can be made with frayed string (as shown right) Just knot lengths of string to the finished drinking straw breastplate and then fraw them by hand..