Create a Cheerleading Uniform

Lori Soard
Duct tape cheerleader skirt
Duct tape cheerleader skirt

Creating a cheerleading uniform from items you have at home is simpler than you might think. Or, you can get a bit more intense with the design and use a sewing pattern to create a one-of-a-kind ensemble. Try one of these methods to create a unique outfit.

Duct Tape Cheer Skirt

Did you know you can make a cheerleading outfit from duct tape? This tape really is good for everything!

Materials

  • Five or six rolls of duct tape in colors of your choice.
  • Two old T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Cheerleading uniform pattern (there are examples below)

How to Make the Skirt

  1. Start by cutting a piece of duct tape that is wider than the first pattern piece. Lay it sticky side up.
  2. Cut additional pieces the same width and overlap them one after the other until the tape creates a piece of "fabric" that is wide enough and long enough for your pattern piece.
  3. Now, cover the sticky side of the tape with old T-shirt material. This will keep the duct tape from scratching tender skin.
  4. Repeat this process until you have enough duct tape for each pattern piece.
  5. Tape the sides together with a piece or two of duct tape.

If you can't locate a pattern you like, or your time is limited, you can use the method in the video below to create a uniform without a pattern.

Trash Bag Pom Poms

Make a set of pom poms quickly from cut up trash bags. These days, trash bags come in different colors, or you can simply use some white kitchen trash bags and some heavy-duty black trash bags.

Materials

  • Trash bag pom poms by Amy Mascott, TeachMama.com
    Trash bags in your chosen color(s)
  • A rubber band
  • Scotch tape or duct tape

How to Make the Pom Poms

  1. Cut the trash bags into 6-inch long strips.
  2. Once you have enough strips for a full pom (how many will vary based on how wide you cut the strips and how heavy the trash bag is), secure at the base with a rubber band about two inches up from the base.
  3. Wrap the base with tape (duct tape works well).

Rah rah, sis boom bah! You now have easy pom poms.

Cleaning Supplies Uniform

This simple cheerleading skirt is made from inexpensive fabric mop tops and microfiber kitchen cleaning cloths, which can be purchased in most dollar stores or from big box retailers.

Materials

  • 2 fabric mop tops
  • Kitchen cleaning cloths
  • Duct tape
  • Small squares of sticky double-sided Velcro
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

How to Make the Cheer Skirt

  1. Measure the waist of the person the uniform is being made for.
  2. Pull out enough duct tape to match the length of the waist measurement plus an extra inch for seam allowance. The tape will go horizontally around the top of the skirt.
  3. Cut the cloths in 3-inch wide strips. The length will depend on the height of the cheerleader and how short you want the skirt, so you can use the tape measure to measure the appropriate length. The strips will be vertical on the skirt, hanging down from the duct tape on the waist. You will need enough strips to fill out the length of the waist measurement.
  4. Lay the duct tape out horizontally, sticky side up. Place a cloth strip so that it runs vertically, halfway up the width of the tape strip. Place the next piece slightly overlapping the first. Repeat this until the entire length of the tape is filled, leaving a half-inch margin at either end of the tape. All cloth strips will hang vertically from the horizontal duct tape strip.
  5. Place a bead of hot glue across the top of the strips and fold the duct tape over. You may want to add an additional bead where the two sides of the duct tape meet at the bottom for some added reinforcement.
  6. Secure the two sides of the skirt together with Velcro pieces.

The fabric mop tops are the pom poms. Remove from package and use as-is.

Simple Cheer Top

homemade cheer shirt

You'll want a cute cheerleader top to go with the skirt above. A cotton tank top or tee shirt works well. Add a stencil of a megaphone, or use an appropriate iron on patch. You could also add a logo of a favorite sports team. If you don't have stencils or a logo on hand and need a quick uniform, you could also use fabric paint, which is available at any craft store, and write cheerleading phrases such as "Go!" or "Fight!" Other ideas for stenciling or iron-ons include:

  • A mascot, such as a lion or eagle
  • Child's name
  • School letters (HMHS)
  • Class year (2013)
  • Event (Pep Rally, Homecoming, Field Day)

Cheerleading Uniform Sewing Patterns

If you're handy with a needle and thread (or preferably a sewing machine) and want a more authentic looking cheer uniform, there are some interesting patterns available. Some of patterns you can buy at your local sewing store or online and some are free patterns. Use the fabric called Knit-Ponte as this is what most high school uniforms are made out of. It is a medium to heavy-weight material.

Simplicity Cheerleader Patterns

Older girls will appreciate these uniforms which can keep up with even the most stylish high school cheerleader outfits. Simplicity 3689 features three different styles shells and skirt. Use the colors of your choice to create a unique look or match school colors. The pattern runs just over $10 retail, but copies of the pattern can be purchased at your local sewing store for a bit less. If you want a pattern for a younger child, the company also offers Simplicity 4040, which is a costume cheerleading pattern for kids in girls' sizes 2 to 12.

Don't Forget Your Hair

cheerleader hair

A big bow to put in your hair is the perfect finishing touch for your cheerleading uniform. Consider making one out of leftover duct tape or garbage bag strips so that your outfit matches perfectly. Cheerleaders often wear a ponytail, so that is also good look that says cheerleader. Have fun and get creative with your cheerleader hairstyle to complete the overall look of your new uniform.

Create a Cheerleading Uniform