Make a Poncho

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Students can make a poncho out of a paper bag or piece of fabric.

Cinco de Mayo

For Cinco de Mayo on May 5th (or any day of the year), have a special day complete with Mexican food and Mexican clothes like brightly colored ponchos. Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican national holiday. It marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Find out more here: What is Cinco de Mayo?

What You Need:

  • Large Paper Grocery Bags
  • Bright markers
  • Paints
  • Crayons
  • Paint brushes and water

What You Do:

  1. Cut a hole in a paper bag so that your or your child’s head can fit through.
  2. Cut slits up both sides of the bag.
  3. Decorate the paper bag poncho with brightly colored markers or paints or crayons.
  4. Try a waterpaint wash technique, whereby you draw on the paper with crayons and paint a light wash of paint over top.
  5. You can also glue bits of fabric scraps onto the paper bag as well.
  6. Have a look at some real ponchos for inspiration.

Paper bag poncho.


Fabric Poncho

To make a fabric poncho, you will need:

  • 3 ft square of blanket or heavy fabric or old bed sheets
  • scissors
  • waterproof fabric makers


  1. Fold the fabric in half.
  2. Cut a v-shaped slit in the middle of the fold. The slit should be large enough to let your head push through it.
  3. Cut fringes at the bottom of the poncho.
  4. Draw geometric designs on the bottom edge.