Close

How to make an Ancient Roman toga

A photograph showing a roman funerary stone

A Roman funerary stone from the British Museum

© Jack Shoulder

    • Help! You need an Ancient Roman outfit for school tomorrow and it's got to be easy to make… Don't worry because here's our simple, no-sew, Show Me version.

      A photograph of a boy dressed in a toga holding a scroll
      Togas were worn by men who were Roman citizens. Women would wear something slightly different called a stola. Our version of the outfit is made of two pieces of material - a tunic and a toga.

      You will need:
      • An old white sheet (that your parents don't mind you cutting up!)
      • Sewing scissors
      • A grown-up's help for the toga and tunic bit.

      For the no-sew tunic

      Tunics were very simple in style, usually reaching from the shoulders to anywhere between the hips and ankles. They were worn underneath togas.

      To make this no-sew toga, get a grown-up to measure you for the length of your outfit to just below your knee. For our 9 year old models, we cut a metre in length and 70cm for the width. You may need to trim the sheet to get the right length, so be careful with your measuring.

      Image showing how to make a tunic. On the left, a hand measures a piece of cloth with a tape measure and on the right, the image shows a white sheet with a corner cut outL-R how to make a Roman tunic
      Fold the material lengthwise in half and cut a quarter shape out of the folded corner for your neck hole as shown in the photo on the above right.

      For the Ancient Roman toga

      A toga is basically a long rectangular shape of white cotton material. It folds over the tunic. We made ours the length of the single bedsheet and then cut a strip 80cm in width.

      Get dressed like a Roman!

      First put the tunic on and tie it at the waist with a belt. Then put the toga round your neck (see the left hand image below).

      Image showing a boy in three poses with a toga, demonstrating how to put it onfrom L-R: how to put on a toga
      Grab the end of the right side in your right hand as shown in the photo in the centre.

      Pull the right side under your right arm and over your left shoulder. You can tuck the right side into your belt as shown in the photo on the right.

      You might need some help from a grown up to tuck it in properly.

      Accessories

      Have you got time to add some accessories to your outfit? We have another Make and Do showing you how to make an Ancient Roman snake bracelet.

      If you want to find out more about Ancient Roman jewellery, check out the British Museum's Young Explorer's section on Ancient Roman dress and accessories on their website.

      A home-made scroll
      Make a scroll

      You could also try making a scroll to go with your outfit.

      We made the scroll out of a paper towel tube and wrapped it in brown paper. We then cut two circles out of card and used string inside the tube to attach one circle to another at each end of the tube.

      Good luck with your outfit!

      All images copyright Culture24

Share This