How to Make a San Juan Diego Costume

When it was time to pick saints for All Saints’ Day costumes, there was no doubt who my 3 year old wanted to be- Saint Juan Diego! You can find all of my All Saints’ Day resources for kids here.

Saint Juan Diego Costume

Also, you should totally check out my All Saints’ Day food labels! This is the perfect All Saints’ Day party printable as it turns everyday kid snacks into symbols of the Saints, making celebrating a breeze for mom!

All Saints' Day printable party pack

He absolutely adores the movie Juan Diego, Messenger of Guadalupe. I don’t love all of the CCC movies, but this is one of my favorites! It’s so sweet, I like the animator they used for this movie, and it actually made me cry the first time I watched it. You can buy the movie here.

The real challenge to being San Juan Diego for All Saints’ Day is creating a tile with an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on it. You can make a simple tilma from paper bags, or you can get more complicated with it. I was thinking about printing an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on iron transfer paper and ironing it onto a makeshift tilma. Ultimately, I decided to paint it on myself!

Our Lady of Guadalupe DIY Tilma

Here’s what you need to paint your own Tilma:

I started by folding the fabric in half and cutting a head hole in the top. Trim your Tilma to be the size you need for your particular child.

Next, I printed the Our Lady of Guadalupe coloring page the right size I needed for my Tilma.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Stencil

To transfer the image, darken the back of the printout with the side of a pencil.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Stencil

Tape the picture onto the fabric in place, and trace (with plenty of pressure) over all the lines.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe Stencil

This will impress a faint pencil drawing on the fabric. I had trouble getting a good picture of this.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Etching
Trace over your pencil impression to darken it.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Etching

Now you’re ready for the fun part! Go around all of your pencil lines with black fabric paint.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Outlining
Let your outline dry overnight.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Outlining
Once your outline is dry, paint the sections with acrylic craft paint. I used cheap Apple Barrel paints.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Coloring
I had fun painting this in! I did a little bit of shading, but you wouldn’t have to. Don’t let this project scare you- if you can paint inside of lines you can do this! The last thing I painted on was the stars on Mary’s veil.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Colored in
Our Lady of Guadalupe Colored in
I took a strip of leftover fabric on one of the Tilma shoulders to make it look more like the Tilma from the movie.
Finished Tilma Craft
Have your child wear some neutral-colored pants and a shirt. Put the Tilma over their head. Paint on a little mustache and goatee with some face paint, and add a sombrero-type cowboy hat.
Saint Juan Diego Costume
Julian is so proud of his costume! He keeps telling everyone that he’s going to be “San Diego” for All Saints’ Day… he’s just forgetting the little “Juan” part in the middle. 😉

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out my other resources on Our Lady of Guadalupe here.

More Our Lady of Guadalupe Posts

If you are looking for ideas for All Saints’ Day costume ideas for kids, be sure to check out my Saint Costume Directory!

Saint Costume Directory

Check out my All Saints’ Day Resource Page here.

The Ultimate All Saints' Day List


  1. I wanted to share my son’s St. Juan Diego costume with you, as you were a great inspiration for it… let me know if I can email you!! Thanks for sharing, I’m so excited as a local parish has an All Saint’s Day Mass on Hallow’s Eve and then a procession through their cemetary…this is our first year going, and we’re really excited to have a great saint costume for our little guy!

  2. NANCY REECE says

    You are truly a gifted individual! I so enjoy receiving your emails to see what you planned for the season, month, feast day, holiday, etc. You are so entertaining as well as talented and energetic. I also use many of your ideas! Keep them coming please! Takes the planning off my shoulders as a 5th year catechist in this parish.

  3. Sujey Doctoroff says

    We followed your directions and the results were amazing! I am so grateful to have found this when we needed a Juan Diego costume. Our sweet son, Avi Diego, was so excited! Thank you, again!