Make your own Bum Roll!

In the 17th and 18th Century it was fashionable for women to have small waists, achieved with the help of a corset, and, in contrast, a wide skirt, achieved with the help of a bum roll. A bum roll is a thin bit of fabric padding tied around the bottom of the back. Make your own bum roll and wear it underneath a long skirt or dress to look like a fashionable 18th Century lady!

bum roll1

You will need:

  • 1 old pair of tights
  • Some padding –either paper or cotton wool or scrap fabrics or cushion padding
  • 1 pair of scissors (and adult supervision)
  • Something to tie it around your waist with –ribbon, string, shoe lace, curtain cord


• Cut off one leg from the pair of tights –make sure it’s as long as possible
• Make a knot at the foot end of the tight, about 1 inch away from the end
• Stuff your chosen padding into the tight until you have approximately 2 inches of material left unstuffed
• Tie a knot at the other end
• Using a pair of scissors, make a small hole in each bit of tights material that is hanging out from the knots at each end. (make sure an adult is around to help you)
• Make sure you have two lengths of tying material and thread them each through both separate holes in the tights
• Tie the bumroll around the bottom of your back and put on a long skirt or dress and you’ve completed your task!hand drawn image of bum roll

sketch of woman wearing bum roll