Advert. (This is a really old sponsored post that I’ve updated with loads more ideas as while my kids have progressed through school I’ve totally failed to get myself organised for World Book Day on any occasion yet. Sorry not sorry.) There is moment of dread that most parents of school age kids have been through, that moment when you look in your child’s’ school bag and see the letter saying they have to dress up.
I’ve had it before with a few weeks notice and I’ve had it with a couple of days notice. Either way with two kids, work and their hectic social lives I always seem to end up having to think of some last minute world book day costume ideas, whether it’s the schools fault or mine!
In this post I’m sharing 15 homemade ideas for World Book Day. Some are re-purposing costumes and clothes that you might already have lurking around at home, some are one’s that require a bit more effort and some some are a mixture of the two, for example clothes you already have and a ten minute craft with some card, paint or glue.
Whatever one you go for I hope that it helps you (and of course your child!) to have the most fun and stress free World Book Day possible.
What You'll Find on This Page
George’s Marvellous Medicine Costume
This is what we made our first ever World Book Day. George wears a red top and blue trousers (jeans). Find a empty bottle (washing up liquid etc) and swish some brown paint around it. If you do’t have brown mix a few colours together to make it. Write ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ on the front and job done!
The front cover of Roald Dahl’s book shows Matilda wearing a blue dress. Grab a copy of the book for your child to carry and you basically have the quickest World Book Day costume around.
Peter Rabbit Costume
Play Learn Everyday hunt through the clothes they already have to make this super cute outfit
DIY Pirate Costumes
A couple of weeks ago my daughter’s school informed us that they needed to wear pirate costumes to school as they were doing some activities for Pirates Love Underpants.
I wasn’t keen on buying a costume for one day’s use so we found an old striped top, a sparkly skirt (because apparently girl pirates wear sequins) an eye patch from the toy box (although you could obviously make this or go without), an old waistcoat of her brothers and we tore up an old dress to make a bandanna around her head.
It took us 10 minutes panicking before the big day but worked perfectly! For something with more wow factor although less of a ‘traditional pirate’ dress ZingZingTree have a tutorial for this World Book Day costume for The Night Pirates which looks spectacular.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Costume
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great outfit to make yourself since it’s basically normal clothes or school clothes and a DIY mask that you can make with a large piece of cardboard. This outfit from Renovation Bay-Bee looks brilliant and is quick to make too.
More of a re-purposing than a DIY but if time is of the essence then there’s nothing wrong with that! An old skeleton costume from Halloween would be perfect for Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s book.
DIY Tinkerbell Costume
You can of course buy Tinkerbell costumes but for a quick DIY version grab an old green dress, cut zig zag shapes into the bottom of it and add some fairy wings.
Harry and The Bucket Full of Dinosaurs Costume
Another super quick costume idea that basically requires a look in your kid’s wardrobe and a hunt in the toy box! Harry wears a red jumper and blue jeans and caries a blue bucket with some toy dinosaurs in it.
Norman the Slug Costume
I adore this book and this outfit from ZingZing Tree is a great one for raiding your recycling bin. Also, looks awesome.
Charlotte’s Web Costume
You could dress your child up as a spider, or a pig…or you could take the easy option and go as Fern. Grab jeans, a white tshirt and a lumberjack shirt and just add a toy pig.
Charlie Bucket Costume (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
Another favourite one as it’s so easy to put together! Although the film shows Charlie in a tank top the actual book cover shows Charlie wearing jeans, a white tshirt and either a blue or brown shirt or jacket (depending on what copy you have and what you have in your kid’s wardrobe!) all you need to do is grab a bit of gold coloured cardboard or paint a normal bit of card gold and write ‘Golden Ticket’ on it in big letters.
Last Minute Knight Costume
This easy knights costume from In The Playroom is no-sew – perfect for last minute projects! Your child could be in King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table or Michael Morpurgo’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Little Princess Costume
Making a costume for Tony Ross’s books would be a great way to get another use out of an old Angel costume from the school nativity! The Little Princess wears a long white dress and a gold or yellow crown that you could make out of cardboard.
Artemis Fowl Costume
Another re-purposing job but if you’ve had to pay out for a child’s suit for a wedding then get another use out of it as a super quick Artemis Fowl costume! Just add a black tie and a pair of sunglasses.
DIY The Very Hungry Caterpillar Costume
Sadly the blog I originally linked to for this idea no longer exists but to make a Hungry Caterpillar costume you can dress your child in green and then make a headband with red card and glue on yellow and green circles to make the caterpillars eyes as well as two long brown feelers at the front.
Activities for Kids Books
If you need some ideas for things to do on World Book Day why not check out some of our activities for kids books including ideas for Superworm and Supertato.
We’ve also got a reading scavenger hunt that kids can colour in as they read each item on the list.
Buying Last Minute Outfits for World Book Day
I must admit that apart from my Roald Dahl outfit I tend to buy outfits for World Book Day and the other dressing up days the kids have. Sometimes I’m too busy and sometimes I just can’t face it! Online marketplace ebay.co.uk have a great selection of dressing up outfits and I was able to find brilliant outfits for Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and The Fantastic Mr Fox.
You can also find loads of accessories on ebay.co.uk to help you make your own World Book Day outfits including wigs, facepaints and accessories and of course they sell loads in their sewing and fabric category if you want to get crafty this year.
Is your child dressing up for World Book Day? If you have a great last minute outfit idea do share it below!