Looking for easy and cheap DIY kids’ costumes for World Book Day? We have some inspiration for busy parents (some costumes are even no-sew!)
World Book Day, or International Day of the Book, is a yearly event celebrated on 2 March or 23 April*, and organized by UNESCO to promote reading for children. Schools often ask children to dress up as their favourite character from a book they have read. Which of course means mama (or dad) needs to get a costume ready!
Tips: You can find face paint, wigs and other accessories at Spotlight, Party City, or Daiso. Figure out what costume props you have at home already, THEN decide on the book (not the other way around, which may mean starting from scratch on a costume)! You can always borrow the book at the library if you don’t have it at home already (cheaper than buying a whole new costume for a book you have at home)!
Here is some inspiration for kids’ costumes for World Book Day — most of these ideas are easily put together with items you may have at home already or that are easily bought.
Swipe through our gallery for DIY cheap and easy costume ideas!
Read More: Where to find Kids’ Costumes in Singapore
*While most countries celebrate World Book Day on 23 April, the UK and Ireland have a tradition of celebrating on the first Thursday in March so this year it is 2 March 2023. It began as Children’s Book Day, but has continued to foster reading for people of all ages.
If your kiddos are into Geronimo Stilton this costume takes a little more planning and work, but the results are super cute. Make this waistcoat from green felt — you can use one of your kid’s t-shirts for size. Cut two separate pieces of green felt, one for the front and one for the back, then sew it together and add buttons by sewing on. For the mouse ears, use an old headband, wrap brown felt around it hot glued on the ears (with pink felt for inner ears). For the mouse nose use black elastic as the main strap then hot glue a black Pom Pom for the nose and add black pipe cleaners for the whiskers.
Left image sourced via Facebook
For this Queen of Hearts costume from Alice in Wonderland, red t-shirts and cheap tutu skirts can be bought online at Carrousell and embellished with red felt hearts. For the crown, stick a glittery card onto an old hair band. Again add hearts and jewels (from Daiso) to make more sparkly. Use an old pack of playing cards and stick them together creating a layered fan. Add ribbon for a tie and extra jewels to the edge. Finish with face paints (white face and red lipstick).
Left image sourced via Wikimedia Commons
For this Mad Hatters costume from Alice in Wonderland use a cardboard box to make the hat frame and cover in black felt. Hot glue an old neck tie or some fun colourful material around the base. Raid your dress up box for a jacket and add an old scarf for a cravat – the more patterns and crazier colours, the better. For the colourful ammunition belt, buy a belt and stick on cotton reels (both from Daiso). Add a pair of shorts, crazy odd socks and colourful face paint. Cheap and very effective!
Left image sourced via Flickr
Turn your kids into delicious tacos good enough for a dragon with this simple no-sew costume, inspired by Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri. Assemble the “tortilla” using a few layers of felt from Spotlight, where you can get felt it cut by length. Yellow felt is used for the shell, brown for meat, green for lettuce, red for tomato and yellow for shredded cheese. Put some poster board (from Daiso) inside the shell to give it structure and cut out arm holes, to turn your kid into a taco in no time. Just make sure there’s no spicy salsa! Dragons HATE spicy salsa.
Left image sourced via Culture Spot
Back to Roald Dahl! For fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, get your little dressed up as an Oompa Loompa with white shorts, a brown t-shirt and a lot of face paints (orange face and big bushy white eyebrows), plus some green hairspray (or a green wig). If you are feeling crafty, cut out two strips of white cloth and crisscross them over the t-shirt to connect to make the shorts into dungarees. You could also go straight to the source for a Willy Wonka costume — just leave time for shipping!
Roald Dahl’s The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is a classic costume that is easy to mock up with materials you might have at home. Here we used some old pirate trousers and a brown waistcoat (a cowboy jacket turned inside out maybe?) from the dress up box. If you’re feeling crafty you could sew some small dolls into the pockets to be Sophie. For the ears you’ll need a headband and some card or foam to fashion large BFG ears. Extra points if you can make a dream-blowing trumpet (just fold some card over into a cone shape and staple together).
Pair a tiered floral dress and oversized bonnet from your little girl’s cupboard with a few cuddly sheep, and you’ve found Little Bo Peep!
This outfit for Jim Lad from the popular Jolley-Rogers series was pulled together from old clothes and dress up gear. The belt is homemade out of foam for the skull, felt for the red backing, and an old black sash from mama’s wardrobe. The secret was the double sided Velcro for quick sticking of the foam to the sash.
Every kid should have Jack’s clothes in their wardrobe (and if not they’re easily sourced from Uniqlo, CottonOn or Giant). Make sure to include a little pouch for magic beans and a great beanstalk. Daiso has garden poles and foliage that work great. Just hot glue the foliage around the pole. A 3D felt cloud at the top finishes it off.
Head to toe orange with a homemade Lorax mask and a Truffula tree and your little one will be Eco Warrior ready! For the mask, buy a cheap pair of sunglasses and remove the lenses. Use a sheet of orange foam and yellow foam to cut out the eye frame, eyebrows and moustache. For the truffula tree, a cardboard gift wrap roll works perfectly for the trunk. Draw on some stripes and top it off with a colorful tissue paper pompom.
Here’s wishing you and your kids a happy World Book Day!