Homemade World Book Day costumes – 16 last minute and easy ideas

Quick and super easy
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  • Homemade World Book Day ideas are sometimes all you need, just the inspiration… well, that and copious amounts of eyeliner. For last-minute ideas look no further, we’ve got you covered.

    World Book Day is on Thursday 3rd March 2022, you can either chose one of these best World Book Day costumes to buy online. Or go with one of these easy and last-minute homemade ideas below. And, be sure to take inspiration from some of the best children’s books as well as these classic children’s book quotes. And, while kids tend to love dressing up it can be ‘just another thing to do’ for parents among the chaos that is family survival life.

    Goodto.com Family Editor, Stephanie Lowe says; “Don’t be afraid to recycle whatever you have available. Last year, I sent my son in to nursery in his skeleton Halloween costume, holding a copy of the book, Funnybones. Winner! Oh and also, get that eyeliner out – it can be used for so many things!”

    We know that not all children love to dress up, and this change from the norm can throw them. In this instance, it’s okay for them to know their own mind. Otherwise, a meet in the middle might be to dress up as the main character who wears regular everyday clothes – such as Tracy Beaker series.

    Homemade World Book Day last-minute costume ideas 

    Image of a boy in a dress next to the boy The Boy in the Dress for world book day

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    1. The Boy in the Dress costume

    This best-selling children’s book has such a strong and important story. “It’s about celebrating difference and hopefully that speaks to everyone,” said author David Walliams. And, it’s super easy to do for WBD!

    You will need:

    • One dress


    toddler stood in a black and wh ite skeleton costume next to funnybones book

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    2. Funnybones costume

    Published in 1980 this book was big throughout the 90’s and can still be found in school book shelves today. It’s another great one for recycling a Halloween costume – super easy!

    You will need:

    • A recycled Halloween skeleton costume OR…
    • Black clothes
    • White paper cut into bones attached to black clothes

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £4.50


    Image of a girl dressed as an old granny next to the book Gangsta Granny

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    3.  Gangsta Granny costume

    Another beloved bestseller from celebrity David Williams, and just celebrated its 10th anniversary. This is a great one for raiding mum’s wardrobe. The wig is a bonus, but not needed.

    You will need:

    • Bandit eye mask (or paint one on with black face paint)
    • ‘Granny style’ blouse or cardigan
    • Black skirt
    • Old slippers
    • Tights (for full effect, make sure they’re too big, so they wrinkle around the ankles)
    • Sack-style bag filled with screwd up paper
    • A granny wig

    VIEW BOOK  – AMAZON | £4

    Image of boy in white top with black spots next to 101 Dalmations book

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    4. 101 Dalmations costume

    A Disney favourite, some might forget it was a book first. If they ask you can tell them that it was a children’s novel, written by Dodie Smith in 1956 before becoming the cartoon we know and love today. And this will take you if your little pup will sit still, approximately 6 minutes 35 seconds to do.

    You will need:

    • White t-shirt
    • Black marker pen
    • Black eyeliner pencil

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £10.25

    Image of kid dressed as pirate and port side pirates book for World Book Day

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    5. Port Side Pirates costume

    This is a great book and stamped as a ‘teacher’s favourite’ on Amazon. A pirate is such an easy costume to pull together too! You can either get your little one involved in making their own pirates hat or simply add your own headscarf for a splash of colour. Ahoy!

    You will need:

    • Paper
    • Pirate hat stencil
    • String
    • Black eyeliner pencil
    • Loo/kitchen roll inner cardboard
    • Any pirate paraphernalia (i.e. eye patch)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £7.34


    Image of an astronaut and Look Up book for World Book Day ideas

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    6. Look Up costume

    Such an inspirational book! If you wanted to add more interest to the costume, you can write and cut out some of the main character, Rocket’s, best ‘did you know facts about space and staple to the astronaut outfit.

    You will need:

    • Orange clothes
    • Bike helmet
    • Tin foil (to cover bike helmet for an authentic astronaut feel)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £5.94

    Image of boy dressed tiger and Tiger Who Came To Tea book for World Book Day Ideas

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    7. The Tiger Who Came To Tea costume

    This classic tale is almost 60  years old, would you believe; been loved by many generations. All you need is face paints and a bit of artistic flair and you’re off!

    You will need:

    • Orange clothes (bonus points if striped)
    • Orange face paint
    • Black face paint


    Image of a girl dressed alongside Mog and Meg book

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    8. Meg and Mog costume

    Loved throughout generations, this spooky duo are easy to do as you can simply recycle a classic Halloween costume and cut out a cardboard cat to paint – if you wanted to add that extra layer.
    You will need:

    • Black clothes
    • Black witches hat (could paint paper black for homemade or recycle Halloween costume)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £3.55

    Image of a bou dressed up with a sword for World book day ideas

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    9. Horrible Histories: Ruthless Romans costume

    What kid wouldn’t love to take in a sword and shield for World Book Day! This is a great one to involve your little one in creating, maybe the weekend before? Keep all your cardboard – you’ll need it.

    You will need:

    • Sword (bought or made from cardboard)
    • Shield (bought or made from cardboard and decorated)
    • Helmet or crown (optional)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £5.25

    10. Charlotte’s Web costume

    At 70 years old, this is a book that has truly spanned generations. A tear-jerker but a must-read, plus it’s a super easy costume… just be ready to lose a few pairs of black tights. Mums are always giving.

    You will need:

    • Black outfit
    • Two pairs of black tights
    • Screwed up newspaper (to stuff tights with)
    • Stapler (to attach tights to back of top)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON |£5.09


    Girl dressed in pink tutu with princess crown on enx to little miss princess book

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    11. Little Miss Princess costume

    The Little Mr Men and Little Miss books are the gifts that just keeps on giving. Just pile on all the sparkly princess paraphernalia you have and you’re good to go.

    You will need:

    • Tiara (bought or made from card and decorated)
    • Tutu (optional)
    • Wand (optional)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £3.99

    Credit: Getty / Canva

    12. Where’s Wally? costume

    A classic book to keep them quiet for ages also works as a super easy costume for you – the clothes you find don’t have to be their size, oversized is cuter. Time to raid Dad’s wardrobe this time.

    You will need:

    • Red hat (bonus points if striped)
    • Blue and white striped top
    • Round glasses OR eyeliner pencil drawn on

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £6.55

    Girl dressed in butterfly wings next to hungry caterpillar book

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    13. Hungry Caterpillar costume

    Well, the ‘after’ picture… it’s him as a butterfly.  Most kids love this book so will find anyway possible to go as a character for World Book Day. Cardboard fairy wing making can also be an activity to keep them occupied the weekend before. Winning at life.

    You will need:

    • Butterfly wings (bought or made from cardboard and decorated)


    boy with harry potter scarf and head scar next to harry potter book for world book day ideas

    Credit: Getty/Canva

    14. Harry Potter costume

    Ah, Harry. The wizard loved the world over. Always a favourite character to go as for World Book Day, if you don’t have the glasses just improvise with black eye liner.

    You will need:

    • Black cape (recycle Halloween one)
    • White shirt
    • Normal school trousers/skirt
    • Stick (The wand)
    • Stripey tie or scarf
    • Round glasses OR eyeliner pencil drawn on
    • Forehead lightening scar in lip pencil

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON |£6.55

    Credit: Getty/canva

    15. Peter Rabbit costume

    The classic Beatrix Potter tales just keep on giving. To really add an air of authenticity add whiskers to the face with eyeliner pencil and a bag of carrots.

    You will need:

    • Blue jacket
    • Brown trousers
    • Face paint or eyeliner pencil – to draw on bunny whiskers
    • Bunny ears – cut from cardboard

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £7.19

    Credit: Getty/canva

    16. You Must Bring a Hat costume

    Published in 2016 this is a newish book among the heavyweight classics but is surely a no-brainer when it comes to the easiest costume ever. You simply need to bring a hat.

    You will need:

    • An outrageous hat (or two if you’re feeling creative)

    VIEW BOOK – AMAZON | £5.94

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