World Book Day Costume ideas

In this piece you will find last minute World Book Day Costume ideas. Often mums are required to prepare costumes for World Book day and it can be daunting if you don’t like crafting. You may be inspired by my experience with this task.

World book day costume ideas

Diego’s Where’s Wally costume is available from Asda for £15

One of my favourite resources for inspiration is the Book Aid International website where you can download for FREE a whole collection of super-easy costume-making guides, tips and tricks. Choose your favourite book character, download the sheet and off you go!

This year Asda has great offers on World Book Day costumes. My favourite one is Where’s Wally (£15 from Asda). It suits Diego (9) who is a big fan of the series. The fabric of this outfit seems to be of good quality not the cheap type you would find on eBay party shops.

My son and I are big fans of books and World Book Day and we put a lot of effort in making our own costumes. He has won best World Book Day costume for his class at his school parade for two years in a row and of course we are looking forward to this year’s competition.

The first costume he won with is Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket from Dahl’s novel Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – you can see it in these images.


Every year we see lots of kids and teachers dressed up as Willy Wonka or Charlie but we never saw anybody dressed up as the Golden Ticket itself before. To make it just think of a sandwich man outfit. I used a big golden envelope which I cut and decorated to fit my son. To complete the costume I bought a Wonka chocolate bar and used it as an accessory.

 IMG_0316world book day golden ticket costume collage

Last year Diego won with our Shaun the Sheep home made costume. We got inspiration from Shaun The Sheep: The Movie. If you are wondering whether films characters are not suitable for World Book Day, well in reality they are because every film is based on a screenplay which is a proper book in its own right. To add to the costume, we only made a couple of things to add to a plain black and white trousers and T-shirt. They are: a big white pom-pom, a mask, a card from the movie which we printed from the internet and a mask we printed from an online template. Finally we had a couple of props from the movie – sheep ears and a Timmy Time backpack – and we used them as additional accessories to create the perfect award winning outfit.

shaun the sheep world book day costume diego london mums magazine

shaun the sheep costume parade collage

Picture books and children’s novels offer endless ideas on characters for World Book Day but there are a few recurring favourite authors and books. Some of the most popular characters who inspire costumes include:

Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach

JK Rowling – Harry Potter – there are lots boys and girls dressed up as Harry Potter on school parades but it seems too common now.

Julia Donaldson – The Gruffalo, Stick Man

Carlo Collodi – The Adventures of Pinocchio – Make way for …. Pinocchio. People mistaken Noddy with Pinocchio. As an Italian I prefer Pinocchio and one year I did buy this outfit for Diego from a charity shop. Easy and cheap if you don’t have time.


Elmer the Elephant (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Dennis the Menace (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

The very hungry caterpillar (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Francesca Simon – Horrid Henry  – Make a Horrid Henry costume

Classic Tales – Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Red Riding Hood

Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

L. Frank Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

A. A. Milne – Winnie-the-Pooh

Dr. Seuss – The Cat in the Hat (click on this link to download a pdf on how to make the costume)

Liz Pichon – Tom Gates – these doodle books offer tons of inspiration for costumes.

PG10-11-12 Tom Gates Books

Minecraft  – newcomers in World Book Day parades are outfits inspired by the characters from the Minecraft games. This probably requires more effort but it is also an award winning costume.


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