There are loads of cheap and easy last minute World Book Day costume ideas. Save your money and put these together without worry.
I was one of those kids who seemed to do everything last minute. I didn’t do it on purpose but, somehow, I lost letters at the bottom of my school bag and presented them to my mum at 7 PM on a Sunday evening. She then spent the next hour making the most of the bits we had around the home.
While I’m sure she would have appreciated more time, it was never about money.
For a costume, we wouldn’t go to the shop to buy anything, but we’d find something we already owned and repurpose it.
Getting a costume ready for a school theme day or World Book Day is easy enough.
It doesn’t have to cost anything and can be put together last minute quite easily.
World Book Day 2023
World Book Day is taking place on Thursday, 2 March 2023.
A lot of schools suggest kids dress up to get involved – which can be seen as a real headache.
Don’t forget that your child should get a voucher to pick up a free book for World Book Day, too, so you may as well cash it in.
Cheap last minute World Book Day costume ideas
Take a look at some of these ideas … and have a rummage at the back of your wardrobe.
“This must be a simply enormous wardrobe!’ thought Lucy, going still further in…”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
1. Gangsta Granny
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Do you have a “granny” style top (or you could borrow one)?
Pair it with a black shirt and a bandit eye mask.
You don’t need a grey wig, but do you have any talcum powder.
Then, fill a sack or hessian bag with screwed up paper.
“All you can do in this life is follow your dreams. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time.”
― David Walliams, Gangsta Granny
2. Room on the Broom
A story about witches.
Do you have leftover Halloween costumes?
Get a dress and a witches hat, finish the costume with a plait and a cuddly toy cat.
“The witch had a cat and a very tall hat, And long ginger hair which she wore in a plait.”
― Julia Donaldson, Room on a Broom
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
An Oompa-Loompa may be a stretch, but dressing up as Charlie Bucket is super-easy.
You need a pair of school trousers, a blue jumper and a bar of chocolate.
Feeling a bit crafty?
Make your own golden ticket too.
“Oh, books, what books they used to know, Those children living long ago! So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
4. The Polar Express
Nothing too fancy here.
A simple costume that just needs PJs and a dressing gown.
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”
― Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express
5. Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs
Wear anything, such as blue trousers or jeans and a jumper, and grab a bucket from your last trip to the beach and some plastic dinosaurs.
“One, two, three, jump Harry!”
― Ian Whybrow, Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs
6. The 101 Dalmations
Don’t go as them all, but dressing up as one dog might work.
Have a “white” t-shirt that’s seen better days?
Instead of trying to bleach it back to its original brightness, repurpose it and just colour in some black spots.
“Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them.”
― Dodie Smith, The 101 Dalmatians
Matilda wears a blue dress, has a red ribbon and carries some books.
“We’ve got a lovely telly with a twelve-inch screen and now you come asking for a book! You’re getting spoiled, my girl!”
― Roald Dahl,
8. Harry Potter
Harry is an easy character to dress up as.
Grab some glasses frames, some kind of cloak, a wand and draw on a scar.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”
– J.K. Rowling, The Deathly Hallows
9. Oliver Twist
Time to get out the scruffy clothes that are too small.
Cut the bottoms off the trousers and put a few holes in the top. Then, grab a flat cap.
If you’ve got a bit of dirt on them it’ll look much better – the kids will love helping with this bit!
“Please, sir, I want some more.”
― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
Tintin sports a blue jumper and some trousers.
Have a white teddy dog and make sure to gel the hair up big.
“Hooray! Hooray! The end of the world has been postponed!”
― Hergé, The Shooting Star
What other ideas do you have for World Book Day?
Maybe Fantastic Mr Fox, Angelina Ballerina, George’s Marvellous Medicine, Diary of a Wimpy Kid or maybe try Long John Silver?
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