10 easy World Book Day costume ideas to suit every budget

By Lynn Rusk
Thursday, 4th March 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 8:48 am

Today (4 March), children across the UK will dress up as their favourite literary characters to celebrate World Book Day.

For many parents struggling to balance work, school, finances and after school activities, this event can come as an added pressure.

But, before you go to the supermarket or start browsing on Amazon, why not have a go at using items you already have at home to make a costume? As 2020 is the year of circular economy fashion, we have put together 10 DIY costume ideas to suit every budget.


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    Arguably Roald Dahl’s most famous and best loved character, this is a very easy and effective costume to organise.

    All you need is a blue dress, a red ribbon for your child's hair and a pile of books.

    Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter

    Simply put pigtails in your child’s hair, dress them in black and draw teardrops on their face using eyeliner or facepaints. A pair of glasses will also finish this look off nicely.

    The Boy in the Dress

    You can easily recreate this look from David Walliams’ heart-warming novel. All you will need is a dress and football, and the look is complete.

    Mr Twit

    Make a "revolting" beard with brown wool of various lengths knotted onto elastic that can fasten around your child’s head.

    Get your child to draw different foods onto paper, cut them out and stick them onto the beard.

    To complete the look, have them wear old clothes with splodges of brown paint that looks like dirt. You can even paint their finger and toenails yellow, and have them wear sandals.

    George from George’s Marvellous Medicine

    This is great if you have a son called George. If not, don’t worry – you can put a name tag on your little one.

    Then give them a big saucepan (labelled "marvellous medicine") and a wooden spoon. Simple.

    Harry Potter

    Your child can look like the world’s most famous wizard for the day by dressing them in their uniform and using face paints for a scar and glasses.

    If you have cape - great. If not, you can fashion one out of a bin bag. Use a twig for a wand and they will be the spitting image of the Boy who Lived.

    Gangsta Granny

    For this look you will need a black eye mask - if you don’t have one you can use face paint or mascara - a ‘granny-style’ cardigan or blouse, a black skirt, old slippers and a pair of tan tights.

    If you don’t have a grey wig, put some talcum powder in your child's hair. To finish off the look, use a sack that could work as a loot bag.

    Rainbow Fairy

    For kids who love fairies, you may already have a fairy costume at home. If not, a friend or neighbour may be able to lend one. Round this off with some wings, a wand and some glitter to add some sparkle.

    Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs

    This one is for those with kids who love dinosaurs. You will need a red top and blue trousers. If your child is already a dinosaur fan, you will likely have plastic dinosaurs at home. Throw some of these in a bucket and the look is complete.

    Paddington Bear

    Finally, this adorable marmalade-loving bear from Peru makes for an easy costume to pull off if you have a few of these items at home.

    All you will need is a duffel coat, a soft red hat, red welly boots, an old suitcase and a marmalade sandwich.