7 Homemade Costumes For World Book Day 2023

World Book Day is just around the corner, and for parents that means one thing...

Frantically running around last minute trying to come up with some homemade costume ideas because you completely forgot about it whilst juggling the 50 other things you've got going on (no? Just us then).

But you needn't stress this year. We've pulled together 7 simple homemade World Book Day costumes that you could knock up over a weekend.

These World Book Day costumes are not only simple to make but also budget-friendly, using everyday household items plus a few craft staples you likely already have on hand.

World Books Day Costume Ideas


1. Elmer the Elephant 

Elmer The Elephant Costume

Credit: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/8553915/kids-world-book-day-costumes/

If you want something simple, colourful and at least looks like you've put in a bit of effort - then why not dress your little one up as Elmer the Elephant. For those unfamiliar with the source material, Elmer the Elephant is a book by David Mckee about a multicoloured elephant living in a herd of grey elephants. The story was written in 1968 and has been a classic ever since, spawning 30 additional books.


What you will need: 

- Multicoloured squares of felt or old clothing you don't mind cutting up

- Long-sleeved top and leggings

- Glue (best with a glue gun)

- Card

- Headband

- Scissors

- Elasticated string


How to make it: 

1. Start by glueing down your colourful felt patches to a long-sleeved top and trousers. 

2. Cut out two elephant ear shapes using the card and cover them with your felt patches. 

3. Repeat this process for the trunk, then stick to a headband. 

4. Finally, cut out two holes around the side of the ears and join your trunk using the elasticated string. 


Find the full step-by-step guide here! 


2. Peter Rabbit 

Everybody loves Peter Rabbit. The little scamp has consistently been a favourite among children. But the best thing about Peter Rabbit is that it is a super simple costume to make for World Book Day. All you need is some brown trousers, a blue jacket and then to make some bunny ears for them.


What you will need: 

- Brown trousers 

- Blue jacket or hoodie

- A4 paper

- A Printer

- Paint, colouring pens or pencils

- Scissors

- Sellotape 

- Bunny ears template


How to make it:

1. Firstly, download and print out the bunny ears template.

2. Then colour your ears brown on the outside and pink on the inside.

3. Cut out your bunny ears following the dotted lines.

4. Wrap the ears and extra strip around your child's head to ensure it fits, trimming it down if necessary. 

5. Stick the two sides together with the sellotape. 

6. Pair it with brown trousers and a blue jacket or hoodie.


Find the full step-by-step guide here


3. Willy Wonka 

We don't have the data to support this, but we bet more parents have dressed their kids up as Roald Dahl characters than any other author. And the easiest of those characters to probably recreate is Willy Wonka. All you need to make is a hat and then jazz them up with some bright clothes and a jacket before sending them on their way. 

Note: Oompa-Loompas are optional.


What you will need: 

- Cereal Box 

- White or silver pen

- Purple glitter

- Glue

- Pencil

- Scissors

- Strong tape or stapler

- Bright, colourful clothes (best with a bow tie, purple jacket) 

- Large stick for the cane

- Hat template 


How to make it: 

1. Trace around the hat template on the card with your pen.

2. Cut out the outline of the hat.

3. Add glue to the hat band and sprinkle on the purple glitter.

4. Cut out a long strip of black cardboard and measure it around your head. 

5. Once you've found the right size, stick or tape the ends of the strip together. 

6. Stick the cardboard to the back of the hat with your tape. 

7. Lastly, put on your most colourful trousers, shirt and bow tie, and you're all done!


Find the full step-by-step guide here


4. The Gruffalo

This Gruffalo outfit might be the most straightforward World Book Day costume of them all. It's perfect for little ones with plenty of room for them to run and nothing too expensive that you'll shed too many tears if they ruin it.


What you will need:

- Paper plate

- Brown, purple & pink felt

- Scissors

- Glue

- Pipe cleaners


How to make it: 

1. Cut the paper plate in half horizontally for the mask, saving the unused half.

2. Fold one side in half vertically and cut a curve up towards the nose. 

3. Create a circular outline for the eyes on the plate and cut them out.

4. Glue the brown felt over the front of the mask. 

5. Trim the excess away and create holes for the eyes.

6. On the reverse side of the mask lay orange circles over the eyes and glued down. 

7. Create your ears with the leftover paper plate, and cover them with brown and pink felt.

8. Glue the ears to the back of the mask and the Gruffalo horns. 

9. Cut up the black felt for the hair and eyebrows.

10. Create some terrible teeth with the paper plate and glue it down.

11. Puncture 2 holes between the felt and plate on either side of the mask.

12. Thread 2 pipe cleaners through these holes.

13. Use a full rectangular piece of felt for the cape and cut out a rounded neck. 

14. Cut out some triangles with your purple felt and stick them in place. 

Find the full step-by-step guide here!


5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 

With the templates linked to below, a white t-shirt, black shorts and shoes, your little ones will soon look like Greg Heffley and Rowley Jefferson. And all you had to do was spend 30 minutes pulling it together.  


What you will need: 

-A4 paper

-A printer


-Elastic or string

-Template for Greg Mask or Rowley Mask 

-White t-shirt, black shorts, black shoes and black backpack for Greg. 

-Or a bright t-shirt with ‘Zoo-wee mama!’ written on it for Rowley. 


How to make it: 
1. Print out either the Greg or Rowley mask.
2. Cut out the mask and each of the eyeholes.
3. Cut out the holes for the string and thread it through to the back.
4. Tie a knot in the thread from each side.
5. Pair your mask with either a white t-shirt, black shorts, black shoes/trainers and a black backpack for Greg, or a bright t-shirt with 'Zoo-wee mama!' written on it for Rowley. 


Find the full step-by-step guide here!


6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar 

Everyone must have read the Very Hungry Caterpillar when they were younger. The story of a small caterpillar who eats everything in sight before becoming a butterfly has been a staple for generations. It's also an easy costume to make that looks like you've put a little thought and effort into it. 


What you will need: 

- Dark and light green craft paper

- Red, orange, yellow and black craft paper

- Glue 

- Stapler

- String

- Scissors

- Marker pens

- Circular-shaped objects (saucepan lid works well)


How to make it: 

1. Begin by drawing six circles from dark and light green paper.

2. Now cut out each circle for the caterpillar's body.

3. Draw and cut out six legs using black craft paper. 

4. To create the headband, cut out two long rectangular strips using red paper.

5. Staple both strips together to form a headband.

6. Cut out two small circles using the yellow paper.

7. Then cut out two slightly smaller circles using the green paper.

8. Glue the green circles inside the yellow circles.

9. Cut out two antennas using orange paper.

10. Glue the eyes and antennas to the headband.

11. Staple the large circles, overlapping each one to form the caterpillar's body.

12. Now glue down the legs to the body.

13. Create two holes at the top of the second circle and pull your string through it, creating a knot at the end. 

14. You've now got your very own hungry caterpillar costume! 


Find the full step-by-step guide here


7. Mr Men and Little Miss 

Mr Bump Costume

Credit: https://www.tonyastaab.com/how-to-make-a-mr-bump-costume/

With over 92 characters to choose from, the Mr Men and Little Miss series is like Aladdin's cave of World Book Day costume ideas. This Mr Bump costume is one of our favourites as it's a lot easier to make than it looks, but it's also fun to watch your little ones wobble around the playground.


What you will need: 

- A large piece of cardboard

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Sharpie 

- White and Blue acrylic paint 

- Paintbrush

- Pencil

- Round bucket or sizeable circular object to trace around 

- Duct tape


How to make it:

1. Start by tracing around your circular object onto your cardboard. 

2. Cut out your circle and then use it as a template to make a second circle. 

3. Paint one side of these circles blue.

4. Sketch where the mouth will go and then rule the lines for the bandages. 

5. Take the white paint and fill the bandages with two coats. 

6. Using your sharpie, make lines for the bandages. 

7. Paint the reverse side of each circle. Set aside to dry. 

8. While they are drying, cut four strips that are roughly 1.5 inches wide. If you're making this for an older child, the strips will need to be longer. 

9. Attach the strips to both the top and sides of the costume so your child's head can fit through, and stick these down with your duct tape. 

10. Mr Men and Little Miss are ready! 


Find the full step-by-step guide here!


Have fun at World Book Day! 

Our seven homemade costumes will make you stand out at World Book Day 2023. All these costumes are cheap and easy to make, making them ideal when you're on a budget or for beginners looking to become better crafters. 

If you enjoy crafting on a budget, check out our other post, where we'll give you some 'crafty' ways to save money on craft supplies


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