115 easy World Book Day costume ideas for 2024

Last modified on Monday 12 February 2024

As we gear up to celebrate your kids' favourite stories on World Book Day, browse our mega list of book-inspired costume ideas, from old classics to new faves.

This year, World Book Day falls on 7 March. If you're looking for inspiration for costumes based on characters from books, then you've come to the right place!

Fun World Book Day outfits

From Tom Gates to Stick Man, we've got loads of suggestions here to help your little one look the part. Even better, many of them will include things that you'll have around the house, which can really help with saving a bit of cash while still having a memorable day.

We've collected over 100 of our favourite costumes from all over the web, as well as from our Netmums members, to bring you the ultimate list of easy outfits for you to try with your kids.

Browse our gallery of 100+ easy World Book Day costume ideas below.

What is the easiest book character to dress up as?

One of the easiest book characters to transform into is The Cat in the Hat. Why? The costume is simple and you could put it together with stuff you probably already have at home. Grab a black outfit, make a red bow tie out of any fabric (or paper!), and top it off with a homemade striped hat. Easy, peasy, and super recognisable! This choice is perfect for both kids and adults wanting to celebrate their love for reading without too much fuss.

What is the theme of World Book Day 2024?

The theme of World Book Day 2024 is 'Read Your Way.' This theme celebrates that children enjoy reading more when they’re unburdened of specific expectations or prescribed methods of reading. It invites educators and parents to champion children’s own choices and preferences - because reading is more fun when kids read their own way!

What is the best character for World Book Day?

Choosing the best character for World Book Day is like picking the tastiest flavour of ice cream – it's all about personal taste! However, a universally beloved choice is Harry Potter. With his iconic glasses, lightning bolt scar, and wizard robe, Harry is not only easy to recognise but also incredibly fun to dress up as.

What to wear for World Book Day?

Think of your favourite book and let your imagination run wild! Whether you're crafting a costume from scratch or piecing together an outfit from what you have, the key is to have fun and embrace the spirit of the day. For a no-fuss option, consider characters with simple, iconic looks – like Matilda, with her blue dress and red ribbon, or Paddington Bear, with his red hat and blue coat. What’s important is that you wear something that sparks joy and shares your love of reading.

Top tips for making World Book Day costumes

If you're after more book-smart ideas on how to make easy World Book Day costumes, we've got you covered! Here are just some of our vital tips for making easy and affordable costumes for World Book Day:

  • The Golden Rule: Don't let the kids decide! If you ask them what they want to dress up as, they may choose the most elaborate costume EVER. So if you don't want to be up sewing until 2am, come up with your own shortlist of achievable costumes first, then let them pick from that list.
  • Start with what you have in the house, and find a book that fits things you can find
  • Look through EVERYONE'S wardrobes. Dad's tie may make a great Penny Crayon costume and an apron could be fashioned into an Alice in Wonderland dress.
  • Think about sleepwear - Pyjamas and nighties can work for all sorts of costumes, like The Darlings from Peter Pan or Sophie from The BFG.
  • Adapt a PE or sports kit, or their school uniform - think Football Academy for sports kit, Harry Potter and St Trinian's for the uniform.
  • Make the most of accessories -if you have a huge basket, find or make a red cloak for Little Red Riding Hood. If you have stripey tights, that could be the start of Pippi Longstocking.
  • Disney characters can have some simple and easy-to-copy outfits, and most of them are based on books.
  • Get creative with cardboard. There's almost nothing you can't make with some cardboard, scissors, and a good idea.
  • Start with a stripey jumper. It can be the start of many an easy costume including Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Where's Wally, or Horrid Henry.
  • Make a simple mask. Paper plates are great for making simple masks. You can turn your child into pretty much any World Book Day character they fancy with a little crafting.
  • Get the face paints out. Book characters can easily come to life with cute painted faces. Think The Tiger Who Came to Tea or the Cheshire Cat.
  • Grab a bargain at the charity shops. You might find a great cheap costume, or some slightly dishevelled clothes for a Charlie Bucket costume. Just add a cardboard Wonka Bar and you're set!

Be sure to check out our full list of tips to get more brilliant – and super simple – ideas for your World Book Day costumes.

Looking for more inspo? Why not try these favourite books for young kids, or swap ideas in our Forum:

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