Last Minute World Book Day Costumes
We’ve all been there haven’t we? An event at school or nursery either sneaks up on us when we think we’ve got loads of time to sort it all out. Or we totally forget about it until the night before. That’s really not good!
I am terrible for reading school letters then putting them down somewhere and completely forgetting all about it. Especially when I have weeks to prepare, because it’s not a priority at that time – as I have a million other things to prioritise.
That’s being a busy parent for you.
Last Minute World Book Day
World Book Day is a biggie in the school calendar. It’s all about choosing a character from your child’s favourite book and dressing up that day for school or nursery.
The high streets and supermarkets seem to be jumping on the World Book Day bandwagon, selling fancy dress costumes. That makes life so much easier too.
But what if you’ve still left it to the last minute? It’s ten o’clock at night – too late to call round the other parents for help. What will your child dress up as the next day? Time to see what is in the house.
Choosing Your Book Character
Deciding on the book and then the character is your starting point. Obviously, if it’s not ten o’clock at night and your child is still up, they can help to inspire you. However, that’s not always the case when they want something spectacular, and all you have are a couple of bin liners and a pillow case to make something with. Or, they say they want one thing, then change their mind once you’ve made it!
So the choice is yours. In my case, my daughter (who is four) has already changed her mind three times, but I’ve convinced her to go as the character we’ve chosen. The pre-school she goes to has picked the theme as Julia Donaldson book characters, so we picked the mouse from The Gruffalo.
Books to Choose From
This depends on your child’s age range and what stories they like. My daughter is of pre-school age, so Julia Donaldson books are perfect. However, anything that has a princess or a fairy in would be good as she does have princess fancy dress outfits, and fairy wings.
If your child is older (my eldest is now sixteen, but he still has an array of books from throughout the years) then Roald Dahl books are great. As are the Chronicles of Narnia stories, Harry Potter, Star Wars or any Disney book.
I can guarantee you’ll be able to rustle something up for a last minute World Book Day idea.
Easy Peasy Characters to Make
Here are some ideas I’ve come up with. If you have a dressing up box, some old Halloween costumes, some face paint or even some card and glue, they’ll be something your child could go as. Last minute!
- A Witch or Wizard
Think Room on a Broom, The Witches, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Wizard of Oz, or Winnie The Witch (you decide!). You could easily dress your child up as a witch or a wizard.
If you have a witches hat and a cloak then that’s great. Otherwise, use a piece of black card or sugar paper (or stick two pieces together if you need more) and curl it round to make a cone shape. Measure around your child’s head and then tape it together. You could decorate with stars by using stickers, or by cutting out shapes and sticking them on.
Make the Robe
The robe could be made in various ways. You could use a dressing gown and attach stars cut out of cardboard, shiny paper or tin foil to it. Or cut a head size hole in the middle of a bed sheet. If you can dye it a darker colour then all the better. That would give you a kind of tabard. If you have some string and want to make a belt, then tie that around your child’s waist.
If you have the time to sew, then you could make a cape out of the bed sheet by sewing some elastic at the top (where it would sit around the shoulders) and ruffling the material around (to resemble the top of a pair of curtains). Then to make a hood, use an old pillow case and cut a semi circle around it on one side, above the opening. Then attach it to the sheet. The semi circle you cut out should fit over your child’s head. If it’s too big, then leave it down.
For a witch, you could make a cloak, or put them in a dress with stripey tights.
And if they’re going as Harry Potter, put on a school uniform and draw round glasses on using black face pain or eyeliner! Of course don’t forget Harry’s scar on his forehead.
Make a cloak or tabard in the same way as you could make your wizard costume. Use paint, felt tip pens or fabric pens to draw on a shield. Make a chainmail effect by drawing small ovals across and overlapping them. Do these in rows all the way over your sheet,
Or alternatively use a white T-Shirt to create your chainmail amour. I did this once for my son and it was very effective. He wore plain trousers and I made him a belt and a sword out of cardboard. Practice drawing your chainmail on a piece of paper first.
- Animal – Mouse/Tiger/Cat
Make it easy by choosing an animal. Think about books like The Tiger Who Came to tea, Mog (the cat), Angelina Ballerina (mouse) or any animal from a Disney story.
Put plain coloured clothes on your child if it’s last minute. Then use face paints to make whiskers, stripes, a pink nose etc.
If your child has a headband with ears on then use those if they go with the character. Otherwise, use a plain hair band and cut out ears using folded card. Glue the ears around the headband on each side and you have ears!
For a great Angelina Ballerina costume, combine a tutu or fairy dress with your mouse ears. This was our alternative costume!
I made my daughter’s mouse headband – the mouse from the Gruffalo, by stapling a long thick strip of brown card in a circle to fit on her head. I cut out ear shapes with glue. Then I used some brown material and glued it to the ears – I made her some trousers and a top from an old lion onesie that belonged to my son, so was too big for her. I used the same material on the ears.
Next I made eyes to resemble the mouse’s eyes from The Gruffalo and a pink nose and glued everything to the headband. The ears were stapled, as I want them to be secure all day. Then lastly, I drew on whiskers with a white pencil crayon.
If your child has an animal onesie, then you’re already there with a last minute world book day outfit.
- The Boy in a Dress/Matilda/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
You could keep things simple by going for a general character. If your son is brave to go in a dress, then The Boy in a Dress is an easy one!
Matilda wore a blue dress with a red hair band. Give your child some books to carry and away you go.
Or make a giant golden ticket out of shiny paper stuck onto card, or use red card and draw ‘Wonka’ on it. Charlie dressed in a shirt, jumper and trousers. Simple!
- Other Fancy Dress Costumes You Might Have Tucked Away
Pyjamas (Pajama Girl or The Midnight Gang)
Pirates (Treasure Island)
Super heros (PJ Masks or Superman)
Cowboys (Toy Story)
Builder (Bob the Builder)
Elsa or Anna from Frozen
Skeleton Halloween costume (Funny Bones)
I could go on. Hopefully you will remember something your child has in the toy box, or an old hat you might have that could be turned into something. With these last minute world book day ideas, I hope the panic is over!