World Book Day: last-minute costumes

Have you left it to the last minute to find a costume? No time for emergency online orders or a dash to the shops?

Take inspiration from other Mumsnetters' ideas that require nothing more than the sort of stuff you can find lying around at home - and which you can pull together in under 10 minutes. 

Happy World Book Day!

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Raid the wardrobe 

Blue duffle coat + hat + wellington boots

Paddington Bear

White T shirt + black shorts + black backpack

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Stripy top + bobble hat + glasses 

= Where's Wally

Dirty (old!) school uniform + baggy socks + cap

Just William

White pants worn over clothes + red cape (or sheet)

Captain Underpants 

Black skirt + white top + braces + white knee-high socks + red bow in hair

= Eloise 

Stripy socks or tights + dress + plait pigtails 

Pippi Longstocking

High socks + any clothes (jumper, shirt, coat) + gelled hair 


Witch's hat from the dressing up box + red top + purple skirt

Room on the Broom 

White shirt + pinafore dress

Clarice Bean

Any boys' clothes (hoodie, jeans etc)

Alex Rider (Anthony Horowitz series)


Tom's Midnight Garden


Pull together some props

Bucket + toy dinosaurs

Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs

Small bottle + a label with 'medicine' written on it

George's Marvellous Medicine

Bandages (or loo roll) and plasters + blue clothes

Mr Bump

Tub or brown bag labelled 'beans'

Jack and the Beanstalk


Get crafty

Make a witch's hat from black card + school uniform

The Worst Witch

Make a long plait out of wool and attach to ponytail


Draw black spots onto a white T-shirt (+ optional face paint)

= one of the 101 Dalmatians

Paint a piece of card gold or cover it in gold paper, write 'Golden Ticket' on it

= any of the children from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Write 'Thing 1' or 'Thing 2' on paper + red clothes + blue hair (coloured hairspray or wig)

= The Things from Cat in the Hat

Tin foil (+ optional boxes for shape)

= Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz

Make four legs from painted cardboard tubes /stuffed stockings etc + black clothes

= Charlotte the spider from Charlotte's Web

White paper cut into bone shapes pinned onto black clothes

= skeleton, Funnybones

Rip up and dirty old clothes

Oliver Twist

Watch our video for step-by-step instructions:

Shoebox + hoody + belt + wrapping paper = The Dinosaur That Pooped



And the easiest costume of them all?

One MNer has the answer:

"Don't send them in and then tell the teachers they came as The Invisible Man."


Liked this? Try these:

World Book Day logo

More World Book Day inspiration

Costume video

Video tutorial: 5 easy costumes

Pippi Longstockings

Simple and inventive costume ideas

Last updated: over 1 year ago