Easy Things To Wear On World Book Day

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World Book Day is a day to dress up as your favourite character. It’s on 23rd March every year, and it’s a chance for everyone to celebrate their love of reading.

But what does that mean? Does it mean you have to go out and buy a costume? Or can you just wear something bookish?

Well, we’ve got some ideas for you! And they’re all very easy to do…

1) If you want to get dressed up, the easiest thing you can do is pick an outfit from one of your favourite books. If you’re not sure which book would suit your personality best, why not try one of our quizzes?2) If dressing up isn’t really your thing (or if you don’t feel confident enough), then why not just put on something bookish instead? You could wear a shirt or jumper with a quote on it, or maybe some shoes or socks with pictures on them. Clothing with words in them is always popular!3) Another option is getting together with friends and wearing matching outfits. This can be really fun if everyone brings something different so everyone has something unique in their outfit!

Easy Things To Wear On World Book Day

Easy World Book Day costume ideas

World Book Day is on Thursday 3 March in 2022, although many schools and nurseries may decide to celebrate it on Friday 4 March to round the school week off with some costumed fun. If you’re looking for easy, last-minute World Book Day costumes that are simple to put together but look fantastic, we’ve got a great selection for you right here.

Our no-sew costumes can be made using things you’ll probably already have at home (or could quickly order online). We’ve even included ideas for re-purposing costumes you may already have – including pirate, witch and skeleton outfits, fairy and ballerina costumes and princess dresses.

And, of course, if your child really doesn’t like dressing up, there are plenty of ideas for ‘costumes’ where the main character in the book wears regular, everyday clothes – so all your child will need to do is hold a prop or maybe just brandish a copy of the book.

For each of our World Book Day costume idea, we’ve listed out what you’ll need to create it, including props and clothes (and a link to buy the book, if you don’t have it already). Plus, where we can, we’ve included a pic of a child in the costume, as shared by one of the brilliant parents in our Facebook community, so you can get an idea of the finished ‘look’ you’re after.

Here’s our pick of easy, last-minute World Book Day Costume ideas you can put together super-quick…

1. Paddington

Paddington Costume for World Book Day

What you’ll need:

  • Red hat
  • Blue coat or blue clothes
  • Red socks
  • Suitcase (optional)

2. Supertato

Superato costume for World Book Day
Pic: Tasha S

What you’ll need:

  • Black belt with cardboard S stuck on the buckle
  • Brown clothes
  • Mask (band of black paper with eye holes cut out)
  • Red material/shirt for cape
  • Play veg

3. Gangsta Granny

Pic: Beckie C

What you’ll need:

  • Bandit eye mask (or paint one on with black face paint). Or glasses – see our downloadable step-by-step instructions
  • ‘Granny style’ blouse or cardy (do you have one?)
  • Black skirt
  • Old slippers
  • Tights that are too big, so they can wrinkle around the ankles
  • Sack-style bag filled with scrumpled up paper (so it’s not too heavy)
  • (If you’re feeling creative) A granny wig – see our downloadable step-by-step instructions

4. Mr Twit from The Twits

Pic: Francesca M

What you’ll need:

  • A fake beard (buy one online or make one with dark brown wool)
  • Dark, messy clothes
  • A paintbrush and pot

5. Burglar Bill

Burglar Bill costume idea for World Book day
Pic: Jenny BW

What you’ll need:

  • Stripey jumper
  • Flat cap
  • Bandit eye mask (often comes with superhero costume) or draw one on with face paint
  • Swag bag filled with crumpled-up paper (or cuddly toy!)

6. Alice in Wonderland

Pic: Helen T

What you’ll need:

  • Blue dress
  • White apron/pinny
  • Hair bow

Rather be the Mad Hatter? You can find a range of ready-made Alice in Wonderland-themed costumes for kids of varying ages on

7. Mr Bump

mr bump costume for word book day
Pic: Millie Pike

What you’ll need:

  • Blue top and trousers
  • Bandage (if you have one) or toilet roll (if you don’t) to wind around your child’s head and middle

8. Peter Rabbit

Pic: Rebekah C

What you’ll need:

  • Blue jacket
  • Brown trousers
  • Face paint or eyebrow pencil – to draw on bunny whiskers
  • Bunny ears – made with cardboard and taped to a headband
  • Bag of carrots (optional)

9. Wally from Where’s Wally?

where's wally costume for world book day
Pics: Sammie S and Tenisha McDonald

What you’ll need:

  • Stripey hat
  • Stripey top
  • Stripey socks or tights – if you have them
  • Round glasses – use the downloadable glasses template from the Gangsta Granny costume, above, and colour them black

10. Harry Potter/Hermione Granger

harry potter and hermione costumes for world book day
Pic: Anna Dilku

What you’ll need:

  • Black cape (often comes with Halloween dressing-up costumes)
  • White shirt
  • Normal school trousers/skirt, stick (for a wand)
  • Stripey tie or scarf
  • For Harry only: glasses – use the downloadable glasses template from the Gangsta Granny costume, above, and colour them black
  • For Harry only: red face paint or lip pencil to draw on his forehead scar

11. Tracy Beaker

Pic: Josie L

What you’ll need:

  • Red stripey top
  • Messy dark hair (use washable spray-on hair dye or a wig, if your child’s hair isn’t the right colour)
  • Sleeveless denim jacket (optional)

12. The Snail and the Whale

the snail and the whale costume for world book day
Pic: Abi Fields

What you’ll need:

  • Black T-shirt
  • White fabric paint (to draw on the snail trail message)
  • Toy snail (to glue or pin onto the shoulder of the T-shirt)
  • Stuffed whale toy (optional)

Got a witch costume?

Then your child could dress up as…

13.  The witch from Room on the Broom: add a toy cat and a broomstick

14. The Worst Witch: add a toy cat and a (messy) broomstick

15.  The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz: accessorise with green face paint and an evil cackle

16. The cover star of That’s Not My…Witch: she has green hair, if you fancy having a go with some washable, spray-on hair dye.

17. The witch from The Witch’s Vaccuum Cleaner: as long as your Hoover doesn’t weigh a ton!

18. Madame Olympia from Which Witch?: add a spot of make-up to get her super-glam look

Pic: Tara B

19. Happy Birthday, Blue Kangaroo

Blue Kangaroo costume idea for World Book Day
Pic: Katie O

What you’ll need:

  • Pink clothes
  • Pink ribbon in hair
  • Blue kangaroo toy (optional)

20. Billionaire Boy

Pic: Katie D

What you’ll need:

  • Grey trousers
  • Big white top
  • A wallet full of money (make fake notes with paper or use Monopoly money)

21. Aliens Love Underpants

Pic: Sharon D

What you’ll need:

  • Underpants worn over trousers
  • Alien antennae or headband (optional)

22. Mr Bean

What you’ll need:

  • Grey or black school trousers
  • Tweed blazer
  • White shirt
  • Tie, preferably red

23. The white mouse from the ‘That’s Not My…’ book series…

What you’ll need:

  • White cardie and trousers OR white onesie
  • White paper ears – attach them to a headband

24. The Cat In The Hat

Pic: Vicky W

What you’ll need:

  • Black leggings
  • Black T-shirt
  • White gloves
  • Red scarf
  • Stripey hat – you can make this using a tube of white card and then adding a rim and painting on red stripes
  • Whiskers – drawn on with an eye pencil or face paints

25. The Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob)

the man on the moon world book day costume
Pic: Wendy Davis

What you’ll need:

  • White onesie (you can get astronaut-themed ones online)
  • Blow-up alien

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