82 last-minute easy World Book Day 2019 costumes

82 ideas for costumes you never knew you owned including what to do with a stripey jumper, glasses and ginger hair and props for a child who doesn't want to dress up at all...


1. Matilda


  • Red hair ribbon
  • Small pile of books
  • Preferably blue dress

Buy Matilda on Amazon 


2. David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny


  • Bandit eye mask (or paint it on with black face paint) – or glasses (see below for template)
  • ‘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 below for instructions)

Buy Gangsta Granny on Amazon


Download now!

Free how to make a Gangsta Granny wig and glasses – with template


3. Harry Potter


Glasses, face paint to draw on Harry’s scar, black cape (often comes with Halloween dressing up costume), white shirt and normal school trousers/skirt, stick (for a wand)

Buy Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Amazon


4. Tintin


Blue jumper, brown trousers tucked into long socks, gel to get hair into front quiff

Added touches: white toy dog

Buy The Adventures of Tintin on Amazon


5. George from George’s Marvellous Medicine


Saucepan (or medicine-style bottle) with big spoon

Buy George’s Marvellous Medicine on Amazon


6. Annie


Ginger hair (either real or a wig!) and red jumper or dress

Buy Annie on Amazon


7. Harry from Harry & His Bucketful of Dinosaurs


Small bucket containing toy dinosaurs

Buy Harry & His Bucketful of Dinosaurs on Amazon


8. Charlie Bucket from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory


Scruffy clothes, handmade golden ticket

Buy Charlie & The Chocolate Factory on Amazon

Not feeling creative yet? Try our World Book Day costumes you can buy


9. Burglar Bill


Stripey jumper, flat hat, bandit eye mask (often come with superhero costume) – or draw one on with face paint, swag bag filled with scrumpled up paper (so it’s not too heavy)

Buy Burglar Bill on Amazon


10. Pinocchio


Toilet roll tube to put over nose, elastic to tie to the tube that goes over back of your child’s head, hat with a feather in it

Buy Pinocchio on Amazon


11. Mr Greedy


Big long-sleeved pink or red top, cushion to put under it, belt or string to keep the cushion in place

Buy Mr Greedy on Amazon


12. Mr Bump


Blue top and trousers, bandage (if you have one) or toilet roll (if you don’t) which is wound round your child’s head and middle

Buy Mr Bump on Amazon


13. David Walliams’ Midnight Gang

Book Aid has a brill downloadable guide to help sort this costume


  • Stripy PJs
  • Slippers/kids’ Uggs for the classroom
  • Pillow
  • Balloon

Buy Midnight Gang on Amazon


14. Hetty Feather

Check out Book Aid’s easy-to-follow guide to sorting this costume


  • Brown dress/outfit
  • White apron
  • White shower cap or hat

Buy Hetty Feather on Amazon


15. Tris from Divergent

This female action hero requires very little prep for older children – just needs a few birds painted on to look like ‘tattoos’


  • Grey vest top
  • Dark grey/black jeans
  • Black boots
  • Black face paint

Buy Divergent on Amazon


16. The Gritterman


  • Light/grey winter coat
  • Red scarf
  • Plain boots/wellies
  • A toy spade/shovel

Buy The Gritterman on Amazon


17. Tasha The Tap Dancing Fairy

Does your child go to dance class? Have fairy wings knocking around the house? This is a great costume idea from the Rainbow Fairy book series…


  • Black leggings
  • Black vest/top
  • Black ballet bumps or dancing shoes
  • Pleated mini skirt
  • Fairy wings (the bigger the better)
  • Wand


  • Clip-in pink hair pieces

If you want to be one of the other fairies, just add the relevant props to suit, eg, Edie is a garden fairy so you could also take along  watering can, garden spade/fork etc

Buy Tasha the Tap Dance Fairy on Amazon


18. Little Miss Inventor


  • Yellow/green top
  • Glasses
  • Pencils
  • Rulers

Buy Little Miss Inventor on Amazon


19. Little Miss Naughty


  • Purple top
  • Green bow

Buy Little Miss Naughty on Amazon


20. Little Miss Whoops


  • Blue top
  • Blue trousers
  • Tissue paper or bandages around the head and top

Buy Little Miss Whoops on Amazon


21. Lemony Snicket’s The Bad Mood And The Stick


  • Blue dunagrees or a blue top/trouser combo
  • Bobbles to put hair in (high) bunches
  • A twig
  • Don’t forget the frown for the pics!

Buy The Bad Mood and The Stick on Amazon


22. Riley Can Be Anything


  • School blazer
  • School tie, or perhaps even a small tie from mum or dad’s wardrobe!

Buy Riley Can Be Anything on Amazon


23. Amber Brown Is Not A Crayon

An oldie but a goodie! Amber’s an ideal character for children with long brown/red hair.


  • Loose white t-shirt
  • Black leggings
  • Trainers
  • Bobbles/scrunchies for side bunches
  • A big bundle of crayons wouldn’t go amiss!

Buy Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon on Amazon


24. David Walliams’ The Boy In The Dress


  • A dress
  • A football – or any kind of ball

Buy The Boy in the Dress on Amazon


25. Hortense And The Shadow


  • Cream jumper
  • Neck scarf
  • Of course, their shadow (so maybe a torch)

Buy Hortense and the Shadow on Amazon


26. Angelina Ballerina

Ballerina outfit in the cupboard? You’re sorted.


  • Pink tutu or even a light pink dress
  • Ballet-style pumps
  • White/clear tights
  • Hair bow
  • Hairband (with cardboard mouse ears) completes the look.

Buy Angelina Ballerina on Amazon


27. Paddington Bear


  • Duffel or long blue coat
  • Rain hat
  • An old suitcase (or old school packed lunch box)
  • Wellies
  • A sandwich or jar of marmalade
  • Some card/paper to make a tag for the coat

Buy Paddington on Amazon


28. Clarice Bean, That’s Me


  • A red or floral dress (preferably both)
  • OR a white sundress with patterns on it
  • OR a navy dress with a white school shirt

Buy Clarice Bean, That’s Me on Amazon


29. 101 Dalmatians


  • White t-shirt
  • Black marker to create spots
  • Optional: White and black face paint

Buy The Hundred and One Dalmatians on Amazon


30. Alice In Wonderland


  • Blue dress
  • White apron/pinny
  • Hair bow

Pro tip:

Primark is great for cheap accessories – and actually did an Alice range in 2018 which included Alice bows and a Cheshire cat purse so remember to dig those out if you have them!

Buy Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on Amazon


31. Malala’s Magic Pencil

Malala’s not just a character – she’s a real life humanitarian, who little ones can admire. An ideal costume for Muslim children who admire Malala – or who want to wear one of mum’s headscarves.


  • A pink headscarf
  • A pencil
  • A notebook for magical ideas

Buy Malala’s Magic Pencil on Amazon


32. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid


  • White t-shirt
  • Black shorts
  • Backpack
  • Trainers

Buy Diary Of A Wimpy Kid on Amazon


33. Winnie The Pooh

Winnie doesn’t usually wear pants, but you can certainly get a Winnie-inspired look for your little one with any pair of light-coloured trousers.


  • Plain red t-shirt
  • Big honey pot/jar with ‘Hunny’ written on in black pen
  • Headband
  • Cardboard to make bear ears

Buy Winnie The Pooh on Amazon


34. David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy


  • Messy hair
  • Grey trousers
  • Big white top
  • A wallet full of money (or make fake notes using paper)

Buy Billionaire Boy on Amazon


35. Fantastic Mr Fox

An easy, mum-approved costume idea – as chosen by one of our MFM mums!

Book Aid have a fab downloadable guide on how to make the mask.


  • Jacket/blazer
  • Scarf/bow tie
  • Crafty bits and pieces to make the mask

Buy Fantastic Mr Fox on Amazon


36. Emmeline Pankhurst/Suffragette

We’ve had lots of mums tell us their little ones have been inspired to go as a suffragette this year. This stylish Emmeline Pankhurst book is a good accompaniment.


  • Long-sleeved black top
  • Dark-coloured pinafore
  • Coloured paper/scissors to make a ‘votes for women’ ribbon

Buy Emmeline Pankhurst on Amazon


37. Enid Blyton’s Amelia Jane

Ideal if your child has long blonde hair!


  • 2 bows to make bunches
  • Red (ideally patterned) dress
  • Patterned tights (don’t have to match)
  • A little red face paint or blush for the cheeks

Buy The Amelia Jane Collection on Amazon


38. Geek Girl

Book Aid have a fab downloadable guide for this costume


  • Normal clothes
  • Black-rimmed glasses
  • If your child doesn’t need glasses to see, a pink or red marker to write on the glasses

Buy Geek Girl on Amazon


39. Tracy Beaker

Ideal if your child has dark, curly hair. Still doable otherwise with a dark wig.


  • Red polo shirt
  • OR red/black stripy top

Pro tip:

You cut the sleeves off of a denim jacket to make Tracy’s classic denim waistcoat

Buy The Story if Tracy Beaker on Amazon


40. The Gruffalo

Gruffalo costumes are usually bought in the shops – but our reviews editor and crafty mum Magda’s designed a papier mache Gruffalo mask  you can make yourself in 5 minutes with your basic arts and crafts supplies.

Watch the full video tutorial here

What you’ll need:

  • PVA glue
  • masking tape
  • cardbord
  • scissors
  • 1 Balloon
  • paints
  • brushes
  • marker pen
  • newspaper
  • t41.issue paper

Buy The Gruffalo on Amazon


41. Aslan from The Chronicles Of Narnia

You’d probably think of a onesie for an Aslan costume, right? Well, we’ve also got a handy video guide to making a papier mache lion mask for World Book Day, using crafty supplies you’ve *hopefully* got around the house.

Watch the full video tutorial here


  • PVA glue
  • masking tape
  • scissors
  • cardboard
  • paint brushes
  • marker pen
  • Newspaper
  • 1 Balloon

Buy The Chronicles of Narnia on Amazon


42. Ada Twist, Scientist


  • Red dress, ideally polka dot
  • Yellow washing-up gloves (clean, ideally)
  • Experiment goggles (can you borrow these from school?)
  • Bobbles for bunches

Buy Ada Twist, Scientist on Amazon


43. William from Goodnight Mr Tom


  • Flat cap
  • Plain-coloured sweater or sweater vest
  • Black school shoes

Buy Goodnight Mister Tom on Amazon


44. Professor Snape

Ideal for children with long-ish dark hair.


  • Black coat/cloak/dress
  • Twig for a wand

Buy Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Amazon


45. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

If you’ve got some spare cardboard in the house, even better! You can make a costume from scratch


  • Brown clothes
  • Twig for full effect

Buy Stick Man on Amazon


46. Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair characters

Lots of options here.

Possible props – depends on which book you’re using:

  • Blue jeans
  • Blue and white stripy t-shirt
  • Blue denim dungarees
  • Red t-shirt or shurt

Buy The Wishing Chair Collection on Amazon 


47. Fox And The Ghost Hunt King

Here’s one our reviews editor Magda made earlier!


  • Red hoodie
  • Plain or white t-shirt
  • Some cardboard, paint and string (if you want the mask)
  • Little fox soft toy if you’ve got one

Buy The Fox and the Ghost King on Amazon


48. Captain Underpants

Only for the brave!


  • Any clothes
  • A pair of white underpants on top
  • If you’ve got one, a red cape or blanket helps

Buy The Adventures of Captain Underpants on Amazon


49. That’s Not My…

Lots of options from this book series – here’s one from one of our mums on Instagram!


  • White cardie and trousers
  • OR white onesie for a baby/toddler
  • White paper and headband for the ears

Buy That’s not my teddy… on Amazon 


50. Sophie from BFG


  • A pale or pink dress/shirt
  • A little cardigan to match
  • An empty glass or plastic jar
  • A piece of paper to write ‘Sophie’s Dreams’ on
  • Some cellotape to stick the paper on

Buy the BFG on Amazon


51. Amelia Earhart


  • Brown leather jacket
  • White top/shirt
  • Warm hat
  • Dark glasses or goggles

Buy Amelia Earhart on Amazon


52. Katniss from The Hunger Games

The bow and arrow would be too tricky to make last minute if you don’t have any relevant toys – but if you do? The outfit’s simple!


  • Black long-sleeved tops
  • Black leggings

Buy The Hunger Games Trilogy on Amazon


 Scooby Doo’s Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Velma

53. For Daphne, you’d need:

  • Purple dress
  • Headband

54. For Shaggy, you’d need:

  • A green, light blue or khaki-coloured top
  • Brown or red trousers (you could probably get away with most colours)

55. For Velma, you’d need:

  • An orange dress
  • OR an orange top/skirt combo
  • Some long socks
  • Some black glasses

56. For Fred, you’d need:

  • A white jumper or long-sleeved top
  • Blue trousers
  • A little neckscarf or hankerchief

Buy Scooby-Doo! Encyclopedia on Amazon


57. Mr Bean

One of our Insta mums did this – and it looked great!


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

Buy Mr Bean: A Day at the Beach on Amazon


58. The Highway Rat

  • White shirt
  • Leggings (purple, black, blue)
  • Black boots/shoes
  • Black hoodie/jumper for the cape
  • If you’ve got a dressing up box, a pirate hat or pretend sword would complete the outfit!

One of our mums managed this look without a white shirt – just black jeans, a black pattered t-shirt and the cape

Buy The Highway Rat on Amazon


59. Lily Bobtail from Peter Rabbit


  • Headband (add the bunny ears)
  • Pink cardie
  • Pink/red dress

You can also make another headband, add a blue shirt and BOOM – you’ve got a Peter Rabbit costume.

Buy Lily’s Party Time on Amazon


60. The Jolly Postman


  • Smart trousers (pref navy)
  • Smart blazer (pref navy)
  • Shirt and tie
  • Smart shoes
  • Over the shoulder bag
  • Some envelopes or sealed mail

Buy The Jolly Postman on Amazon


61. Lola from Big Hair, Don’t Care

Great for little ones with naturally curly hair!


  • Pink headbad
  • Pink vest top
  • Shorts
  • Trainers

Buy Big Hair, Don’t Care on Amazon


Even simpler – use costumes you may already have

62. Skeleton – Funnybones

Buy Funnybones on Amazon

63. Vampire – Dracula

Buy Dracula Investigates on Amazon

64. Witch – Worst Witch, Meg from Meg & Mog, Witch from Room on the Broom, Witch from The Witches

Buy Meg and Mog on Amazon

65. Princess – Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, Moana or Elsa/Anna from Frozen (yes, the last 2 definitely do have books ?)

Buy Disney Frozen on Amazon

66. Fairy – Tinkerbell from Peter Pan

Buy Peter Pan on Amazon 

67. Ballerina – The Nutcracker In Harlem

Buy The Nutcracker in Harlem on Amazon

68. Pirate – Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Long John Silver from Treasure Island

Buy Treasure Island (Illustrated Originals) on Amazon


If you have a stripey jumper

69. Horrid Henry (blue and yellow)

Buy Horrid Henry Rules the World on Amazon

70. Where’s Wally (red & white stripes)

Buy Where’s Wally? on Amazon

71. Denis the Menace (red & black)

Buy Dennis and the Chamber of Mischief on Amazon


If your child has ginger hair

72. Pippi Longstocking

Buy Pippi Longstocking on Amazon


Buy Annie on Amazon

74.Ron Weasley

Buy Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Amazon

75. Tintin

Buy the Adventures of Tintin on Amazon

76. Little Miss Trouble (just dot on some freckles)

Buy Little Miss Trouble on Amazon


If your child loves Horrible Histories

77. We reckon Rotten Romans is the easiest one to go for if you do the toga option.


Do put something under it though like a long-sleeved top and leggings / trousers otherwise it could get chilly!

Buy Rotten Romans on Amazon


Cat In The Hat

78. To be Thing 1 or Thing 2


Red/orange t-shirt and leggings

Writ thing 1 or thing 2 on white cardboard and pin to the front

Blue wig (optional) if you happen to have one around the house

79. If your child likes Dr Seus but doesn’t want to dress up:

Use their cuddly toys, eg, if they have a soft fox – put socks on it and they can take it in to school and go as ‘Fox In Socks’.

Or if they have a cuddly cat, put a hat on it and this can be ‘The Cat In The Hat’.

Buy The Cat In The Hat on Amazon


And for children who don’t want to dress up

80. Alex Rider from Stormbreaker

Buy Stormbreaker on Amazon

81. Horrid Henry

Buy Horrid Henry on Amazon

82. Other characters from Tracy Beaker series The Dumping Ground

Buy The Story of Tracy Beaker on Amazon


Props: Simply let your child wear some of their normal non-school clothes and take in a copy of the book featuring their character


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