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20 Budget World Book Day Costume Ideas

With World Book Day fast approaching once again… didn’t we just have that?? I wanted to repost my list of budget costume ideas that are simple to create.

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  • 101 Dalmatians. An old white top with black spots drawn on in marker pen and a pair of black trousers. For added effect, you can draw on a spot around your child’s eye with either black face paint or eye make-up.
  • Dobby from Harry Potter. Dye a white pillow case using brewed tea water. Cut a neck hole and arm holes out of the closed end and make the edges look frayed and jagged. For ears, cut the shapes out of card and attach to a headband.
  • Stig of the Dump. You could use the same pillowcase technique as the Dobby costume above. Make the child’s hair messy and cut a club shape out of cardboard as a prop.
  • Matilda. A blue dress (a blue school dress is perfect) and a red ribbon for the hair. There are two props you could use: a stack of books, or a jar with a toy newt/ cardboard newt in it.
  • Mildred Hubble from The Worst Witch. Did you keep that witches hat from Halloween? Team that with a white school shirt and black school skirt and tights. A black or stripy tie would be an added bonus.
  • Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. A blue dress (a blue school dress), hair in pigtails, and a basket with a little toy dog in it. You can add red shoes if you have them.
  • Dennis from The Boy in a Dress. Any dress will work for this, but an orange one would be perfect. Add a football as a prop.
  • Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All you need is a red dress, black shoes, and a print out of a free Golden Ticket template. (You could also draw your own ticket).
  • Angelina Ballerina. This costume is perfect if you have a child that does ballet and has a leotard and tutu. You can cut mouse ears out of card and attach them to a headband.
  • Prince Charming/ King Arthur. Take a pillow case and cut a neck hole and arm holes out of the closed end. Choose which side is the front and make the neckline into a V neck. Using a marker, draw a crest design on the chest area. Wear a black belt over the top and dark trousers underneath. If you require a sword prop, cut the shape out of cardboard and cover in tin foil.
  • Peter Rabbit. A denim jacket would work well for this, although any blue jacket/ cardigan would do. Wear it over brown/ neutral clothes. Cut rabbit ears out of cardboard and attach to a headband.
  • The Little Princess. This is a very easy costume. All you need to do is make a crown out of card and wear it with a white night gown.
  • Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. A lion is not as tricky as you may first think. Have the child wear brown clothing and use a paper plate to create a mane. Cut the inner part of the plate out, so you are left with a ring. Cut the edges in a jagged, mane style and colour or paint brown. Attach a straw to the bottom as a handle. The child can hold the mane up to their face for the full effect.
  • Skeleton from Funnybones. Get that skeleton Halloween outfit out of the cupboard. You could make a Funnybones mask out of a paper plate for the full effect.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Cut a neck hole and arm holes out of the closed end of a pillowcase. Paint on thick stripes in varying green colours. Create a hat out of red card and draw on the eyes.
  • Where’s Wally. If you already have a red and white striped top simply team it with denim trousers. If not, draw red stripes onto a white top.
  • Mog. Do you have cat ears and a tail leftover from Halloween? Mog is the perfect use for them. Team them with grey or black clothing.
  • Ladybird from What the Ladybird Heard. This is similar to the dalmatian outfit, only you draw black spots onto a red top. Team with black trousers.
  • Fern from Charlotte’s Web. This outfit relies heavily on a pig prop. A toy pig works brilliantly. The child can wear any coloured check shirt and jeans. Wellington boots are optional, but do tie the outfit together.
  • Card Soldier from Alice in Wonderland. Take a white pillowcase and cut a neck hole and arm holes into the closed end. With a marker pen, draw a spade symbol in the centre and one ‘A’ in the top right corner and another in the bottom left. Team with black trousers.


In true Sensibly Frugal fashion I want to leave you with this parting note… It is perfectly fine to send your child to school in a superhero dress up or Disney princess dress etc. If your child already has them and wants to wear them, then let them. It is free for you, and there is nothing lazy about it. They are characters from stories and comic books, after all.


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