Easy World Book Day outfits

Simple, no–sew ideas inspired by your child's favourite bedtime reads

6 easy World Book Day outfits
by Sara Conway

Do you want a homemade World Book Day costume without the stress? These simple outfits based on popular children's books are so easy your child can help you to make them. From The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Little Red Riding Hood, there are ideas suitable for kids of all ages.

Don't miss our ultimate World Book Day quiz too – it's perfect for the whole family to play!

Hungry Caterpillar Costume

Snip and stick to make this Very Hungry Caterpillar mask.

Hungry Caterpillar costume 

You'll need

  • A4 felt: 3 x red, 1 x brown, 1 x yellow and 1 x green
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • Pencil
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Green or yellow top

What to do

1. Ask your kids to glue together the 3 pieces of red felt in a row.

2. Glue together the right and left edges so you make a tube.

3. Bend the pipe cleaners in half and twist. Meanwhile, cut 4 rectangles from the brown felt. Use plenty of glue to sandwich the pipe cleaners inside the felt.

4. Once the glue has dried, help your child to snip the brown felt into antennae.

5. Meanwhile, they can draw and snip ovals from the yellow and green felt and glue them on to make eyes and a nose.

6. Sandwich the antenna between the felt at the top of the mask and glue. Then, cut a big enough hole for them to see out of.

7. Finally, snip the top corners off and add more glue to close the top of the mask. Pair with a yellow or green t-shirt or jumper.

Peter Rabbit costume

Peter Rabbit is a winner for World Book Day because all you need is a pair of rabbit ears and a blue cardigan... and then look, extra cuteness! Plus, it’s nice to share the original book with your child who may only know Peter Rabbit from CBeebies or the films.

Peter Rabbit costume

You'll need

  • A pale blue cardigan
  • Jacket or shirt
  • Brown trousers
  • Boots
  • Ears
  • A carrot!

Top tips

  • Fluffy boots are cute, but not essential. Any style of brown shoe will work nicely.
  • No carrot? Draw one on card and snip it out. Or, raid your child’s collection of toy food.

Matilda costume

Matilda costume

If you grew up reading Roald Dahl’s books, it’s an exciting day when you can share them with your child. Matilda is a great choice for World Book Day.

You remember the story – Matilda, gifted bookworm punishes bullying headmistress Ms Trunchball using the power of her mind. All you really need for this outfit is a giant book and a cheeky smile.

You'll need

  • A blue dress
  • Short socks
  • School shoes
  • A red ribbon
  • A big book

Top tips

  • If your child is too little to carry a big book around, they could wear a book bag instead.
  • If it’s chilly, add a plain cardigan fastened at the neck.
  • Optional extra: Pop a plastic newt (or lizard) and water in a clear plastic cup – the kind with the screw lid and straw is perfect.

Queen of Hearts Costume

For an idea with a little more wow factor, look no further than the Queen of Hearts from the classic tale of Alice in Wonderland. It takes a little more effort, but we think you’ll agree the result is worth it.

Queen of Hearts costume

You'll need

  • A red skirt (or dress)
  • Red tulle
  • Safety pin
  • Pack of playing cards
  • Ribbon
  • A crown

What to do

1. Attach the playing cards to the tulle with fabric glue. Once your child is wearing the skirt, wrap the tulle over the top and secure with a safety pin. You could also glue the cards directly onto the skirt, if you don’t mind donating it to the fancy dress box.

2. To make the belt, use the fabric glue again to stick the cards onto the ribbon in a row. Cover enough ribbon to wrap around your child’s waist, and leave enough spare to tie a bow at the back.

3. For extra wow, glue playing cards onto another length of ribbon to be worn as a collar.

4. For the finishing touch, add a crown. (You can jazz it up with tulle and cards if you like, but a simple toy crown will work fine).

Little Red Riding Hood costume

Fairytales provide easy inspiration for World Book Day. The tale of Little Red Riding Hood is a useful last-minute idea because you simply have to dress your child in red to create the desired effect.

Red Riding Hood costume

You'll need

  • A red dress and tights
  • Boots
  • Red ribbon
  • A basket

Top tips

  • Any red clothing will do – aim to have them wearing red from head to toe.
  • Any basket is fine too. Do you have an Easter basket lying around that you could use? Or you could fill a lunchbox with toy food.
  • Accessorise with a fluffy (beautiful wolfskin) coat!

Rosie Revere Engineer costume

Rosie Revere Engineer is an enjoyable read that may also inspire your child to take an interest in STEAM subjects. And we love Rosie's easy, breezy outfit. No white lab coats here. You can enjoy science and wear fun patterns, you know. Now that's inspiring.

Rosie Revere Engineer

You'll need

  • A red skirt or dress (preferably stripy)
  • A white top
  • A pair of tights
  • Red shoes
  • A red and white spotty scarf

Top tips

  • A plain red skirt or dress will work well, and so will black school shoes.
  • The easiest way to tie the scarf is in a bow.
  • They could use the book as a prop!