20 World Book Day Kids Costumes: Which One Is Perfect For YOUR Child?

World Book Day is fast approaching! Are you ready with great world book day kids costumes for the upcoming dress up day at school or daycare? We’ve got you covered!

To Buy or To DIY?

World Book Day Kids Costumes - 10 To DIY, 10 To Just Buy

Not all Moms and Dads are into “DIYing” a dress up costume for a dress up day at school.  Maybe that’s just not their thing, maybe they have no time for it, or maybe the costume “went wrong” last year… or maybe they just prefer the simplicity of ordering a fun costume and being done with the challenge. Their child will look great, be easily identifiable, and they’ll have something fun for the dress up box for months to come.

But some parents really get a kick out of creating a unique and home made costume for their kids for dress up days at school. World Book Day kids costumes can be pretty much any book character from any genre – the options are limitless! You can DIY something super simple, or go really crafty and extravagant!

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Let’s take a look in this post at 10 awesome DIY ideas, and 10 super-popular world book day kids costumes you can quickly order online for a great price.


10 World Book Day Kids Costumes You Can DIY!


All of the following are costumes that amazing Moms (or other caregivers) have made for their children. Each idea can be clicked to see the instructions for how to make that costume.


World Book Day Kids Costumes: DIY or Buy?Fantastic Mr. Fox

Idea at theguardian.com

You may just have most of these items already in your boy’s closet! A jacket, vest, tie and dress shirt… all you need is some face paint!




World Book Day Kids Costumes - DIY or Buy? Lots of options here.Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

Idea from theguardian.com

Want a super simple DIY? Other than making a big cutout head in the expression of your choice and pasting it on a big ruler, have your child wear white and black and you’re all set. Instructions for the face in the link!



The Rainbow Fish - World Book Day Kids CostumesThe Rainbow Fish

Idea from Here Come The Girls Blog

Isn’t this simply beautiful? All you need is some felt, an old t-shirt, a headband, some streamers, and some simple sewing skills. Super cute!




Norman The Slug - World Book Day Kids CostumesNorman The Slug With The Silly Shell

Costume idea by ZingZingTree

Norman wants to have a silly shell, and be different… if you make your child a sweet costumes like this one, your child will be unique AND cause a lot of laughs!  Book by Sue Hendra – it’s really cute!



World Book Day Kids Costumes - lots of ideas including "The Day The Crayons Quit" at www.kidslovedressup.comThe Day The Crayons Quit 

Costume tutorial here at The House That Lars Built

This is such a fun book! It tells the story of crayons – in their voices – who have simply had enough! Simple DIY costume, with lots of potential for groups or families.



Max, from Where The Wild Things Are.

DIY costume tutorial here at PlayLearnEveryDay.com

How adorable would your son look dressed up as Max, from a childhood favorite “Where the Wild Things Are”, by Maurice Sendak? You’d likely have most of the supplies to create this amazing costume already at your house!



World Book Day Kids Costume Ideas!One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!

A DIY Dr. Seuss costume idea by Homemade For Elle

This one is a seriously easy costume, especially if your child has a yellow shirt, outfit, or sundress… all you need is construction paper, googly eyes, and some safety pins and your child’s Book Costume will be a snap! Great for Dr. Seuss Days, World Book Day dress ups, and more!




I Spy Costume for World Book Day Kids Dress Up!

I Spy! Costume. Idea by Tpcraft.com

Have an “I Spy” book fan in the house? Why not make a fun and super interesting shirt with all sorts of “I Spy” items glued onto the front, and the “list” written on the back? Fun to make together!





Fancy Nancy Costume for World Book DayFancy Nancy – costume idea at FiveBrothersOneSister

Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser are a huge hit with pretty much any and every little girl who loves Princesses and pretty things and going “over the top” pretty with scarves, tutus, jewelry, tiaras and more girly stuff. Just raid your dress up box for as much glittery, fancy stuff, and deck her out… and she’ll be all set for the Book Day Parade!



World Book Day Kids Costumes - Stick Man ideaStick Man – idea at theguardian.com

The story Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson, is a really cute rhyming story of a stick man who gets separated from his family, and the journey he goes on to get back to them. (Spoiler alert: Santa returns him, in the nick of time.) This costume can be made from several old boxes, ping pong balls, some black markers, and lots of tape. Fun, isn’t it?





10 World Book Day Kids Costumes You Can Just Buy!

Snow White Costume!

Long before Disney made the Snow White feature film, Snow White was a well-loved story. A book… yes, a book that your little Princess lover can use for inspiration for her World Book Character dress up day.

This is the “ReliBeauty” Snow White outfit – available on Amazon.com (click the pic for details). Your little princess will get a LOT of use out of this gown LONG past World Book Day!

Click the picture to see details!


Captain Hook Costume for World Book Day

Captain Hook Costume

Captain James Hook- the villain in Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie

If you and/or your boy aren’t into “Super Hero” dress up, but you want a cook outfit for his World Book Day costume, why not go with the coolest villain of them all, Captain James Hook? Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock… time’s running out to grab this one!

There are multiple sizes, and accessories sold separately.

Click the picture to see details!


World Book Day Kids Costumes - Wizard of OzThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The classic story by L. Frank Baum has captured the imagination of children from many generations. This wizard costume will be fun to wear and to dress up in for lots of different occasions, including World Book Day! There are several other Wizard of Oz costumes of friends or siblings if you want to make a set!

Click the picture to see details!




The Indian In The Cupboard

The Indian In The Cupboard is a book (with sequels) by Lynne Reid Banks about a boy named Omri who discovers that he has a magical cupboard that can bring toys to life. Omri unawares brings Little Bear to life, and the two have many interesting experiences together. Many schools have this book on the curriculum in middle grades, so it may be a book your son has read or will be reading soon!

This Native American Indian costume can be used for many different dress up days!

Click the picture to see details!


World Book Day Kids Costumes - Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland costumes for kids that could be used for World Book Day!  The Queen of Hearts is such an interesting character – and the costumes for her will be MUCH enjoyed by girls who love dressing up as princesses!

This Queen of Hearts costume has a near-perfect customer rating (4.8/5 stars).

Click the picture to see details!


World Book Day Kids Costume - Hermione Robe

Hermione – Harry Potter

There are very few kids who haven’t been enthralled by Harry, Hermione, Ron, and all of the other fabulous characters in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. With this awesome robe and costume, your child can join in the Hogwarts imaginative fun on World Book Day!

Click the picture to see details!



The Big Bad Wolf - Such a fun idea for a World Book Day Kids Costume! The Big Bad Wolf!

Is your child a fan of “The Three Little Pigs” or “Little Red Riding Hood”? If so, why not order this comfy/plush wolf costume? It’s the perfect choice, because it’s both “scary” enough to be cool, but “cute” enough to not be gruesome or “really” scary for other kids.

AND this purchase is one of those costumes that will be perfect to toss in the dress up box – animal costumes like these get a lot of play time!

Click the picture to see details!


Robin Hood - World Book Day Kids Costumes

Robin Hood

The story of Robin Hood and his merry men, of Maid Marian and the Sheriff of Nottingham, of Little John and Prince John, is one that holds appeal for many, many children (and adults). The fight between the rich and the poor, for justice, and the story of Robin Hood is rightly so a classic.

This costume comes with the tunic and hood, and the boot covers – no pants or accessories included. Still, it’s great value for your money, and your child can reuse these for Medieval dress up day at school, for Robin Hood plays, and more!

Click the picture to see details!


Where’s Waldo?

Everyone’s favorite Search & Find book character can be a favorite Book Week or World Book Day dress up idea! It’s a simple costume – include the iconic red and white striped shirt & hat, as well as his circular glasses (just the frames, no lenses). Your child will have fun attempting to blend into his surroundings as well as possible dressed up like Waldo!

(By the way, if you have a daughter who likes these books, this costuem will totally also work for Wendy, Waldo’s girlfriend. Just wear a jean skirt and you’ll be all set!)

Click the picture to see details.


Lady Bug Girl!

The Lady Bug Girl Books are fantastic books for little girls who love to play outside and use their HUGE imaginations! If your daughter loves these books, this set of accessories (worn over a white shirt and black leggings) would be a fantastic idea!

I’m guessing you’ll be seeing your own little Lady Bug Girl a LOT more than just on World Book Day!

Click the picture to see details!



It’s my hope that you found the answer to your costume conundrum up above in the 10 DIY or 10 BUY World Book Day Kids Costumes shared! Which one did you pick? Or what other awesome idea have you come up with?

Please share below… I’d love to hear from you what costume you ended up going with for your kiddos!

If you want a few other ideas, check out  the following:



28 thoughts on “20 World Book Day Kids Costumes: Which One Is Perfect For YOUR Child?

  1. Beth January 23, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I love all the costumes, but my favorites are the DIY. These are all so clever. The Rainbow Fish is adorable.

    I especially like the literary tie-ins. Children will love portraying their favorite characters.

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

      I love Book Character dress up… and yes, the Rainbow Fish one is beautiful, isn’t it? The colors are so vibrant! My style is more the “One Fish Two Fish” costume though LOL – I’m no sewer, unfortunately.
      Thanks for chiming in!

  2. David January 23, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    These are wonderful ideas. I particularly like the costumes that kids can make with their parents. The activity can create great bonding time between a parent and child. It also develops their creative skills. Best of all, it gets them off their computers or handheld devices. Thanks for sharing. Do you have any ideas for a 14 year old that is more mature?

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks, David! It’s definitely fun to work together on something creative with your kids! And yes, I am all in agreement about getting kids away from screens and doing creative stuff (case in point, my website topic LOL).
      Ideas for a 14 year old… how about Katniss from The Hunger Games? Or Gandalf from LOTR (making a beard, staff, pointed hat, robe…)? The cardboard tree costume idea can be adapted to the Ents in LOTR as well. If they don’t like those, Pinterest is an awesome resource for ideas! Good luck!

  3. Demi January 24, 2017 at 2:30 am

    These costumes seems so much fun and enjoyment. I would love to see my 8 months old baby in robin hood costume. Do you think costumes are available for babies or I need to make one?

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Hmm… great question, Demi! I found this Robin Hood Onesie for you… not quite a full costume though. Cheers!

  4. Simon January 24, 2017 at 3:36 am

    Hi there,

    There are some great ideas in this post, except I wouldn’t be creative enough to make some of them! Where’s Waldo is a classic though… do you have a favorite?

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Simon,
      Thanks for chiming in! I know what you mean about the “creative” stuff – it’s not me either.
      My favorites are “The Big Bad Wolf” costume for the “Buy” and the “Fancy Nancy” idea or the “DIY”. Simply because that’s where my own kiddos are at right now, and I could see myself actually ordering and making/putting together both of them this year. Easy, and super cute.
      Have a great day!

  5. Tar January 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Hello Marlaine,

    I am just wondering as to whether comic franchise films influence a lot of kids who love to dress up superhero characters like Iron Man and Captain America. I would love to see more who opt for Where’s Waldo and Robin Hood. Back in the days when I was young, my cousins and I dressed up as Power Ranger. Me as the blue one. Good times! Anyways, my pick here would be Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I do not think we have seen that a lot to be honest.

    • Marlaine January 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Hi Tar,

      I know what you mean about the comic franchises being a big influencer. Disney too. Book Days are so often now “Movie Character Days” or “Comic Character Days”. Not sure what I think of that. I’m a former teacher, so in many ways I don’t love it… unless of course, the child has actually sat down and READ the book from the movie (i.e., Snow White), or has spent time reading Captain America comics. But then again, I know getting costumes together can be a hassle for parents, so if they can get double use out of a Halloween costume, great!

      I appreciate your taking the time to comment!

  6. Ronnie Jordan January 24, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    This is to cool. My grand kids would eat this up. I never thought about nothing but going to Wal-Mart or something. Their costumes don’t even come close to competing to what you are displaying here. Thanks for giving me another angle. Do they make these in all aspects of costumes such as Disney, DC Comics and so?

  7. Britni January 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Love this site! I’m going to have to follow you on pinterest!!!

    I have a 4 year old that loves to dress up but she gets board really quick. So, shes always wanting some different. Plus she’s so tiny that most costumes are to big for her. So, It would actually be great to just make her some costumes. She also started school this year for the first time and let me tel you, I feel like we have to make costumes all the time. I’ll defiantly have to keep a look out for new ideas and your stuff for my little one. This is awesome.

    • Marlaine January 25, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Welcome, Britni! Glad you enjoyed your first visit… would love to see you back! 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      I have a near-four year old girl too – it’s such a fun age for dress up play, isn’t it? Their minds are so creative once you get them started (which for my daughter is key)!

  8. Roman January 28, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Hello Marlaine,

    These are some cute and interesting dress-up costumes you have up here! They have to be fun to wear for children. 🙂

    My personal favorites is the Robin Hood for boys and the Queen of Hearts for girls. Because I watch a TV show and played a video game that sorta looks related to Robin Hood and Queen of Hearts. 🙂

    Now, I’ve looked through your website a little already. I disclosed I am not a parent yet, so I have little knowledge of what you know. So… I have a couple questions question. What is World Book Day? Also, what is DIY?

    Thanks for the info!

    Roman Rys

    • Marlaine January 30, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Hi Roman,

      Thanks for taking the time to connect! Hope you enjoyed browsing around! To answer your questions, World Book Day is an international celebration of books! In North America and many other places it is celebrated on April 23rd annually, but in the UK it is the 1st Thursday in March.

      DIY stands for “Do It Yourself” 🙂 There any many very crafty and creative people who love to sew or cut/paste or build things from scratch, or repurpose items into new things. These are normally called “DIY’s”.

      Hope that helps! Have a great day!


  9. Peter February 14, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    It’s amazing how many DIY projects you can find online now and I think you’ve found and compiled some really awesome looking costumes. I can’t imagine a kid appreciating anything more than you creating a costume for them. I thought the diary of a wimpy kid was really funny and entertaining. But if I was a kid, I’d probably want to go with the iSpy or Fantastic Mr. Fox costume. What do you prefer.. DIY or buying the costume as is?

    • Marlaine February 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      My wallet definitely prefers DIY, but my non-creative side prefers just buying LOL. How’s that for the honest truth LOL? Thanks for connecting with me, Peter! I agree that there are some amazing DIY costumes out there!

  10. Ashley February 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    I really love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid costume! I’m definitely going to use that for my daughter’s next dress up day 🙂 I often make her costumes for plays, spirit days, and other occasions for school. I’d love to see more of your favorite DIY costumes! I mostly use hot glue to assemble costumes, as I don’t have an abundance of sewing skills. Do you have any tips for the basics of sewing?

    • Marlaine February 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Ashley,
      Kind of embarrassing to admit, but I can’t sew and I’m not overly creative either LOL. I’m probably more a “find a cool costume at a thrift store” or “make one out of what we already HAVE in the dress up box” kind of Mom! My kids aren’t in school yet though, so I think I’ll have to tuck that hot glue gun idea in the back of my mind… I KNOW I’ll have to make a wack of costumes in the future! While buying on occasion is a-ok, if your school has as many dress up days as my kids’ future school does (so I’ve heard), I’ll go broke if I don’t learn to DIY more! 🙂 Check out 25 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes For Kids for more cute ideas I’ve found!
      Have a lovely day, Ashley!

  11. Ethan February 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Wow, Marlaine. I love the ideas you put out here. My wife and I don’t have any kids yet, but I’m excited to see what things we’ll be able to do for costumes. Thanks so much for the fun ideas.
    What would you say is the costume you’re most proud of making yourself?

    • Marlaine February 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Ethan, thanks for commenting! Dressing up is always fun, whether you’re dressing your kids, your pets, or yourself! 🙂
      My favorite DIY costume is actually a medieval Nun costume I made myself for a medieval feast I held during my years as an elementary school teacher. It was pretty great LOL. My personal DIY style is more putting random pieces together to make an amazing costume than sewing though (I never learned how).
      Have a great day!

  12. Jen February 20, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    OH my goodness this site is so much fun!! I’m having a blast looking around… so one may have to pry me off my laptop… so many adorable ideas. My nieces and nephews would love some of these… or all of these. 🙂 As they have told me, dress up isn’t just for Halloween! I’m so glad I found this site, It’s going on my favorites bar right now. Thanks a ton

    • Marlaine February 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Awesome Jen! Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

  13. Owain February 20, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the great advice and pictures showing what us parents can do to DIY costumes, and also the paid ones if we don’t have time. I wondered whether I am late to the ‘party’. Just when is World Book Day? With so many days of the year dedicated to so many things it is diffficult to keep up with what’s going on.

    • Marlaine February 20, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Owain,
      Actually, you’re not late, I’m just EARLY to the party… World Book Day is usually April 23rd, with the exception of the UK, which celebrates it on the third Thursday in March. 🙂 Still plenty of time to prep some awesome dress up ideas!
      All the best with it!

  14. Kate February 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Hi! I have never heard of World Book Day. When is it? Is this something that is celebrated in the schools in Australia?

    • Marlaine February 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Hi Kate,
      World Book Day is commonly celebrated April 23rd (UK celebrates it the third Thursday in April). Many schools around the world do celebrate it, but I’m not certain about Australia, sorry! Some schools I know do a Book Week that week and do all sorts of fun activities related to encouraging reading, with a book character dress up day being one of the ways they have fun with it.
      Have a great day!

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