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World Book Day: Cheap Costume Ideas

A new world is behind every book cover. A watery escape full of sea creatures, a land full of magic or children solving mysteries, there is so much to find! World Book Day’s mission is “to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own.” World Book Day is celebrated in over 1000 countries globally and many celebrate by dressing up in their favourite Character. While this is a great way to raise money for such a worthy cause, there is a lot of pressure on parents and guardians to create or buy an amazing costume.

Currently, we are experiencing a cost of living crisis and for a lot of people, a new costume will bring dread.

How much will it cost?

I can’t afford a new costume but will my child be judged?

How can I create an outfit for next to nothing?

Is It worth it?

Cheap World Book Day Costume Ideas

There are ways to cut the costs or altogether remove the cost of a costume. You can create costumes from clothes in your child’s wardrobe and a little bit of creativity. Check out some of our ideas below.

1. Green Eggs and Ham – Dr Seuss (Thing 1/2 or Cat in the Hat)

What you’ll need:

  • A red or black t-shirt
  • A red pen/paint
  • Sellotape or glue
  • A piece of paper

Thing 1 or 2

If you choose the red t-shirt, cut out a circle of white paper and write thing 1 or thing 2 on it and then secure the paper to the t-shirt with washable glue or Sellotape.

Cat in the hat

If you choose the black t-shirt, take a piece of white paper, and create a bow shape. You will now need to colour the bow red. This can be with a red pen or with paint. Once dry, glue or Sellotape the paper to the t-shirt.

2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roahl Dahl (Charlie Bucket)

What you’ll need:

  • Trousers
  • A button shirt
  • A piece of paper
  • Gold paint/pen
  • scissors
  • A pen

For this costume, the only DIY you need to do is create the below ticket shape. Once the cut-out, colour the paper gold and write “ticket” on it. That is it!

3. Billionaire Boy – David Walliams (Billionaire Boy)

What you’ll need:

  • Jeans/trousers
  • A white t-shirt
  • Monopoly Money
  • Sellotape or glue
  • (Or paper, scissors, and a green pen)

Another easy costume. Simply glue or stick the money (either monopoly or handmade) onto the white t-shirt.

If you need to make the money create note-shaped rectangles from plain paper and draw a pound note

4. One of The Midnight Gang

What you’ll need:

  • PJs
  • Pillow
  • Balloon (optional)

This costume is very simple and you should have the two necessary items already.

World Book Day – dress up recourses 

A little reminder this World Book Day

While it is always nice to dress your children up in costume, it shouldn’t come at the expense of breaking the bank. The most important thing is that your child is learning that reading is full of joy. Consider your fellow parents and how they may feel if their costume is compared to an expensive one.

Alternatively, why not bring in your favourite book rather than dressing up? A free alternative that can open up a conversation between the children as to what their favourite book is about.

Ultimately, the main aim of World Book Day is to inspire children and invoke the love of reading in every child, regardless of their background or situation. So while we enjoy the day, remember that it isn’t about who has the best costume but about beginning the conversation.


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