You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (2024)

A nightmare more terrifying than you can imagine…the party supply store on the eve of Halloween! The hordes of customers, the cries and screams of fitting-room meltdowns, flimsy costumes at horrifyingly high prices! Halloween can have a scary way of sneaking up on parents (and everyone else), but don’t pull the covers over your head yet. Your local library has all the tricks you need to ditch the pricey store-bought costumes and treat your kids to a good story too!

You don’t have to be a witch to get crafty and brew up your own costume at home. Here’s a list of several fantastic costumes, inspired by everyone’s favorite children’s book characters that you can create simply by using clothing and items from around the house.

For the more ambitious costume-creators, don’t forget that the library has dozens of books on costume-making while the Central Library’s Octavia Lab offers sewing machines and other creative machinery that you can use to really get crafty.

With a little creativity, here are some fun ideas to get you started!

You’ll be one cool cat in this easy costume. You’ll need a yellow shirt, blue pants, and red sneakers. Complete the look with some large groovy buttons (you can use colored paper in your favorite colors), cat ears fashioned to a headband and drawn-on whiskers. Me-wow!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (1)

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Litwin, Eric

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“A told B, and B told C, ‘I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree.’” This silly costume will have everyone learning their ABC’s. Start by wearing all brown, then make yourself a “coconut tree” hat by using a band of brown paper and lots of green paper leaves. Attach an alphabet of colorful paper or foam letters to your shirt and pants. Chicka Chicka... BOOM! BOOM!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (2)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Martin, Bill

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You’ll be pig-ture perfect in this adorable costume. Pair a simple red dress with a pair of black and white striped socks/tights. Pin a white collar (use can use a handkerchief) and black bow to the dress for a little extra flare. Fashion some pig ears to a headband and you’re ready to go!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (3)


Falconer, Ian

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All eyes will be on you with this creative costume! Collect random small objects from around your home (stickers, small plastic toys, playing cards, foam pieces, beads, buttons, pom-poms, whatever you can!) and attach it to the front of a t-shirt to form a wild collage. On the back of your shirt, write your riddle beginning with “I Spy…” and then list some items for other trick-or-treaters to find on the front of your shirt.

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (4)

I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles

Wick, Walter

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This costume couldn’t be any easier or more adorable. All you need is a pair of overalls, a white shirt, and tennis shoes! Fashion a pair of mouse ears on a headband, craft yourself a giant cookie and give yourself some drawn on whiskers—you’re ready for a treat!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (5)

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Numeroff, Laura Joffe

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This costume is perfectly stupendous! (that’s a fancy word for very impressive). Get a fancy dress and all your most glamorous and superb (that’s a fancy word for excellent) accessories; sunglasses, hairbows, feathered boa, jewelry, ribbons, a crown, purse and some pretty shoes. As Nancy would say, “Oh, la, la!”

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (6)

Fancy Nancy

O'Connor, Jane

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A classic costume that will have everyone excited to find you at their Halloween party. The trick is to find a shirt with red and white stripes. If you don’t have one, consider making one using red duct tape on a white shirt. Add a pair of round glasses, blue jeans and wait… where’d you go?

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (7)

Where's Waldo?

Handford, Martin

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In this silly story, Camilla Cream comes down with a “bad case of the stripes” after trying to hide who she really is. You can get your own bad case by using face paint to give yourself colorful stripes on your face and hands. Consider adding colorful stripes to the sleeves of a white long-sleeve shirt to give the impression of having colorful arms too. Don’t forget a thermometer!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (8)

A Bad Case of Stripes

Shannon, David

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Here’s a costume easily done, it’s also quite a lot of fun. Make the Cat in the Hat’s signature headwear out of red and white paper. Dress up a long-sleeved black t-shirt with a red bow and add white fabric for your stomach. Draw on some whiskers and wear a pair of white gloves, if you have them. Now you’re ready to go play, enjoy yourself a Halloween Day!

You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (9)

The Cat in the Hat

Seuss, Dr.

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You Can DIY: Book-Inspired Kids’ Costumes for Halloween (2024)


What is the easiest World book Day costume? ›

10 easy and no sewing costume ideas for World Book Day
  • Where's Wally (or Wenda)
  • Harry Potter.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
  • Winnie the Witch or Room on the Broom.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Matilda.
  • Angelina Ballerina.
  • Alice in Wonderland.
Mar 7, 2024

How to go to Halloween without a costume? ›

7 ways to celebrate Halloween without wearing a costume
  1. Let your fave character inspire your outfit. ...
  2. Add a festive hair scarf or headband to your outfit. ...
  3. Add a pop of orange to your outfit. ...
  4. DIY (or buy) a Halloween statement necklace. ...
  5. Wear a pumpkin sweater. ...
  6. Spice up your nail art. ...
  7. Experiment with bold lipstick or eyeliner.

Can you make a costume out of paper? ›

There are quite a few fabulous costumes made from—you guessed it, paper! Whether you are looking for inspiration for a Halloween costume for yourself or your kids you will find some great tips and ideas in the following list.

What is book character dress up day? ›

Book Character Day is celebrated every year on October 31st. Students, teachers, librarians, and book fans can bring their favorite characters to life. Schools across the country celebrate by inviting staff and students to dress up as their favorite characters.

What is the most easiest Halloween costume? ›

127 Last-Minute Costume Ideas That Are Boo-Tifully Easy
  • 102. Lydia from Beetlejuice: ...
  • 103. Log Lady from Twin Peaks: ...
  • 104. Netflix and/or Chill: ...
  • 105. A birthday gift bag: ...
  • 106. A piñata: ...
  • 107. Garth from Wayne's World: ...
  • 108. A cactus: ...
  • 109. A crayon:
May 25, 2024

What should I wear for World Book Day if I don t have a costume? ›

Wear a plain dress, cardigan, glasses, and carry a book. A blue dress and white tights is a good option for this if you have them.

Who can I dress up as on World Book Day? ›

World Book Day Costumes
  • Peter Rabbit Costume. Based on Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. ...
  • Violet Beauregarde Costume. ...
  • Gangsta Granny Costume. ...
  • Miss Trunchbull Costume. ...
  • Dalmatian Costume. ...
  • The BFG Costume. ...
  • Newt Scamander costume. ...
  • Queen of Hearts Fairytale Fancy Dress Costume.
Jan 17, 2024

What's the scariest thing to dress up as for Halloween? ›

Scare everyone as the murderous Michael Myers from the Halloween movies — a mask that can truly never be forgotten. It's a full, over-the-head mask, so you'll be completely disguised.

What to do if I don't have a Halloween costume? ›

Skeleton DIY Halloween Costume

Grab a long-sleeve black shirt and a pair of black sweatpants. Then, cut or tear a piece of duct tape the length of a bone and place it on the clothing items. Draw the bone shape on top of the duct tape, peel the tape off and place it flat onto the cutting mat.

What to wear for Halloween if you hate Halloween? ›

Halloween, more like Hassle-ween
  • Skeleton dress. Sometimes you just can't go wrong with a classic. ...
  • Catwoman. If you're not really feeling a costume, maybe a simple (ish) makeup look, is the best option for you. ...
  • Leopard print bodysuit. Not quite as easy as a cat, but almost there. ...
  • Clueless style skirt. ...
  • Rainbow.

How to make a toilet paper Halloween costume? ›

Toilet Paper Costume
  1. Step 1: What You Need. Two packs of foam sheets, 24" x 96" x 1" They cost about $15 each. ...
  2. Step 2: Perforation. Draw the perforation with the marker on the foam like real toilet paper.
  3. Step 3: Roll It Up and Velcro It. ...
  4. Step 4: Tuck Your Clothes in and Go.

Which story book character never aged? ›

Dorian Gray, fictional character, the hedonistic protagonist of Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). He exchanges his soul for youth that never fades.

Is there a book with only one character? ›

Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, for most of the book, has only one character, and it's one of the classic elementary/middle school reading books. Cast Away features Tom Hanks stuck on an island for four years by himself. If you're feeling up for a challenge, writing a story featuring one character is a great exercise.

Who to dress up as for World Book Day? ›

Let your child celebrate the joy of reading with book characters such as Where's Wally, Horrid Henry and Harry Potter. We also have best-selling kids World Book Day costumes that range from Matilda and Alice in Wonderland, to crime fighting favourites like Batman, Spiderman and Captain America.

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