10 last minute (and cheap) costumes for World Book Day


There are many simple and inexpensive costume ideas for World Book Day. Save your money as it doesn’t have to cost anything and can be easily put together at the last minute.

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I was one of those kids who seemed to be doing anything at the last minute. I didn’t do it on purpose, but somehow I lost letters to the bottom of my school bag and presented them to my mother at 7pm on a Sunday evening. She then spent the next hour making the most of the parts we had at home.

I’m sure she would have appreciated more time, but it was never about money.

For a costume, we wouldn’t go to the store to buy something, but we would find something we already owned and use it for other purposes.

It’s easy enough to prepare a costume for a School Theme Day or World Book Day.

It doesn’t have to cost anything and can be easily put together at the last minute.

World Book Day 2021

World Book Day takes place on Thursday, March 4th, 2021.

Many schools suggest that children dress up to get involved – which can be seen as a real headache.

Don’t forget that your child should receive a voucher to pick up a free book for World Book Day. So you can redeem it too.

Last minute cheap costume ideas for World Book Day

Check out some of these ideas … and browse the back of your closet.

“That must be a simply huge wardrobe! ‘Thought Lucy and went even further into …”
– CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

1. Gangsta grandma

Do you have a granny-style top (or could you borrow one)? Pair it with a black shirt and bandit eye mask.

You don’t need a gray wig, but do you have talcum powder? Then fill a sack or a hessian bag with screwed paper.

“All you can do in this life is follow your dreams. Otherwise you are just wasting your time. “
– David Walliams, gangsta grandma

2. Room on a broom

A story about witches.

Do you have any leftover Halloween costumes? Get a dress and a witch hat, finish off the costume with a pigtail and a cuddly toy cat.

“The witch had a cat and a very tall hat and long ginger hair that she wore in a braid.”
– Julia Donaldson, room on a broomstick

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

An oompa-loompa might be a stretch, but it’s super easy to dress up as Charlie Bucket.

You will need school pants, a blue sweater and a bar of chocolate. Are you feeling a little smart? Make your own golden ticket too.

“Oh, books, what books did you know before, these children who lived a long time ago! So please, oh please, we ask, we pray, throw away your television and in its place you can install a nice bookcase on the wall. “
– Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

4. Polar Express

Nothing special here.

A simple costume that just needs PJs and a bathrobe.

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we cannot see.”
– Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express

5. Harry and the bucket full of dinosaurs

Carry everything and grab a bucket from your recent trip to the beach and some plastic dinosaurs.

“One, two, three, jump Harry!”
– Ian Whybrow, Harry and the bucket full of dinosaurs

6. 101 Dalmations

Don’t walk like everyone else but it might work if you dress up as a dog.

Do you have a “white” t-shirt that has seen better days? Instead of trying to bring it back to its original brightness, use it again and just stain it in a few black spots.

“Like many other popular people, they believed they owned their dogs instead of realizing that their dogs owned them.”
– Dodie Smith, The 101 Dalmatians

7. Matilda

Matilda is wearing a blue dress, has a red ribbon and some books.

“We have a nice TV with a 12-inch screen and now you’re asking for a book! You will be spoiled my girl! “
– Roald Dahl, Matilda

8. Harry Potter

Harry is a character that is easy to disguise.

Take a pair of glasses frames, some kind of cloak, a magic wand and draw on a scar.

“Of course it happens in your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it’s not real?”
– JK Rowling, The Deathly Hallows

9. Oliver Twist

Time to take out the too small clothes. Cut the pants off and poke a few holes in the top.

If you have a bit of dirt on them it will look a lot better – the kids will love to help with that bit!

“Please, sir, I want more.”
– Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

10. Tintin

Tintin is wearing a blue sweater and trousers. Have a white teddy bear and be sure to gel the hair big.

“Hurray! Hurray! The end of the world has been postponed!”
– Hergé, the shooting star

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