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Annual Book Week parade coming up? We’ve got you with these 16 Book Week costumes you can easily make at home.

It’s that time of the year again: Book Week parade. The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s annual book week to celebrate books and the importance of reading has become a rite of passage for many school students.

Schools will often hold a Book Week parade, encouraging students to dress as the favourite characters from their favourite books. It’s great fun for the kids, but for a non-crafty, non-creative mum, can become quite a bit of a headache—especially if it all needs to be done the night before (ahem, not speaking from personal experience here, of course).

Need some Book Week costume ideas? We’re here to help.

Relevant: 5 secret weapons that will convert any child who hates reading

Book Week 2024

Your child will be encouraged to come in their favourite book characters for Book Week parade. However, if you’re struggling with ideas, you certainly can’t go astray with dressing to the theme.

This year’s theme is “Reading is magic” and will happen from August 17 to 23. It’s a celebration of stories and their amazing power to transport minds. “The magic of reading also lies in its power of enticement; a good story provokes conversations. Talking about the stories with others connects the reader with other readers. Wrapped around all of this are the ‘tricks’ and skills of our amazing writers and illustrators, as they use all their powers of language and illustration to engage the reader in this world they are building.”

20 easy Book Week costume ideas

Ready to raid the op shop, the back of your wardrobe or become friends with the craft box? Here are 20 of the easiest costumes we found on the internet that you can easily replicate at home.

Want more ideas? Check out our Book Week costumes Pinterest board!

Alice in Wonderland costume ideas

Being in Wonderland is probably the most out-of-this-world experience you can have and it’s a story that has captured many a little one’s imagination for years. Alice may be the main character in the book, but don’t overlook the others when it comes to easy Book Week costumes.

1. Mad Hatter

The key to this Mad Hatter costume is a tall hat. Once you have that, it’s simply a matter of chaining spools of colourful thread together (hello, Spotlight), odd socks and ribbon remnants. You can make it more elaborate with a glued-together tea cup and saucer, and fancy cuffs and ribbons, but we won’t tell if you don’t.

Mad Hatter Book Week costume idea
(Source: Kimberly Irvine)

2. The Cheshire Cat

The trickiest thing about this costume is probably trying to wrangle craft wire to form the shape for the cat’s ears. Other than that, it’s a simple matter of finding purple clothes, feather boa and making a giant grin out of cardboard. With these, the Cheshire Cat can truly disappear, leaving just its smile behind.

Cheshire Cat book week costumes

(Source: Overstuffed Life)

3. Giant Alice

For a slightly less traditional take on Alice, why not recreate the scene of her growing out of White Rabbit’s house? All you need is a cardboard box and some paint or felt-tip pens.

Alice in a house book week costume
(Source: Simply Create Inspire)

Where the Wild Things Are costume ideas

There are two ways you can swing this costume idea: With a brown paper bag or matching hoodie and track pants.

Wild-things-book-week-costume
(Source: Red Ted Art)
where-the-wild-things-are-costume-idea
(Source: Play & Learn Every Day)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar costume ideas

This is a perfect last minute Book Week costume. The main challenge you’ll have is finding papers or cardboard in the correct colours, but once you do, we’re fairly confident you’ll have a costume in no time.

the-very-hungry-caterpillar-book-week-costume
(Source: Keep Calm Get Organised)

The Wizard of Oz costume ideas

Sure, everybody knows about Dorothy but it can be difficult finding the right costume if you don’t happen to have a blue pinafore handy (unless you repurpose their school uniform . . . now, that’s an idea).

Want more ideas? Check out our Book Week costumes Pinterest board!

Don’t overlook Tin Man and Scarecrow, which can be much easier Book Week costumes.

Tin Man Costume
(Source: This Sweet Happy Life)
scarecrow costume
(Source: Maple Leaf Mommy)

Thelma the Unicorn

This cute story about being happy with the way you look is now an animated movie and we’re sure there will be a few little people interested in dressing up as a unicorn. The most challenging thing about this costume would be fashioning a unicorn horn from cardboard. Of course, you can always add wigs (for the tail and hair) and sparkly cardboard (for the hooves) for dramatic flair, but we are going for easy here, guys.

Thelma the Unicorn costume idea
(Source: Adam Peacock)
Thelma the unicorn costume idea
(Source: Bubble and Sweet)

The Day the Crayons Quit costume ideas

A bit of colour coordination (and cardboard) is all you need for this Book Week costume.

the day the crayons quit costume
(Source: The House that Lars Built)

The Gruffalo costume ideas

While there may be no such thing as a Gruffalo, kids around the world will of course tell you otherwise. Now, you could go all out and dress your child in big brown furry suit with a headpiece, or you can DIY a face mask and find whatever brown clothes your kid happen to have.

gruffalo costume
(Source: Oh Creative Day)

The Chronicles of Narnia costume ideas

There are so many Book Week costumes that can come out of this well-loved series, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is pick a character.

Want more ideas? Check out our Book Week costumes Pinterest board!

Brown pants, beige top, bright red scarf and some cardboard horns are really all you need to rock Mr Tumnus.

narnia costume idea
(Source: Tikkado)

Forget Elsa and Hans and opt for the original cold villain, the White Witch.

narnia costume idea white witch
(Source: Brookfield Primary School)

With plenty of lion mask tutorials, an Aslan Book Week costume would also be pretty easy to create.

narnia-lion-costume
(Source: Barley & Birch)

Oi Frog and Friends Book Week costumes

From Oi Frog! to Oi Aardvark!, the Oi Frog and Friends series of books have been enormously successful. Over 1.5 million copies have been sold and it’s even been adapted into a theatre show. Even better, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to Book Week costumes.

1. Oi Frog

It’s amazing what some felt pieces, papier-mâché eyes, face paint and an outfit in matching green can transform into. The trickiest bit might be making the frog eye headband so here’s a simple paper version.

(Source: Laura Thom)

2. Oi Dog!

You’d probably need some basic sewing skills to attach the dog’s “fur” to the back of your child’s T-shirt, but the good news is, they don’t need to be that precise to make an impact. Bonus points for including the frog!

(Source: Rochelle Lewis)

The Little Mermaid and friends outfit

There is an entire range of costume ideas to glean from the story of the little mermaid, from Ursula, the villainous sea witch to Ariel’s best friend, Flounder. While there are far more fantastic mermaid outfits out there, complete with a fin that can be repositioned, we decided to stick with a simple minimal-sewing-required project.

(Source: The Chirping Moms)

Looking for a new book for your book worm? Here are some ideas:

Share your Book Week costumes with us

Do you have a great Book Week costume? Our Mums At The Table community would love to see it. Tag us on the socials so we can share it with everyone!

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