How to Save Money Making a Book Character Costume

How to Save Money Making a Book Character Costume

Help your students and parents get a head start on their book character costume. Share helpful tips to save money on costumes for World Book Day or Halloween.

How to Save Money Making a Book Character Costume

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How to Make Book Character Costumes to Make at Home

March is a month of literature for children. It starts in the UK with World Book Day before International Read to Me Day and World Storytelling Day.

When I was a teacher-librarian, I coordinated a book character day event every year. Parents and students often saw it as an opportunity to dress up as a Disney character or a superhero with no focus on books.

I have to admit I was a bit of a stickler for the ‘book’ part of the Book Character Day! (I still am.) When the event became my responsibility, I banned costumes that made children think of a movie and asked the students to bring in the book with their costume. This encouraged many families to visit the library for book ideas and advice. I also asked for at least one handmade prop.

There were definitely a few disgruntled parents, but I explained they didn’t need to spend a penny on making a costume. Discussing their favourite books and characters at home helps children and parents think about a book character costumes to make at home. Once they decide on a character, all they have to do is have a rummage in everyone’s wardrobe for costume ideas. 

So many book characters are regular people but have something distinctive about them. So I requested students make a homemade prop. The prop didn’t have to be complicated just something that showed the essence of the character they had chosen. Over the years the Book Character Day became more about books and the costumes got more creative.

Tips to Save Money Making a Book Character Costume

  • Look to see what you already have at home.
  • Check through the clothes and accessories of all family members.
  • Use cereal boxes or other cardboard around the home to make elements of the costume.
  • Will makeup or face paint add to the costume? 
  • Can you incorporate any household objects into a prop?
  • Use a headband and add homemade ears.
  • Make a mask of an animal character.
  • Have a look at the costumes you already have at home. Can you adapt them?

To help you out when the time comes for you to create a child or adult costume I have collected some great ideas.

Book Character Costume Resources

Book Character Day Activities

Before you explore the costumes, I have made a pack of graphic organisers and bingo games you can use on or before your school’s book character day. Click on the images to see a full size preview.

Book Character Costume Ideas

Find a large paper bag or brown paper to become the Paper Bag Princess by Mama Papa Bubba.

If you have lots of fabric hanging around Seeker of Happiness shows how to become Strega Nona. Don’t forget some wool or yarn for the pot of pasta!

If you want something really simple, look no further than Creating Really Awesome Fun Things. This pigeon costume is so effective and could be adapted for other characters.

Blondie and Curls shows how some yellow sunglasses and paper make a stand out mask for The Lorax.

Hello Wonderful‘s Dragon Love Tacos costume is very eye catching. If you don’t have that much felt, use coloured paper or paint cardboard.

Pick an outfit from home and add fish. A simple but effective costume from Homemade for Elle.

Small Fry Blog show how you can adapt a plain white t-shirt to become a book character.

Another simple costume from The House That Lars Built. Make simple ears from fabric or paper and a large cookie!

Party Delights shows to make a witch outfit that can be used and adapted to for any witchy character.

The House That Lars Built uses matching tops and bottoms to make represent the crayons. Visit the website to see how to make the crayon hat.

World Book Day Books & Resources

The UNESCO celebration of World Book Day aims to promote a love of books, as well as providing millions of young children their own book. It is celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide. For more information visit the World Book Day website.

In Conclusion...

You can share your own costumes for World Book Day online using the hashtag #worldbookday. I would love to hear about any creative books costumes. Let me know in the comments below!

Find inspiration for teacher costumes at 18 of the Best Book Character Costumes For Teachers.

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