World Book Day is on Thursday 2 March in 2023, although many schools and nurseries may decide to celebrate it on Friday 3 March to round the school week off with some costumed fun. If you’re looking for easy, last-minute World Book Day costumes that are simple to put together but look fantastic, we’ve got a great selection for you right here.
Our no-sew costumes can be made using things you'll probably already have at home (or could quickly order online). We've even included ideas for re-purposing costumes you may already have – including pirate, witch and skeleton outfits, fairy and ballerina costumes and princess dresses.
And, of course, if your child really doesn't like dressing up, there are plenty of ideas for 'costumes' where the main character in the book wears regular, everyday clothes – so all your child will need to do is hold a prop or maybe just brandish a copy of the book.
For each of our World Book Day costume ideas, we've listed out what you'll need to create it, including props and clothes (and a link to buy the book, if you don't have it already). Plus, where we can, we’ve included a pic of a child in the costume, as shared by one of the brilliant parents in our Facebook community, so you can get an idea of the finished 'look' you're after.
Rather be the Mad Hatter? You can find a range of ready-made Alice in Wonderland-themed costumes for kids of varying ages on FancyDress.com.
Want to add Hedwig or a broomstick? We've 20 more Harry Potter costume ideas for kids
Buy The Snail and the Whale
Then your child could dress up as... 15. The witch from Room on the Broom: add a toy cat and a broomstick 17. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz: accessorise with green face paint and an evil cackle 18. The cover star of That's Not My...Witch: she has green hair, if you fancy having a go with some washable, spray-on hair dye. 19. The witch from The Witch's Vaccuum Cleaner: as long as your Hoover doesn't weigh a ton! 20. Madame Olympia from Which Witch?: add a spot of make-up to get her super-glam look
Buy That's not My... books
Want something even easier? Try this ready-made Cat in the Hat costume. We love the cute tail!
Buy The Cat in the Hat
Buy The Man on the Moon
Want to go a bit further with your Matilda costume ideas? We've some good suggestions
Buy Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
Buy The Fox and the Ghost King
Buy Riley Can Be Anything
Buy The Boy in the Dress
This is a great one for twins, siblings or friends...
Buy The Cat in the Hat
Buy Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
There are (at least) 2 options here because different editions of the book have different outfits for Mollie...
Buy The One Hundred and One Dalmations
Your child could dress up as: 78. Cinderella: glass slippers might be a stretch but you could accessorise with an inviation to the ball 79. The Princess And The Pea: scrunch up some green paper for a pea prop 80. The Princess And The Frog: accessorise wth a toy frog, if you have one 81. Little Princess: make her trademark big yellow pointy crown out of card
Buy Mona the Vampire and the Jackpot Disaster
Buy Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Buy The Tiger who Came to Tea
We've put together a how-to video for this papier mache Gruffalo mask, which is super-quick to make – although you'll need to remember to factor in some drying time.
We've put together a how-to for this easy-to-make papier mache lion mask.