It is that time of year again! Some schools will have already sent home a letter to parents/carers informing them that their child can dress up for the annual world book day event. They make this sound super exciting! Of course this is fun for a child. They get to dress up as their favourite character for the day but for us parents... it is nothing more than stress, money and effort that we dont need to spend!
I can hand sew comfortably and i am lucky that i can knock together something on a tight budget but i hate to spend money on something that will be worn once and forgotten about. Here is 10 of my favorite handmade costumes and some handy tips for keeping the costs down.
Tip 1 - Use a Onesie.
Most kids own a onesie. They are my go to costume when little K needs something for a play or for world book day. Why? Because its reusable, both for costumes and for around the home.
My example: For Christmas last year little K needed to dress as a bear for the Christmas play. I picked up a polar bear onesie in Asda for £11 which was thick and fleecy. It was perfect for her play and kept her warm during the cold weather. As it still fits here now she could wear it for world book day and be the character from the children s film The Bear by The Snowman author, Raymond Briggs. Total cost is £11 saving me at least £22 as i would have needed a new costume for world book day and i would have brought her a thick onesie for winter anyway. The additional bonus is as it is still chilly sometimes in March, this would also keep your child warm.
Asda have a great selection of onesies. Some are reduced in price too. The thinner ones start from just £4 each and with the warm weather coming, buying now means they have summer lounge wear before the price is bumped up.
Tip 2: Reuse that Halloween costume
A witches costume can be Winnie the Witch, if you still have the accessories you would have brought with the costumes then it will save lots of time. A skeleton could be a character from Funnybones. A pirate from one of the many pirate books there is.
My example: 3 Halloween's ago big K wanted to be a ghost. At the time i couldnt afford a costume so made one at home but after Halloween i spotted this ghoul costume in the sale, reduced from £12 to just £2.50. I picked it up but unfortunately it didnt fit her the following year so it has sat in a box the whole time. The ghoul costume reminds me of oogie boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, one of big K's favourite films. I know strictly speaking is not a book but it is still a great option if i have no further ideas as the costume now fits little K.
It is a little late now as it is only available for home delivery but this costume is still available in Wilkinson for £12 in 3 different sizes Click here to see the costume.
Wilkinson has a good range of costumes on their site which are for home delivery too but i find them a tad out of my budget personally. Click here to see the fancy dress costumes.
Tip 3: Find characters which wear normal clothes.
The easiest way to make a costume for free or to save as mush as possible is to send your child to school dressed in normal wear. Lots of characters dress in normal clothes but with just a few tweaks, those jeans and a tshirt become a character from a book!
Here is 10 really easy characters ive used before:
- Shaggy from Scooby Doo - mess up the hair a little and put brown jeans/trousers and a green tshirt on.
- Wally from Where's Wally - Red and White stripe tshirt/jumper, jeans and a beanie hat, some glasses and walking stick. Could easily wear a skirt for a girl if wanted. If you can not find a stripy tshirt buy a cheap plain white one and using paint or felt pens, make your own red and white stripes.
- Mary Poppins - white school blouse, black school skirt, red ribbon for the little bow tie and belt, an umbrella, a bag and make a black hat from black paper if you do not have one available.
- Matilda - A gingham dress and ribbon for the hair, plus a small pile of books bound up for accessories.
- George from Georges Marvellous Medicine - Jeans, jumper and bottle with coloured water in labelled medicine.
- Charlotte from Charlotte's Web - Black long sleeved top, black bottoms. Stuff old black tights (or cut a pair of black leggings in half and stuff each leg) with newspaper or old clothes. Hand sew them onto the top and join together with black wool so they move with the childs arms.
- Mildred from The Worst Witch - School uniform with a tie, with witches hat and broomstick.
- Tracy from Tracy Beaker - normal clothes.
- A dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians - White tshirt and white leggings, use a felt tip to make dots, and using a white headband attach ears made out of white fabric (or black/ or both) Tip - if you buy an extra pair of leggings you can cut in half and use one leg for the tail and one for the ears, I brought a much smaller size for the ones i was cutting up as it was cheaper.
- Mr Bump from Mr Men - Long sleeved blue top, blue trousers and wrap bandages around (can glue them in place beforehand) Can paint face blue too.
There is many many more if you have a Google. Each one of the above cost me less than £6 to make so handy for last minute outfits.
While crafty i do not have a sewing machine and lots of fabric etc at my disposal but if you want more inspiration check out my Pinterest board of homemade costumes and accessories.