Easy and cheap DIY Book Week costume

Book Week is here! It’s that time when children all around Australia pick their favourite story book inspired characters and parade them proudly in their schools and kindys as a Book Week costume.

I have loved dress up ever since I was a child and continue to enjoy to this day, helping to create a Book Week costume year after year for my children. I have parents from my kids’ school ask me every year how much time and money I spend on their costumes. Not
much at all. I make a point of starting the costume-making process by searching for things we can use from around the house. If you enjoy being crafty and creative, there are so many ideas you can come up with.

Start by asking your child to name a few characters he or she might like to dress up as. It can be overwhelming knowing where to start so jump onto Google and look up some DIY ideas and you’ll find a lot of inspiration. It surprises me every year how
people use their imagination to create such fantastic costumes.

Inspiration for a Book Week costume can also be found at local op shops, such as Salvos or garage sales around the neighbourhood. Take your child along with you and once you find a piece, you can alter it, add embellishments and make a unique costume for your child.
You can buy little bits and pieces from stores such as Reject Shop, Stacks, Choice and other discount type stores. If you want to make something from scratch, there is no going past your local Spotlight store. You can find everything from fabrics to

Easy Book Week costume – Cat in the Hat

My five-year-old picked a few of her favourite characters and eventually settled on ‘Cat in the Hat’. The costume was fairly easy to make because we had the main parts of it at home. Comfort was also an important factor, such as being able to sit down
in class without bits and pieces poking her throughout the day.

Things we had a home:

  • Black t-shirt (long or short sleeved)
  • Black leggings
  • Long white socks, painted with red stripes
  • Black shoes (school shoes)
  • Eyeliner
  • White A4 paper or white paint (cut into strips and glued or sticky taped to the hat)
  • Big red hair bow or red ribbon (for the bow tie)

Things we had to buy:

  • Hat
  • Feather boa (cut in half for the collar and tail)
  • Gloves

We bought the hat, feather boa and gloves from Stacks and the total cost was $9. Both my daughter and I worked on the costume together and she is proud to say she painted the socks and hung them out to dry overnight. We can also use all of the parts of this Book Week costume for future costume ideas as well which is a bonus!

For those parents who are time poor or have left Book Week costumes to the last minute, your nearest department stores such as Kmart, Target and Big W usually have a large range to choose from.

Just remember Book Week is all about our children celebrating their favourite novel inspired characters and their love of reading. Your child’s Book Week costume doesn’t have to look like it comes from the set of a movie, as long as your child is happy, that’s all that counts.

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Written by Angela Sutherland

After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music.

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