Book Week – Easy costume ideas you can make with things around the house

Book Week has officially begun in Australia at the time this post will go live. If you are reading this is 2021, you might be needing a costume right at the last minute. Or maybe you are reading this in preparation for next year. In any case, it’s always handy to have a costume backup. And these ideas are good, not just for Book Week but any dress-up occasion.


Book Week, especially the costume parades, can be particularly stressful for parents, students and staff. It seems there is always a last minute rush for costume ideas. It’s a busy time of the year and having a costume you can pull together with things you’ll find around the house is handy.

Madison’s Costume Mandates

Here are my personal beliefs about Book Week Costumes

  1. Make it easy. Use what you have in your wardrobe, dress-up box or craft box.
  2. Homemade costumes are awesome. Costumes shouldn’t have to cost you much.
  3. Student-driven costumes make the student more comfortable in what they are wearing and builds excitement.
  4. Plan early but have a back-up plan
  5. It’s okay to work backwards from the costume to the book.
  6. No costume is wrong. No costume shaming, please. Movie character, book related t-shirt. Honestly, everything is okay if it makes the student (or staff member) comfortable enough to dress up. You can even make a school uniform work.

Costume ideas you can make

Paper Bag Princess

You’ll need:

  • Tan clothes to wear underneath
  • Lots of brown paper and a bit of sticky tape to hold things together.
  • Yellow cardboard for a crown
  • Maybe some black face paint or dark makeup for a “I got too close to the fire” look.


The Book With No Pictures

You’ll need

  • White clothes
  • Large piece of white cardboard
  • Pens
  • String

Instructions. Create a poster with the title and some of the large and bright words from inside the book. Attach the poster to the front of your outfit with the string.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  • Green clothing
  • Headband
  • Hot glue
  • Cardboard in various colours
  • Safety pins

Create antenna to attach to your headband. Create food cutouts (or you’ll find the artwork online to print) and attach to your outfit with the safety pins for a fun and colourful outfit. Optional extra – butterfly wings.

Ada Twist

Just like the others in this picture book series, the main characters make the perfect costume inspiration. For Ada, you’ll need

  • Red and white polka dot outfit
  • Yellow gloves
  • Lab goggles
  • Yellow ribbons for hair
  • A large piece of white cardboard
  • Red pen

Create your own portable science whiteboard by using the red pen to create some awesome science diagrams.

Anemone Is Not The Enemy

Who doesn’t love wearing hot pink?! Here is your moment. Why not dress up as Anemone from Anemone is Not The Enemy.

You’ll need

  • Hot pink dress or pants and shirt.
  • Hot pink long gloves
  • Pink face paint
  • Pink feather boa
  • Pink ribbons

Add as many pink accessories that you can find. Create a flowing anemone skirt with ribbons or add ribbons to a headband.

Rainbow Bear

You’ll need

  • White clothes
  • Paint or fabric pens
  • A bit of creativity to decorate the clothes in any pattern you can imagine


Diary of a Minecraft Zombie

  • Blue pants
  • Teal shirt
  • Box
  • Minecraft paper (printed)

Print off Minecraft patterned paper and cover box. Cut spaces for mouth and eyes and remove the base of the box so it can be worn over the head.

Wimpy Kid

  • White cardboard
  • Stick/elastic
  • Black pen
  • White and black clothes

Draw Greg Heffley’s face onto the card with the pen, cut it out and attach it to the stick/elastic for a mask.


  • Blue long-sleeved shirt
  • Yellow, brown and blue cardboard

Cut out a small and large crown shape. Attach one to the shirt. Create a simple hat from the blue cardboard and attach the small crown shape. You might also like to add brown dog ears.


The Power of Positive Pranking

  • Orange shirt
  • Blue shorts
  • Blue cardboard

Make a tube out of the blue card to create a megaphone


Billionaire Boy or Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire

  • White shirt
  • Blue pants
  • Printed monopoly money
  • Safety pins or double sided tape

Stick the printed money all over the costume