Mother and Baby

13 homemade World Book Day costumes for toddlers

homemade World Book Day costume - Zorro costume

Reading is a superpower! Not only does it unlock a world of imagination, but it brings an opportunity to learn about new things as well as share experiences.

World Book Day is the chance to bring all of these three things to life by dressing your toddler up as their favourite book characters.

Related: Adult world book day costumes

Whether your little one is obsessed with Harry Potter, Peter Rabbit or any other book for that matter, we've found 13 of the best homemade World Book Day costumes for toddlers. 

When is World Book Day? 

World Book Day is officially on 4 March 2021, but every day can be World Book Day by just spending five to ten minutes reading, telling and sharing stories with your kids.

Did you know that thanks to National Book Tokens as well as publishers and booksellers, children and young people can enjoy a book for just £1? Find out more about 2021's £1 books at


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What is World Book Day? 

Taking it back to 1997, the UK and Ireland had their very first World Book Day to encourage young people to discover the joys of reading.

Ever since then, the charity's mission has been to provide every child and young person with their own book. We encourage you to spend time with your children to share stories and get them excited about reading. 
If your little one already loves to read about heroes and villains, adventures or anything else for that matter, then there's another way to bring the story to life - through dressing up, of course!

World Book Day has developed into an exciting opportunity for little kids (and big kids) to dress up as their favourite authors, characters and everything in between.

Want to bring your child's favourite book to life? It doesn't have to cost the earth, thanks to DIY World Book Day costumes for toddlers.

Whether you're upcycling old clothes from around the house or getting the sewing machine out of the loft, here at Mother&Baby we've found 13 incredible homemade World Book Day costume ideas for you to try.  

The best DIY World Book Day costumes

Gruffalo costume

Are your kids obsessed with The Gruffalo stories? They're not alone. This family favourite picture book is adored by many. You'll get lots of giggles out of attempting to create his knobbly knees, turned-out toes and wart at the end of his nose. 

What you need:

  • Brown dressing gown with hood
  • White socks for the horns

Buy a Gruffalo costume on Amazon now. 

Rabbit costume

We're all about recycling costumes here at Mother&Baby. Whether you're hoping to expand your child's dressing up box or re-use it at Easter, a rabbit costume is a safe bet. There are loads of different book characters that you can choose from including, Peter Rabbit, White Rabbit and even Fiver.

What you need:

  • A pair of bunny ears
  • Wool for a tail
  • White or brown t-shirt

Buy a rabbit costume on Amazon now. 

Tiger Who Came To Tea costume

Could you imagine what would happen if we invited your family for afternoon tea with a tiger? Well, you're about to find out... Considered one of the best books to buy for two year olds, Tiger Who Came To Tea is a great illustrated read for children and is an easy get-up for World Book Day. 
What you need:

  • Orange t-shirt
  • Face paint

Buy a Tiger Who Came To Tea costume on Amazon now. 

The Worst Witch costume

You know the best Halloween costumes for babies and toddlers that you bought last year? Well, you can use them again.

If your little one loves to read all about Mildred Hubble and Ethel Hallow as they complete witch training at Cackle's Academy, then they'll love dressing up as them. Plus, we love that you can use what's already in the house. 

What you need:

  • Last year's Halloween costume
  • Witches hat
  • Striped socks
  • Wand

Buy The Worst Witch costume on Amazon now. 

Alice in Wonderland costume

You'd be mad as a hatter not to choose an Alice in Wonderland costume for World Book Day. How adorable will they look dressed as Alice? Or even the White Rabbit, Red Queen or Tweedledum

What you need:

  • Blue dress and white pinny/blue top and white skirt
  • White or striped socks
  • Pack of cards

Buy an Alice in Wonderland costume on Amazon now. 

Harry Potter costume

Everyone's favourite wizard, Harry Potter, is a great choice for your World Book Day activities. Not only can you dress up the whole family in different characters, but you can read extracts from the book as well as watch the blockbuster films. What a magical day!

What you need:

  • Round glasses
  • Wand
  • Red and yellow scarf
  • Black jacket
  • White top/shirt
  • Tie

Buy a Harry Potter costume on Amazon now. 

Tinkerbell costume

From one magical story to another, this Tinkerbell costume is inspired by the incredible tale about Peter Pan - a boy who doesn't want to grow up. Just like how we don't want our toddlers getting older, right? 
Although we don't have any pixie dust, what we do have are good ideas for creating memories. Spent time getting crafty with your little one and make their costume together. 

What you need:

  • Green dress
  • Fairy wings
  • Fairy wand

Buy a Tinkerbell costume on Amazon now. 

Caterpillar costume

Whether you're attempting to sew an Absalom the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland or The Hungry Caterpillar costume for your little one, there are lots of ways that you can get creative with fabrics. Not a big sewer? Get creative with face paint, a stripey top and pipe cleaners. 

What you need:

  • Sewing machine or glue gun
  • Fabrics
  • Face paint
  • Stripey top or jumpsuit 

Buy a caterpillar costume on Amazon now. 

Gangster Granny costume

Inspired by one of the best David Walliams books for kids, Gangsta Granny is a hilarious costume for your toddler. Not only will they look adorable dressed as an OAP, but they'll love hearing about the adventures Ben has when he stays at his grandma's house for their bedtime story.  

What you need:

  • Decorate your baby walker
  • Dress
  • Cardigan
  • Scarf for a hat

Buy a Gangsta Granny Costume on Amazon now. 

Pig costumes

From Babe to Piglet, Wilbur and the Three Little Pigs, little oinkers are a hit when it comes to children's books. If you're looking to create a DIY world book day costume with little fuss, then a piggy is a great shout. 

What you need:

  • Pink onesies or t-shirt
  • Pink tail
  • Pink nose

Buy a pig costume on Amazon now.

Lion costume

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz are just two examples of our favourite lion characters. There will be nothing cuter then when your little one transforms into a big cat for World Book Day. 

What you need:

  • A mane (try styling your little one's hair to achieve this)
  • Onesie
  • Tail

Buy a lion costume on Amazon now. 

Spider costume

Well, this is definitely a spin on Spiderman. If your toddler loves the Itsy Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme, Charlotte's Web or any other book that includes creepy crawlies, then this is the right costume for them. It can even be brought back out at Halloween. 

What you'll need:

  • Stripped trousers
  • Socks
  • Black t-shirt

Buy a spider costume on Amazon now.

  • Author: Lily Anderson Lily Anderson
  • Job Title: Senior Commercial Content Writer

Lily Anderson is a Senior Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, where she writes about and reviews products for titles like Mother&Baby, Heat, Closer, What’s the Best and Yours. After earning a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing at Southampton Solent University, Lily has specialised in lifestyle and shopping content.

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