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8 Totally Easy & Awesome Book Week Costumes

Australia’s annual Book Week returns in 2022 between August 20-26, with the theme “Dreaming with eyes open…”. Here are some fantastic book week costumes for inspiration. Happy creating and reading!

Cute Young Girl with Face Paint
Cute young girl with face paint

Looking back on the glory days, I remember winning the prestigious ‘Best Costume’ award for my embodiment of Cat in the Hat. I was a legend among my Year 2 cohort for all of about three days. Love it or hate it, Book Week is a big deal.

1. Pirate costume

A quick and easy DIY costume Photo Apple Green Cottage
A quite and easy DIY costume, Photo: Apple Green Cottage

Start with:

Red/white striped long or ¾ sleeved shirt, slightly larger black t-shirt (to cut into a vest)

What you’ll need to make:

Eye patch: Take a piece of black cardboard and cut out an eyepatch-shaped circle. Use a skewer or pen to make a small hole on each side and attached an elastic string to secure around head.

Skull & crossbones: Get crafty and create some accessories for your costume. Use cardboard to create a skull & crossbones patch. Head to Pinterest for some inspiration.

Pirate hat: 2 pieces of black card, a sheet of white paper and some glitter glue is all you need to make an awesome pirate hat. Alternatively, you can use a red bandana and attach a skull & crossbones to the front.

2. Pilot costume

DIY Captain hat
Printable DIY Captain hat

Start with:

White long sleeve shirt, long black pants, black tie.

What you’ll need to make:

Wrist cuffs: Take a sheet of black card and cut a strip around 5-10cm wide and long enough to wrap around your wrist. Add a few strips of gold or yellow paper or use a gold texta to draw on stripes. Glue the ends of the paper together on the outside of your shirt. You can also use safety pins to secure the cardboard cuffs to the shirt.

Optional: Using gold cardboard and textas, make a pilot’s aviation badge. You can google

and gold wrist cuffs (make these out of cardboard), gold aviation badge (cardboard wing-shaped cut-out).

Bonus: Make your own captains hat from cardboard! Check out this great tutorial we found on Pinterest.

3. Cat in the Hat costume

Start with:

Black t-shirt and pants, red ribbon or bow tie.

What you’ll need to make:

Hat: No Cat in the Hat costume would be complete without the famous red and white striped cherry on top. We found a great tutorial on how to make your very own hat. All you need is a paper plate, a sheet of white card, red paint or textas and glue. Follow the instructions here.

Tummy patch: Use a sheet of white paper or fabric to cut out an oval shape to attached to the front of your t-shirt. Use safety pins or fabric glue to make sure it lasts all day.

Bonus: Draw on some whiskers with eyeliner or a non-toxic face paint.

4. Hungry Caterpillar costume

A very hungry caterpillar Photo @ky1986
A very hungry caterpillar, Photo: @ky1986

Start with:

Black t-shirt and pants

What you’ll need to make:

Caterpillar body: take 3-5 sheets of light-green paper and 3-5 sheets of dark-green paper and cut them into large oval shapes. Use a stapler or string to tie circles together in a long line, alternating the colours. Use a piece of string to tie it around the back of your neck (like an apron).

Caterpillar mask: Using red, yellow, green and purple coloured paper, design your very own mask and tie it around your head with a piece of string or elastic. Alternatively, you can use white paper ad paint or colour in your mask.

Check out this Hungry Caterpillar for inspiration.

5. Wimpy Kid costume

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Start with:

We love this costume idea because it’s so simple! Just wear a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans and use these awesome printables to complete the look.

6. Matilda costume

Start with:

White button up shirt or t-shirt, tartan skirt, long white socks, cardigan, red hair ribbon.

Bonus: Remember that scene where Ms Trunchbull almost swallows the frog? Finish off your costume with a frog of your own. Half-fill a mason jar with water and drop in a toy frog. Make sure to seal it up to avoid spilling.

Here’s an example of a great Matilda costume.

7. Peppa Pig costume

Printable masks make book week so easy Photo Kids Party Works
Printable masks make book week so easy! Photo: Kids Party Works

Start with:

Red dress, optional: yellow gum boots

What you’ll need:

Use this link to get a printable Peppa Pig mask or draw your own with pink & black textas/paint.

8. Captain Underpants costume

Start with:

White or skin-coloured t-shirt, jeans, shorts or tights, oversized white underpants.

What you’ll need to buy/make:

Red cape: If you can’t find a red cape in a store near you, tie a blanket, sheet of red material or even a towel around you to make a cape.

We’d love to see your Book Week costumes! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram @outandaboutwithkids

Every year since 1945, the Children’s Book Council of Australia has held a Book Week across Australia to promote the importance of reading and the joy children can discover. During this time, schools and public libraries spend one glorious week celebrating books and Australian children’s authors and illustrators.

CBCA Book Week 2022
Theme: Dreaming with eyes open…
Dates: August 20-26


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