Genious DIY Costume Ideas for Australian Book Week

The Children’s Book Council of Australia is celebrating the 70th year of Book Week next week. Left it to the last minute?  We’ve pulled together super-easy DIY dress ups you can make from items already lying around the house!

Parents today have a whole new challenge ahead of them convincing their kids to read. Experts agree that reading to your child from an early age helps with their vocabulary, reading and writing skills and opens them up to a world of knowledge, but how do you foster a love of reading when it’s so easy to pick up a tablet or phone?

This month is the 70th Anniversary of Book Week, and is a fantastic time to encourage your child to read. One of the ways experts recommend to get kids excited about reading is to pick a favourite character or theme and encourage dress ups at one of the many events happening around Australian schools, councils and libraries this August. And happily, dress ups don’t need to cost a lot of money, here are 11 ideas you can put together in a hot minute from items already lying around the house.

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpiller has been delighting children for over 45 years! This outfit can be quickly pulled together with some green jumpers from op shops and needle and thread. Finish with a red beanie and antlers.

Photo: Books, babies and bows

2. Butterfly Costume

This idea is brilliant in it’s simplicity for little girls and boys that prefer to be butterflies to caterpillars. All you need is a shower curtain, a black sharpie and some string to tie onto the back and hands.

Photo: Buggy and Buddy

3. Chicken Little – Classic

This costume is so adorable it’s perfect for toddlers through to tweens, teens and big kids too!

PHOTO: Lilouca 

4. Eye Funny by James Patterson

These can be whipped up in a matter of minutes – just push out the lenses of some old glasses, glue in some ‘crazy eyes’ and you’re ready to roll.


5. The Tawny Scrawny Lion by Kathryn Jackson
Once made, this lion outfit can be recycled for kids parties, Halloween or creative play on a rainy afternoon.


6. The Little Prince by ‎Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This outfit will cost you no more than a few dollars – spray paint some large 2L plastic bottles, glue on some red cardboard and your little one will be ready for epic space adventures.


7. House of Robots by James Patterson

Another outfit that can be made from items destined for the recycling bin. All you need is some spray paint, a cardboard box and lids from bottles for the buttons.


8. The Giving Tree by She Silverstein

This no-sew tree costume will have boys and girls of all ages happily haunting the forest.


9. Blinky Bill - by Dorothy Wall

This DIY Koala Mask is so easy the kids can make it themselves.


10. Animalia - Grahame Base

If you’re really out of time, nothing could be easier than using a rolled up sheet as your snail shell.

Photo: Pinterest 

11. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

A white onesie, some whiskers and a cut out gold crown will do the trick for any little aspiring Wild Thing.

Photo: Pinterest

What’s your favourite Children’s book? Let us know by commenting below!

For more information on Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week, visit

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