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8 totally awesome Book Week costumes

Strutting your stuff in the Book Week Parade is a rite of passage for Aussie school kids.

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.



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.


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. This tutorial will show you exactly how to do it.

Alternatively, you can use a red bandana and attach a skull & crossbones to the front.

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

Cat in the Hat

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.


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.

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. Visit bookai.org or click here to download your very own Wimpy Kid mask.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid mask
The perfect “throw together the night before” costume, Photo: Wimpy Kid Club

Hungry Caterpillar

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.

Kid dressed up in hungry caterpillar costume
A very hungry caterpillar, Photo: @ky1986

Captain Underpants

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.

Peppa Pig

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.

Peppe Pig printable mask
Printable masks make book week so easy! Photo: Kids Party Works

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


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