Tome for Treat? – Halloween costumes based on book characters

It’s almost Halloween! Do you have your costume yet? If not, take ideas from your favorite books. If you don’t feel too creative, there are plenty of store-bought costumes to go for, such as Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland. Feeling like a little challenge? You can buy retail items to combine and make your own characters. This is helpful if you want to be a less popular book character, such as Snape or Nancy Drew.

But you are all readers and/or writers; I know you are creative! Whether you are on a budget or just want something totally original and memorable, craft your own. I love making my own costumes. And I DO NOT SEW. Don’t think you have to do something elaborate or from scratch. A hot glue gun does wonders (with parent supervision if you are younger).  Here are some simplified ideas to get started. Use scrap fabric or craft materials you have lying around, go to consignment shops to find cheap clothes to use, recycle materials such as cardboard boxes and paper towel tubes. Be resourceful and let the creativity flow.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Black pants, white shirt; make a cartoon mask of the faces from the book out of paper, glue on a popsicle stick to hold up to your face with cut-out eye holes


The BFG: wear short pants (smaller size or cut off just below the knee), wear a wide buckled belt and brown vest (can pick these up in a consignment store, or make out of fabric), make a bugle out of paper and large ears strapped to your head (can probably find a cheap part in a costume/party store)

Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz: plaid shirt over jeans; glue some hay onto your clothes at your ankles and wrists; buy a cheap straw hat or make one by wrapping soft cork in a circle and gluing together; paint your face is desired.


Cheshire Cat – use a purple shirt, cut strips of lighter purple fabric or paper and glue to front of shirt; make or buy cat ears (glue them to an existing headband if making) and make a great big toothy smile out of paper and glue to a popsicle stick to hold in front of your mouth.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (group costume): each person dresses as a part of the story (apple, pear, plum) to make up the caterpillar’s body


Pippi Longstocking: wear overalls or denim shorts with mismatched shirt, patterned tights; buy a long wig or if your hair is long enough, braid it around chenille stems so you can bend them upward.

Cat in the Hat (could group with Thing One and Two): Cut out a white oval from fabric or an old T-shirt and make a red bow out of fabric; or wear a white shirt, paint a red bow at the top and wear an open button-up black sweater over it with black pants. You can usually find a cheap red and white hat or make one out of red and white paper. For Thing One and Thing Two– wear all red, messy hair and make name signs cut out of paper and glue on a shirt or hang from string around your neck.


Madeline: blue dress, white tights, black shoes; make or find a big white collar and red sash tie with a yellow wide brim hat; with Miss Clavel (the Nun) – black cape (you can make from a blanket or cloth), make the habit by gluing two points of black fabric together with a white band glued around the top. Use Velcro or a snap to secure around your head.

H made

Be safe and have fun!

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