I’ve always been a big reader – books are a place to lose yourself, let the imagination roam free and it’s something I adore. In fact, right now I’m longing to jump off the computer and lose myself in my latest book, but it will have to wait just a little longer. My favourite book as a child was Harry Potter, I remember reading the stories to my mum while she was in the bath bless her – she never complained once, despite the invasion. My boys can’t get enough of reading either, they adore The Fantastic Mr Fox and Jaqueline Wilson’s Clover Moon, in fact there are too many to name them all as we read a lot together.
In addition to getting my read on, I’ve always loved the freedom that getting dressed up in fancy dress would give me – I could be a witch like Hermione, a goblin in Gringotts and even a werewolf if I wanted to be – there is no limit. The list was, and still remains, endless. Even boozy nights out in my early twenties, it would seldom be a normal dress code, with friends dressing up just for the fun of it. We were just *that* cool. I think (or maybe hope) I’ve passed this fun on to the kids – their dressing up box is certainly big enough for them to crack on with pretty much every outfit – but every so often we like to make our outfits. I am NOT a crafty mum, think more Mister Maker than Kirstie Allsop, but we do have a good laugh doing it and at the end of the day, stuff the judgemental people who want perfection, this isn’t where we’re at.
In anticipation for World book day, Amazon UK has asked over 2000 British kids and their parents what their favourite book characters are and … good ole HP (that’s Harry Potter for those of you not down with the super cool lingo) was voted the most loved character. Just in case you didn’t get the memo, World Book Day is on Thursday 2nd of March… so if you haven’t already sorted out an outfit for your little bookworm here is how to get your DIY on of the UK’s favourite World Book Day character costumes.
BRITISH KIDS’ TOP 10 FAVOURITE BOOK CHARACTERS (in order of popularity for your convenience – you’re welcome)AND HOW TO DIY A COSTUME:
- Harry Potter (Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling)
What you need:
- Grey trousers
- Grey jumper
- White polo or shirt
- Burgundy or striped tie
- Long adult cardigan in grey or black
- 3 long black pipe cleaners
- Red pen
- Draw the lightening bolt on the forehead using the red pen.
- Take the pipe cleaners and bend one into two circles with about 1 cm between. Wrap one around each side to create the sides of the glasses – bending them at the end or hook around the ears. Set aside.
- Get dressed up!
- Just like any school outfit (maybe not the tie – but you can add this in!) and the cardigan that will look like a robe because it’s so big!
- Add your glasses, grab your wand and prepare to cast a spell!
But if you’d rather buy the full outfit, this Harry Potter one from Amazon UK is epic and better still, available on Amazon Prime for next day delivery.
2. The Gruffalo (The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson)
You will need:
· Brown tshirt, jumper or hoodie
· 1 sheet of purple felt
· Black thread and needle
· Brown trousers
· Face paint
- Take the purple felt, cut out triangles (about 1-2 inches in size) and then stitch to the brown top.
- Get little one dressed in the top and trousers.
- Paint on 2 horns using white face paint, 4 “terrible” teeth and a green wart on the end of their nose. Out line in black face paint and you’re good to go into the deep dark wood..
3. Matilda (Matilda, Roald Dahl)
· Red headband or ribbon
· White cardigan
· Oversized jean dungarees
- Super easy! Get dressed, grab your headband and channel your inner telepath!
4. The BFG (The BFG, Roald Dahl)
· Two ears cut out of cardboard
· A headband
· A felt tip pen (preferably black)
· A white polo shirt
· Any trousers, preferably rolled up or ripped
· An old brown tshirt
· Scissors and sellotape
- Firstly, cut out the ears.
- Sellotape the ears to the head band. I Bent a small “flap” of the cardboard and then bent put it against the headband, taped over the back and front. I then drew a large C and smaller c on the “ears” and then set aside.
- Grab the old tshirt – we used one of daddy’s – and cut across the neck, cut off the arms and cut up the front. This will make a ragged waistcoat.
- Get dressed in the tshirt, roll up trousers (or just trousers) and the new waistcoat.
- Pop on the headband and enjoy some snozzcumbers.
5. Winnie The Pooh (Winnie The Pooh, A.A. Milne)
· Yellow trousers
· Red polo shirt
· Biscuit barrel or Jar
· Head band
· 2 yellow pipe cleaner
- Bend the yellow pipe cleaners into bear ear shape – wrap the ends around the headband and set aside.
- Get dressed and grab the biscuit barrel (honey pot!) and head band. Enjoy some adventures in the 100 acre wood.
6. Tracey Beaker (Tracey Beaker Series, Jaqueline Wilson)
· Red jumper
· Jeans or blue leggings
· Fine tooth comb
· Hair spray or gel
- Get dressed in the red jumper and jeans.
- Back comb the hair until it’s wild and standing up at all angles (my daughter simply would not keep a wig on all day!) spray a small amount of hair spray into your hands and scrunch the hair. Pack some attitude and off you go.
7. Paddington Bear (Paddington Bear, Michael Bond)
· Red hat
· Blue coat
· Brown tshirt or jumper
· Brown trousers
· Boots or wellies
- Get dressed as normal in all the clothes.
- Paint on a black nose.
- Don the hat and coat and off you go on an adventure!
8. Charlie Bucket (Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl)
· Old ripped trousers
· Old tshirt (the more holes or stains the better!)
· Gold sheet of paper OR gold gift bag
· Black marker pen
- Cut out the “ticket” and write GOLDEN TICKET or Willy Wonka’s or a combination.
- Get dressed as normal and remember to watch out for the oompa lumpas!
9. Peter Rabbit (Peter Rabbit Series, Beatrix Potter)
· Brown trousers
· Blue cheese cloth shirt
· Cotton wool ball or white craft pom pom
· Head band
· 2 Brown or white pipe cleaners
- Take the headband and wrap the end of one pipe cleaner around one side then bend in half the create a bunny ear shape and wrap the other end around the headband.
- Repeat for the other ear.
- Get dressed.
- Attach the cotton wool ball or craft pom pom with either a safety pin or a small tack stitch.
- Put on the head band and get in the garden to steal some veggies!
10. Alice In Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
· Blue dress or nightie
· Black headband (you can make one using pipe cleaners if you don’t have one!)
· White tshirt or cardigan
· White apron
· White tights
- Take the apron and cut just below to ties.
- Take off the neck strap and this will leave you with a bib style apron.
- Set aside and get your kiddo dressed in the dress, cardigan and tights. We used a white cardigan under a pinafore style dress but any blue dress with white cardigan will work.
- Tie the white apron bib around the little one’s front.
- Add the headband and get down the rabbit hole.
So there you have it. I think considering (according to the survey) 56% of us are reading to our children every night, and 55% of us have copped to reading books that we loved as children, it’s telling that most of these characters are classics – which is also telling of how old we’re all getting that dear Harry is now officially a classic. Sigh. Anyhoo, I hope this helps anyone who wakes up on dress up day with absolutely naff all prepared and starts rushing about like a nutter while swearing like a navvy. You’re welcome, and I shall probably be joining you!