World Book Day

Are there any other three words that strike such anxiety into the heart of a parent with small children? Perhaps...but never fear, we are here to help! So fire up the glue gun and get rummaging in the dressing up box and read our handy guide to help you throw something together for Thursday 7 March. Here are our suggestions for easy, no-sew no-fuss costumes that will delight your little ones and save your sanity too!

Queen of Hearts

What little girl (or grown up, for that matter) doesn’t want to stride around the playground shouting ‘Off with their head”? This iconic costume is easy to adapt to the materials you have at hand. You will need: party dress, yoghurt pot, gold or red spray, stick on gems, hairband, two pairs of long red and white stripy socks, red felt, playing cards.

The best starting point is an existing party dress, either black or red would work best. Layers of red and black tulle underneath are fun to attach with tacking stitches and add a regal touch, or layer the dress over another tu-tu style skirt. You can add a row of felt hearts to the front with tacking stitches or with spray fabric glue (the crafter’s essential companion which we love as it’s repositionable and temporary!).

For the crown we used a plastic sour cream pot, and cut the top edge into points then we had fun spray painting and decorating using red hearts or stick on jewels. Attach this to a plastic Alice band with a glue gun, the Queen of Hearts wears a small crown and styles it off to one side on the head.

A collar made from playing cards is also a great addition and can add impact to the outfit. It’s easy to make by stapling playing cards together and securing the ends with ribbon. You could also use stapled playing cards with their tops cut into points to make the crown.

We also added a touch of fun by buying two sets of red and white long stripy socks, wearing one pair on the legs and cutting the heel off the other pair to make fun ‘sleeves’ with thumbholes. Great if the day is looking a little on the chilly side too!

Optional: tray of jam tarts, toy flamingo and hedgehog, for Alice in Wonderland croquet.

Paddington bear never seems to date. And as one of this year’s books for World Book Day features Paddington turning detective, the loveable bear is an easy and charming costume. Some welly boots, a duffle coat or chunky cardigan with toggles and a battered hat are a great place to start, in the traditional colours of red and blue if you can. If you have a little suitcase or can make your own out of a cardboard box that is a fabulous addition, and of course don’t forget the marmalade sandwich. A handwritten parcel label attached to the duffle coat is also a lovely touch: ‘Please look after this bear thank you’ if you or your child can copy Aunt Lucy’s writing! If you are feeling creative you can add a little bear nose and whiskers with face paints or black eyeliner. With the release of the new movie, Paddington has even acquired his own Twitter account @paddingtonbear so be sure to send him your photographs!

Jack and the Beanstalk is another quick option with easy to hand elements such as brown shorts or trousers, and a white tunic or shirt, perhaps a waistcoat over the top. A nice touch is to add an old fashioned money bag containing five beans. In this costume, as the beanstalk is the main element, they have used a large green pool ‘woggle’ decorated with strips of plastic ivy.

(Photo credit: ChronicleLive)

Other brilliant costumes we’ve seen and loved include Gangsta Granny (buttoned up cardie, skirt and tights, grey wig, glasses and a swag bag or robber’s mask), Where’s Wally? Always popular and easy to do with a blue and white striped top, red leggings and a red bobble hat and glasses. For those children not too keen to dress up, Charlie and Lola are a good option, you can download a mask and colour it in. As well as George from George’s Marvellous Medicine – just normal clothes with a large plastic container labelled ‘Marvellous Medicine’. Matilda is also straightforward as you can wear school uniform and carry a newt in a jar! Sophie from the BFG is also easy as she wears a long white nightie. We have also loved The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson where you can get out your pirate costume and add an eye mask and a tail from an old pair of tights.

For other ideas, thoughts and suggestions do contact us. 01799 551182, follow us on Facebook or drop by our website or our shop.

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