What better costume for a teacher than one which promotes a love of books? I got really into the idea when I taught in a district that didn’t allow Halloween costumes and instead encouraged kids and teachers to dress as characters from children’s literature. We held a Book Character Parade around the school to show off our costumes and it was so much fun to see what all the kids wore!
I always had trouble figuring out a costume for myself that was simple to put together AND super comfortable, since I’d probably end up wearing it all day long. If you’re in the same situation and still have no idea what costume to wear, keep reading! Below are 15 clever, super easy (and super cheap!) book character costumes that will make you the star of your class.
I wouldn’t be surprised if most of you already have more than half of what’s needed for this costume. All you need is a red striped shirt, jeans, a beanie, black-rimmed glasses and you’re all set! You can also step up your game by throwing in some of Waldo’s iconic accessories as listed here.
Here’s another one you can pull off if you are pressed for time. However, if you don’t have a blue dress like Amy in the picture, you can consider the alternatives in this detailed how-to.
It may seem difficult to recreate Mary Poppin’s era-specific look, but it’s not. Pull off this turn-of-the-century outfit by putting these key items together.
Harry Potter fans will have no trouble recognizing you in this one. Especially if you don’t forget her signature to tea cup! Read how Lisa perfected the crazy-divination-teacher look last Halloween here.
Max from Where The Wild Things Are
This is probably the most comfortable costume on this list. Now you have an excuse to wear pajamas to work, even if it’s just for a day. Soren of Classic Noise bought an adult-sized onesie (which she attached a fabric tail to) and made a paper crown. Alternatively, you can recreate the Max’s wolf onesie with a hoodie and sweatpants by following the instructions here.
Be the grouchy ladybug–minus the attitude! I doubt there are any stores selling ladybug skirts for adults (if you do find one, let me know!) so you will have to make one yourself just like Amanda did using lots and lots of red tulle and some black felt.
Olivia the Pig
Tick off the items on this checklist here (striped shirt optional) and show up as an adorable Olivia the Pig.
White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland
Throw a red blazer on top of a yellow shirt, pin on a big bow, put your bunny ears on, and draw some whiskers. And to make sure that the kids won’t confuse you as just some fancy bunny, don’t forget your clock!
Princess Elizabeth from the Paper Bag Princess
This feisty character from a beloved children’s book makes for one charming costume that is easy to make. This cosplayer pictured above wore this to a cosplay picnic and kids absolutely loved it. For the classroom–maybe try some leggings underneath. Learn how to make the paper bag dress and crown here.
If you intend on going as Pipi Longstocking, then it’s your hair that will really seal the deal. Copying Pipi’s clothes is easy enough, but you must learn how to get those characteristic braids. Luckily, they are not that hard to do, as this guide will show you.
Cat in the Hat
This one’s a classic. Watch this video tutorial [EDITED TO ADD: The video appears to be private for now] that covers every aspect of the costume, from the hat to right down to the makeup. The most challenging part is making the hat. However, if you have no time and energy to make one, you can simply opt for cutout hat like the girl in the picture above is wearing.
You can’t go wrong with choosing a fairytale character. If the idea of dressing as a princess in a long dress makes you worry about comfort, remember that they key element here are the colors. You can wear modern clothing and still get the classic look like Crafty Teacher Lady here.
Sam Sparks from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
You can dress either as Sam Sparks the weather reporter from Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 1 or Sam Sparks the baby strawberry savior from part 2. Though both costumes are easy to put together (as you can see on this guide), the latter is more fun and more recognizable to kids.
Camilla Cream from A Bad Case of Stripes
This Camilla Cream costume is pretty popular on Pinterest and it’s easy to see why. It’s easy, colorful, fun, and unmistakable. Get the look by donning colorful striped sleeves and putting some face paint on.
Instead of dressing up as a character FROM a book, why not become a character that creates, gives, or reads books? If you have an old dictionary or book that you don’t mind tearing up and if you are quite crafty with paper, then this costume will be worth the time. The Book Fairy (or a Dictionfairy, if you take the pages from a dictionary) is as clever as they come. Read the step-by-step instructions here.
Want more ideas that aren’t just book characters? Check out my other round up of teacher costumes:
Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? What’s your costume? We’d love to hear your ideas!