World Book Day Fancy Dress Ideas

Fancy Dress Ideas for World Book Day

It’s every parent’s nightmare, the day your child comes home saying it’s time to do World Book Day and they need a fancy dress for tomorrow. Well, DO NOT Worry, Fabrics Galore has whipped up a selection of ideas and even some free patterns to help you out….

Maybe it is our age, but we tend to go classic with our fancy dress, maybe in the hope that it can be used again for a later generation….


When is World Book Day?


In case you are new to the global event, World Book Day was invented by UNESCO in 1995 to encourage a love of books and reading in children. Its mission is to promote reading for pleasure as the single biggest factor in a child’s future success regardless of their background. This year World Book Day on Thursday 3rd March celebrates 25 years and the theme is “You are a reader” and the focus is on children from disadvantaged backgrounds to encourage a life-long habit of reading and improve their life chances as a result. So, let’s embrace this worthy mission and get creating.


Where to Find World Book Day Fancy Dress Inspiration


The World Book Day website has great ideas for dressing up and we can help you out with the perfect fancy dress fabrics to pull off the ideas. Check out Gathered How’s Easy World Book Day Costumes too for fun and simple ideas for DIY fancy dress.



Fantastic Mr Fox fancy dress


An absolute classic and family favourite has to be the Fantastic Mr Fox, not only is he a super fun character but his costume isn’t as hard as you think. If you’re taking inspiration from the very good Wes Anderson adaption you can keep it simple with a shirt and tie, then go all out on ears and a tail.


This page from Lauren Conrad’s website shows how to make many different animal ears (so we would pop it into your favourites for future use)


Animal Ears for World Book Day Fancy Dress


But if you’re worried about the perfect fabrics for animal ears, well we were thinking what about some bright orange fleece or reduce the waste and use one of our orange felt squares The helpful thing about felt squares is they are super easy to use and don’t need hemming as they don’t fray.


Orange Fleece Fabric    Orange Felt Square

Orange Polar Fleece and Orange Felt Square



Peter Rabbit Fancy Dress


Now you have the hang of making the ears, so many characters are open to you.  

Peter Rabbit is again a super easy costume to create with short notice, everyone has the iconic blue jacket somewhere (or maybe you can borrow one from another wardrobe). And is any household complete without a bunny tail? If you are lacking, bouclé or faux fur are the perfect fabrics for both projects.


Cream boucle bunny tail fabric    Faux Fur fabric


101 Dalmatians Costume


Now this is a personal favourite at FG, but you can’t have a World Book Day without at least one of the 101 Dalmatians. We have the perfect faux fur for the ears and a tail if the full body is a bit much, and you can achieve the look with a black sharpie and patience.


101 Dalmatians black spotted velboa fabric

Ponyskin Velboa - Cruella De Vil


It goes without saying for the braver parent this can be used to create a coat if you fancy going as the original villainess herself…..


Paddington Bear Costume


Another favourite amongst many at FG Headquarters is everyone’s favourite bear, Paddington. Again, borrow a dark blue jacket, if possible, from someone a bit bigger. And a simple red felt hat, you could even take the pattern from the pirate captain’s hat. Then if you have time, a pair of ears on the top. 


Where’s Wally Costume

Now this is the perfect last-minute costume, everyone has a pair of suitable trousers, teamed with a  red and white Breton striped top. The glasses can be whipped up the same way as Luna Lovegood’s but replace the jazzy pink fabric with plain black. If you only have a cream hat, a simple red felt trim can be added at great speed. 


Red and White Striped Jersey Fabric

Jersey  Breton Stripe in Red and White


Dress Up as Lyra Silvertongue

Now this might seem a bit daunting but really if you have a simple pinafore dress possible in red, a pair of boots, lots of cold weather layers and of course little pet Pantalaimon. If you fancied an option where you can wear the pinafore after, this is the best option, and we fancy it in a cosy needlecord. 


Little Red Riding Hood Costume

If strong female leads are your kinda thing, how about going as Ruby from Super Red Riding Hood by Claudia Davila; when she pops on her red cloak, she takes on some super powers and shows the Wolf who is the boss. Now if you are that kinda girl you need a cape that matches, and our acetate satin would make one suitable for casual wear for a rebel girl.


Red Cape Fabric

Acetate Satin in Lipstick Red


Harry Potter Fancy Dress

You can’t go wrong with one of the many characters from the books in the Harry Potter Series. Starting with the School uniform this one is possibly the simplest because really, it’s a black cloak over a school uniform. But when you go down a simple route you need to use the best possible fabric so what about using a black acetate satin. It will flutter magically when you walk into any room. 


Luna Lovegood

But maybe you want to try something a little different, what about Luna Lovegood as she is a fan favourite. The key to any good fancy dress is the details and although you can pretty much wear your most eccentric outfit and team with a homemade pair of Spector Specs. All you need is some cardboard to make the frames and the jazziest pink fabric you can find to cover them; we have some pretty good options too….


Dobby the House Elf

Another fan favourite that would make the perfect costume for any child for World Book Day is Dobby, and the costumer is actually pretty simple. Just a simple pillowcase dress made out of calico, with an adapted beanie hat with some extra-large earrings attached to the top. Thinking about it, if you made this version of some cat ears in something more flesh coloured it would work perfectly…..


Fancy Dress Ears

 Animal Bonnets from Made By Toya

 But again, it’s in the details so don’t forget to add a Sock as you will be a free Elf of course. 




And finally, wanting to go slightly left field what about Hagrid himself? We know what you are thinking, how can we make beard. Well, a customer from one Saturday came up with the best idea, faux fur. Shaped into a beard (to cut it, we suggest using a craft knife and cut from the back to the front), then using two small holes on the side and bit of string, ta dah a mighty fine beard you have. 


Gandalf and other Wizards


Oh, now that has opened up all the great Wizards out there, Albus Dumbledore or maybe even Gandalf but if fur seems a bit tricky for you, our cream bouclé would work perfectly and can be shaped with scissors. (P.S. if hobbits are more your thing the fur works very well to add some hair to hobbit feet).


Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland

Talking of Wizards, we have a whole range of Wizard of Oz inspired fabrics , Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and more in our licensed fabric collection.


Children’s fabrics for Our Easy Fancy Dress Ideas

If none of the above have tickled your fancy (dress), then head on over to our Fancy Dress Pinterest page where we have plenty of inspiration. Don’t forget we are here in our fabric shop in London 6 days a week, ready to help you turn the last-minute World Book Panic into your quick and easy children’s costume. The team are super friendly and creative and ready to direct you to our very best children’s fancy dress fabrics in time for the big day.

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