Easy & crafty children’s Book Week character costumes

Forget the usual Book Week panic!
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Book Week rolls around every year and it is easy to get caught up in your child’s panic to decide what character they want to dress as. 

Once the character has been decided on, you then stress and scramble to figure out how you will even be able to create the costume.

Never fear! Grab your glue gun and get ready to create these simple Aussie book characters at home, on a budget.

Book Week costumes
Alice-Miranda and Koala Lu

5 tips for making a Book Week costume

  1. GET CREATIVE: There are lots of home objects that can be made into a costume without spending loads of money. Look around the house for inspiration!
  2. GRAB A HOT GLUE GUN: Anything is possible with a hot glue gun. They’re relatively inexpensive but can be used year after year, so they’re a really handy investment.
  3. VISIT YOUR LOCAL DISCOUNT STORE: Once you’ve got your perfect costume in mind, visit your local ‘$2 shop’ for cheap ways to add things to it.
  4. FOCUS ON THE DETAILS: Sometimes it’s the little things that can really make or break a costume. Think about those finishing touches that will give it extra impact.
  5. BOOK LANYARD: This little hack is genius! Put a small coloured photo of the book inspiration in a lanyard to hang around your child’s neck so that everyone knows who they are. Simple!
Book Week costumes
Prue Theroux and Scuba Kid

10 Book Week character ideas


This costume is great for older children and requires relatively minor crafting. Team a khaki shirt and skirt and use some pink ribbon for a belt. Add some toilet roll binoculars, a yoga mat or sleeping bag as a swag, and Alice-Miranda is good to go!


Everyone loves a koala and this little cutie is no exception. We used a cheap grey bobble bath mat from a discount department store and created the ears and chest with some faux sheepskin that was glued on. Some grey face paint, a cute little black nose, red shoes and a whistle really complete Koala Lou’s look.


Take a deep dive into creativity with this genius costume. Start with a black top and leggings. Make the oxygen tanks out of soft drink bottles sprayed blue. Tape together and attach to the back with black tape. We made a weighted belt with rope, toilet rolls, corks and a spray hose as the tube for the oxygen tank. Add a snorkelling mask, net and a shiny bucket of felt fish.


Who better to celebrate Children’s Book Week than Prue Theroux the very cool librarian (top right)? Using a vest and a neutral dress, this little lady comes alive with her extra arms. These are made from kids’ leggings stuffed with padding and attached to the vest. We used stuffed exfoliating gloves for the hands. Fishing wire helps keep the arms from going floppy. Finish it off with a red headband or fabric in the hair, some reading glasses and a tattoo drawn on with a semi-permanent marker.

Book Week costumes
Ribbit Rabbit Robot


Grab a plain cardboard box and some paint for this fun little robot. We covered the box in red cardboard, but you could also paint it. We then added an aluminium foil roasting tray on the back and an aluminium foil muffin tray on the front. A paper plate cut in half with coloured paint is used for the temperature gauge. A toilet roll and cardboard cap is covered in foil for the robot’s exhaust pipe. A few coloured buttons glued at the front add some extra detail. Your child can wear a plain black top and leggings underneath.


Mr Chicken is a real attention seeker! Start with yellow leggings and yellow top. Cut two circles of thick cardboard for front and back (approximately 50cm wide). Glue yellow feather boas in a circular fashion to cover the surface. You will need approximately three boas per circle. Use strips of yellow ribbon to hold it over the shoulders. Finish with yellow rubber gloves on hands and feet, black sunglasses, red lipstick and a tiny top hat made from black cardboard. You’ll be top of the pecking order in no time!


Anh Do fans, this one’s for you – and as a bonus, it’s super easy and super comfy! Team red tracksuit pants with a red hoodie. Tie a yellow towel or fabric around the neck for a cape. Make wavy-shaped ears from red felt (each approximately 25cm long). Use a hot glue gun to attach a red pipe cleaner underneath to create the crinkle shape. Attach the ears to the hood with glue. A little black nose, black eyebrows and white eyelids add extra effect. Team with your favourite ‘sidekick’ such as a cat or a chameleon.

Book Week costumes
Bush Magic and The Rainbow Serpent


Become Jarrah, Queen of the Bush, with this heart-melting costume. Cut a canoe shape out of cardboard (stiff cardboard is best). Paint it green and attach peach-coloured ribbon to either end. For the headpiece, collect gumnuts, leaves, blossoms and fern fronds, and attach to a plastic headband (it helps to glue the foliage to some cardboard first and then glue it to the headband). Team with a peach or neutral T-shirt and leggings. Add a yellow umbrella and a little kangaroo for company, and little Jarrah is complete.


Who doesn’t love a classic gumnut baby? This costume is perfect for the little ones. Start building it with a white T-shirt and yellow shorts as the base. Make a skirt to cover the shorts by gluing strips of yellow tissue paper to elastic for the waist. The hat is made from green felt, cut in a circle and glued to finish (around 30cm in diameter). Make the fringing out of yellow tissue paper and glue to the edge of the hat. The necklace is made from string (or ribbon) and felt (or cardboard) green leaves and yellow pompoms.


This superb character will get people talking. Goorialla the Rainbow Serpent starts with black pants and a black hoodie. Create the rainbow scales out of coloured plates attached together with glue or double-sided tape. Glue a strip of black fabric to the plates and attach the top of the fabric to the chest and/or back. The scales can be as short or long as you like – it depends on how much attention your child likes! Use felt to make the fangs, eyes and flaps, and attach to the hoodie.

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