Posted on June 10, 2016

5 fail-safe fancy dress costume ideas for kids


Let me let you in on a little secret. Sometimes people don’t like superheroes and princesses. Don’t get me wrong, you might have a comics collection and be able to sing all the words to “Let it go” without missing beat, but whenever it’s time for a kid’s fancy dress party it seems like all you can see are row upon row of Iron Men, Hulks, Elsas and “some princess, not princess specifically, but it’s a pretty pink dress”.

Even when it’s World Book Day – yes, technically all these characters have appeared in books, but it’s not exactly adhering to the spirit of the occasion, is it? So that’s why we’re here. Below you will find five imaginative, fun and easy costumes, none of which feature characters currently owned by Disney.

Where’s Wally?

A great costume for World Book Day, children’s fancy dress parties and of course, class photos. A red white stripy jumper, a red and white stripy bobble hat and a pair of glasses and you child will have the most distinctive costume to ever be really hard to pick out of a crowd.

Alternatively, get a yellow and black stripy jumper and hat and give your child a pencil moustache to transform them into Odlaw, Wally’s evil counterpart (his name his “Waldo” spelled backwards, which makes more sense if you’re reading the original American books).

The Uniform for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

This one is great because not only is it easy, it’s infinitely customisable! Simply take your kid’s usual school uniform (or just black trousers/skirt, white shirt and grey jumper or blazer) and add the scarf of their preferred house. That’s red and gold stripes for Gryffindor (brave), blue and bronze for Ravenclaw (clever), green and silver for Slytherin (ambition) and yellow and black for Hufflepuff (who are also a house at Hogwarts).

You can easily customise the costume to fit your favourite character. A pair of glasses and a facepainted zig-zag will turn your Gryffindor costume into Harry Potter. Slick back their hair and put a Slytherin scarf on them and they’re Draco Malfoy.

Mr Messy

This is a great one because as well as being easy, it’s fun to make, and your kids will have a great time helping you. You just need a white long sleeved top and leggings, and some pink or purple fabric pens. Then simply scribble all over them from head to toe. Try to get that nice scribbly loopy pattern you see in the drawings of the real Mr Messy, then once you’ve got it perfect, take a black marker or some black fabric to put the face over the chest of the jumper.

The end result looks amazing and who doesn’t enjoy a chance to ruin some brand new clothes?

The Golden Ticket

The true hero of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that shiny bit of paper that made it all possible, and it’s a surprisingly easy costume to put together. With a bit of shopping around you can find a pillowcase made of gold fabric for less than a tenner. You can buy sticky backed letters for a similar price to add text, then cut holes for your child’s neck and arms, and soon you’ll have a golden ticket off your very own!

The Little Prince

This book by the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a vital part of any children’s library, and a dead easy costume as well! You just need to some trousers, a green shirt, some red ribbon for his belt and a long yellow scarf, then get an old football and papier mâché it into a planet!

* Collaborative Post.

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  • Reply Sabina @MummyMatters June 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I love this post!! My kids’ school is ALWAYS doing some fancy dress or another and I get so fed up of trying to think up costumes or go out and buy real fancy dress costumes. I think my son would love to be Mr Messy 🙂

  • Reply Cass@frugalfamily June 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Aw, we’re past the fancy dress age now with my two but some great ideas for those with younger kids. Where’s Wally is my favourite x x

  • Reply Jennifer Howze June 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

    These are right up our street — we always remember dressing up day for school at the very last minute and end up scrambling!

  • Reply Jen Walshaw June 13, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Mini ALWAYS goes as harry Potter! George from Georges marvelous Medicine is really simple too. Jeans, Red T and a Green cardigan or xip through

  • Reply Kara Guppy June 13, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    We have Harry Potter costumes here – typically my son wants to have a lifeboat crew uniform for school on Monday – cannot find one anywhere!!

  • Reply Erica Price June 13, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    The Harry Potter uniform idea is a good one – not too much extra needed.

  • Reply Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me) June 13, 2016 at 11:51 am

    The Little Prince – what a nice idea! Lovely post, lots of creative ideas here.

  • Reply Michelle June 13, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Fun ideas! Harry Potter has saved fancy dress parties and dress up school days the world over :p

  • Reply nessjibberjabberuk June 13, 2016 at 12:31 am

    I’ve done Where’s Wally? before as it’s very easy and practical to wear. My daughter loves having the chance to dress up in her Hogwarts outfit.

  • Reply angela hamilton June 12, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Yes the whole Harry potter/Hogwarts theme is possibly the easiest and best I think

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