Looking for a unique Halloween costume for your little bookworm? Here are some DIY costume ideas based on beloved book characters (many are bilingual!). We have added new costumes to the list, just in time for Halloween.
Bonus: lots of these can be thrown together as last-minute costumes for mamas like me who procrastinated a bit too long!
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
You may be able to DIY this costume straight from your daughter’s closet! To recreate this classic French character, you will need:
- A blue dress
- White-collared shirt
- Red ribbon
- Straw hat
- Black ribbon to tie around the hat
- White knee socks
- Black dress shoes
If you want to get even more detailed, check out these instructions: Madeline Costume by The Chirping Moms
Curious George by H.A. Rey and Margret Rey
Deck your little one out in yellow from head to toe to transform into the Man with the Yellow Hat from Curious George!
Depending on our luck finding solid yellow clothing, you may need to dye fabric yourself (instructions for dyeing and sewing your own custom yellow clothing here: DIY Curious George Yellow Man Costume by MerricksArt
To complete this look, you’ll need:
- Yellow dress shirt
- Yellow pants or leggings
- Yellow tie
- Black belt
- Black shoes
- Wide-brimmed yellow hat with a black ribbon tied around it
Complete the look with an adorable stuffed monkey, or perhaps recruit a younger sibling to sport the monkey costume 🙂
Rapunzel’s golden hair
With just a few materials, you can create long, golden locks for a Rapunzel costume. A few things to gather:
- A princess dress from your daughter’s closet
- Yellow streamers
- Yellow packing tape
- An old cereal box or other thin cardboard
- A wide headband
Follow the instructions here to create your child’s golden hair: Rapunzel’s Hair DIY by DanyaBanya
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
This one works very well as a last-minute costume!
To recreate the mouse from this popular children’s book, you’ll need:
- Denim overalls
- Plain t-shirt
- Face paint or marker to draw whiskers
- Round cardboard cut out for your cookie, plus a black marker to draw in the chocolate chips.
Don Quijote by Miguel Cervantes:
This is probably the costume that will take the longest to make out of all our options, but it is not difficult.
You will need:
- Large cardboard or recycled box, rubber bands or string and aluminum foil
- Cut two pieces to make the metal armor front and back and cover with aluminum foil, fix to each other with rubber bands over shoulders and then at the end also around the waste, so it is comfortable for the child to wear.
- the pole of a floor mop, to be made into a spear, also cover with aluminum foil and attach a paper pointy top
- For the helmet use a cap and attach a ring made out of cardboard, so it is more sturdy, cut out a half moon at one side and then cover all with foil.
- Glue and sticky tape
What to wear underneath:
- white t-shirt
- dark shorts
- black stockings (leotards)
- Draw a pointy beard and mustache.
Here a quick video that outlines the outfit step by step: Don Quijote last minute costume video in Spanish, but easy to follow
- Small bed sheet or piece of cloth to be used as a cape,
- Face mask
- A t-shirt that you can write on. Get creative, why not write their initial onto a big hexagon, so they become “Super Caroline or Maria or Tim or Tom”
- A great one for Spanish speaking kids is el Chapulín Colorado (red hoodie, yellow heart, and antennas)
- blue dress
- big red bow
- white stockings – THAT’s IT!!
Another one from Matilda, Ms. Trunchball:
- A dress or one of daddy’s suit jackets
- A dark belt
- Huge black, connected eyebrows cut out of cardboard or paper
- Hair in a dutt
If you decide to go for the dress option, make sure it goes all the way up, so it looks more strict.
If you decide to go for one of daddy’s suit jackets, use a white shirt and a tie to go with it.
- Roasting pan painted in green (we only had a small one, the larger ones would look much better)
- Brown or yellow paper or felt material for the turtle front
- green t-shirt
- Colored material (orange, purple, red or blue, depending on which turtle you want to be) for the eye-mask and cutouts on arms and legs
Here two examples we found online:
- Colorful clothes, the crazier, the better.
- Long socks of two different pairs or a colorful pair of stocking
- Hair in two simple braids or if you want them to stick up you will need a piece of wire to hold them up (WATCH OUT! Probably NOT a good idea for small children)
- On this image we used a wig, a great option if the child’s hair is too short.
Here a great video for the hair, if you decide to go for the wire version:
- Blue sweater
- hair gelled up only on the front
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak:
- White or grey hoodie
- paper cutouts for buttons, horns, and cuffs
- pipe cleaners for the whiskers
- cardboard crown and wool for the bottom crown.
If you have time here is one with a lot more detail:
- Round paper or cardboard cutout for the face. Use this close-up to draw mouth, nose, eyes, and hair.
- Black or dark shorts
- long white socks
- Attach a wooden handle (i.e. chopstick) to the face cut-out, so it is easier to hold
Of course, we had to include this one, it is THE easiest of them all!!
Your child can go as him or herself…easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
A bilingual and personalized story that will spark your kid’s imagination and language ability.
You can customize the name and look of the child and choose two out of ten available languages.
TimTimTom – Playfully Reading and Learning Languages