The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (2024)

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (1)

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There are endless ways to celebrate Halloween. Fancy nail art. Stepping out to themed parties. Curling up with a scary novel or ghost movie...but for us bibliophiles, Halloween also presents the perfect opportunity to express our devotion to the art of reading by dressing up in a costume inspired by our favorite book characters.

Some of the best—and easiest Halloween costumes—for children and adults are derived from beloved novels, like Alice in Wonderland, and children's storybooks, like The Paper Bag Princess. Teachers can bring these works to life by dressing up as Junie B. Jones or the Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, for example, while boys and girls in kindergartner might especially like being Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Dr. Seuss. Better yet, if you opt to channel a stylish YA character, like Lara Jean of To All the Boys I've Loved Before, these costumes can be worn long after Halloween.

Without further ado, we've consulted bloggers and cosplayers to find the best (and simple to DIY or buy) book character costumes—from classics for kids and toddlers to don on character day at school to hidden gems for adults.

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1

Charlotte from Charlotte's Web

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (2)

Charlotte from E.B. White's book Charlotte's Web might just be literature's wisest spider. This easy DIY simply involves drawing a spider web on a white shirt and writing a word on it, like Charlotte does in the book, and pairing it with black leggings and a mask. Your little one can also dress up as Fern, the farm girl from Charlotte's Web, or Wilbur, the book's adorable pig.

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2

The Cat in the Hat Inspired Costumes

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (3)

The mischievous boys and girls in your life can embody the most mischievous characters in Dr. Seuss's oeuvre: The Cat in the Hat and his cronies, Thing 1 and Thing 2. This DIY tutorial gives instructions for building the Cat in the Hat costume using only a black T-shirt, black pants, white gloves, a red bow-tie, and a white felt patch, and has similarly simple instructions for Thing 1 and Thing 2.

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3

Cruella de Vil

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (4)

Cruella de Vil originated in children's books written by Dodie Smith, and became a famous Disney villian. There are many directions a Cruella costume will go in. Will you be a chic villain, like Cruella in 101 Dalmatians? Or a punk rock-inspired Cruella, like in the recent prequel movie? This blog gives a kid-friendly costume DIY version, involving a tulle skirt in Cruella's signature red, black and white palette that works equally well for adults.

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4

Amelia Bedelia

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (5)

Where Amelia Bedelia goes, fun (and chaos) follows. Skip your chores on Halloween, and channel this beloved children's book character instead in a costume, demonstrated expertly by Atarah Batsheva in this pic. All you need for this look, which is especially great for teachers, is a long-sleeved black dress with a white button-up shirt underneath, and then the finishing touch: A white apron.

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5

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

We solved the mystery...of what you're going to be for Halloween this year: Sherlock Holmes and his partner-in-crime-fighting, Dr. John Watson. Let your imagination run free on this couples or BFF costume. All you really need are period-style hats, a fake pipe, and a magnifying glass.

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6

Arthur

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (7)

Arthur is perhaps the ultimate bookish Halloween costume—the cartoon aardvark is an ardent book lover, and made library cards cool. Step one? Get yourself a mustard-color sweater. Step two? Round glasses. You're set! This one works for all ages.

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7

Eloise

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (8)

All you need for an Eloise costume is a black skirt, a white button-down shirt, black suspenders, and a red bow. Not included? A permanent residence at New York's Plaza Hotel. You can wear this costume year round, in our opinion.

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8

Paper Bag Princess

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (9)

Looking for an easy, but undeniably clever, DIY costume? Gather your paper bags, and recycle them into a dress inspired by The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. You'll want to trace a shirt from Kraft paper, and tie it with twine.

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Check out a costume tutorial.

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9

Junie B. Jones and Humphrey the Hamster

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (10)

Junie B. Jones is everyone's favorite elementary schooler. The costume's fundamentals are pink cardigan, a purple skirt, and patterned tights—but really, any blend of colors and patterns will do, so long as it's paired with a big bow. If you're a kindergarten teacher, this one's a real crowd pleaser.

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10

Madeleine

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (11)

Madeleine of Ludwig Bemelmans' famous children's books is only seven years old, but is already imbued with a French sense of chic. Get the look with a navy dress, white collar, Mary Jane shoes, and—of course—a signature hat.

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11

Mary Poppins

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (12)

Nikial Robinson, who has an entire Instagram account devoted to her costume creations, demonstrates that Mary Poppins is only a few patterned items away. First step? Get a carpet bag.

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Check out a makeup tutorial.

Check out a costume tutorial.

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12

Strega Nona

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (13)

Exchange the typical black dress and green face paint for a witch costume inspired by Strega Nona, the character from Tomie DePaola's beloved books. Drape a large scarp around your shoulders, and wear a lot of fabric—long skirts, sweaters, apron, and a hat.

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13

The Raven

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (14)

When in doubt, cloak yourself in Edgar Allan Poe's gloomy aesthetic and know that fellow literary-minded people will see what you're aiming for.

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14

Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (15)

Curious George's next adventure? A Halloween party. This adorable storybook idea makes for a cute best friend's costume, too. The maker of one DIY costume simply dyed white clothes yellow using RIT liquid dye or you can wear a onesies.

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15

Daisy Jones

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (16)

Channel the '70s aesthetic found in Taylor Jenkins-Reid's hit novel, Daisy Jones and the Six, for a laid-back and literary costume. Daisy Jones is the singer of a short-lived and legendary band. Once the movie adaptation comes out, this costume will be even more popular. For more inspiration, check out Fleetwood Mac's outfits—the band that partially inspired the book.

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16

"Miss Frizzle" by Joanna Cole

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (17)

16

"Miss Frizzle" by Joanna Cole

All aboard the Magic School Bus. All this whimsical dress needs is a bright orange wig, and thenMiss Frizzle is officially in the building. It's particularly on-the-nose for teachers but anyone can pull off this beloved book character costume.

Check out a costume tutorial.

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17

Daenerys Targaryen

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (18)

George R. R. Martins novels spawned a massively popular HBO series, Game of Thrones. Dress up as Daenerys Targaryen in her Khaleesi form, before she took a turn in the final season. Don't forget the wig.

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Check out a costume tutorial.

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18

Lara Jean Song Covey

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (19)

The year Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before was adapted into a hit Netflix movie, Lara Jean became a popular book-inspired Halloween costume. Her style is youthful, but twinged with nostalgia.

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19

Disney Tinkerbell

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (20)

19

Disney Tinkerbell

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No magic dust is required to become Tinkerbell from J.M. Barrie's classic novel, and Disney's popular movie adaptation. Unfortunately, the costume doesn't come with the ability to fly.

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20

Zero and Caveman

The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (21)

In Louis Sachar's Holes, Stanley Yelnats is shipped off to Camp Green Lake to dig endless holes. In addition to the all-orange outfits, you'll need jugs of water and shovels.

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The Most Spectacular Book Character Halloween Costumes (2024)

FAQs

What is the most worn Halloween costume ever? ›

A few of the all-time most popular Halloween costumes include:
  • Star Wars: Star Wars is always popular! ...
  • Policeman/Firefighter: Real-life superheroes likefirefighters and policemen have always been well-loved costume options for both kids and adults.
  • Witch: You don't need any hocus pocus to create a witch costume!

What is the number one searched Halloween costume? ›

Most popular costume 2023

For the first time in three years, witches have been knocked off their pedestal as the most searched for costume with Barbie taking the top spot.

Who is the best written character in all of fiction? ›

1) Sherlock Holmes. Created by Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes is one of the best fictional characters of all time. A detective in Baker Street, Holmes has a vast knowledge of science along with amazing reasoning and observation skills.

Who is the most famous book character in the world? ›

One of the most famous literary characters is Sherlock Holmes. He is an intelligent detective who uses his keen observation skills to solve crimes. Sherlock Holmes is a well-loved character because of his wit, intellect, and charm.

How many Halloween costumes are wasted? ›

The US has a population 5 times bigger than the UK, so estimates for how many Halloween costumes are thrown away in the US are around 35 million. A truly scary amount.

What was the most popular Halloween costume in 1973? ›

1973: Marcia Brady

Here's the story…of a popular Halloween costume in 1973. The Brady Bunch first aired in 1969 and became everyone's favorite family, but it was 1973 when Maureen McCormick's Marcia Brady took a football to the nose.

What was the most popular Halloween costume in 1985? ›

Top Halloween Costumes: 1983-2019
  • 1980s. 1983: Princess Leia. 1984: Freddy Krueger. 1985: Hulk Hogan. 1986: Care Bears. 1987: Where's Waldo? ...
  • 1990s. 1990: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 1991: The Terminator. 1992: Catwoman. 1993: Barney. ...
  • 2000s. 2000: Austin Powers. 2001: SNL Spartan Cheerleaders. 2002: Spider-Man. 2003: Pirates.

What is considered an offensive Halloween costume? ›

Watch out for costumes that represent cultures that your child doesn't identify with, as well as controversial figures like Confederate soldiers or serial killers. Costumes that stereotype prisoners, unhoused people or any other marginalized people aren't cool either.

What should I dress if I hate Halloween? ›

14 Clever (and Easy!) DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for People Who Hate Dressing Up
  • 01 of 14. It's Raining Men. ...
  • 02 of 14. Damian from Mean Girls. ...
  • 03 of 14. Tom Cruise from Risky Business. ...
  • 04 of 14. Identity Theft. ...
  • 05 of 14. Instagram Story. ...
  • 06 of 14. Refrigerator. ...
  • 07 of 14. When Life Gives You Lemons. ...
  • 08 of 14. Andy Warhol.
Oct 29, 2019

Is Halloween becoming less popular? ›

Halloween is a widely celebrated tradition in the United States, with around 70 percent of Americans planning to participate in Halloween celebrations in 2023. In 2020 and 2021 planned participation fell noticeably, likely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the most popular Halloween costume in America? ›

Most popular adult costume of 2023: Barbie and Ken

According to Sprit Halloween employees, at multiple stores, Barbie and Ken costumes have been this year's most sold adult costume.

What is the most popular costume on Halloween trivia? ›

Adults dress as witches most frequently, according to the National Retail Federation.

What country did Halloween originate? ›

Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin.

Which is the best character for fancy dress competition for girls? ›

Participants can dress up as their favorite princess, such as Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, or Snow White. Superheroes: Another popular theme that can inspire creativity and imagination. Girls can dress up as their favorite superhero, such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Captain Marvel.

What makes a good main character in a book? ›

Complexity and Depth: A well-developed lead character should have depth and complexity. They should have strengths, weaknesses, fears, desires, and internal conflicts that make them relatable and human. Readers should be able to empathize with their struggles and journey.

What book character wears normal clothes? ›

Book Characters that Wear Normal Clothes

Charlie Bucket” from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl Perhaps one of the most famous Roald Dahl books thanks to the film(s), Charlie Bucket wears normal clothes typical for a young boy such as shirt/jumper and jeans.

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