HOW TO: be a book for Halloween // kid's clothes week

HOW TO be a book for halloween

Hello, hello! I’m Tasha from Glitter+Wit. The stars are aligning for this season of Kids Clothes Week. October sewing dates + a storybook theme–are you thinking what I’m thinking? Costumes!! I’m so excited to share with you some ideas for turning your favorite your kids‘ favorite children’s books into costumes for Halloween (or everyday play).

It seems simple enough, right? Pick a book. Pick a character. Sew the thing. I tend to get too excited (my kids are still young enough that I get to pick the costumes) and procrastinate the Halloween costume decision until the last minute. There are just too many fantastic things to sew! Hopefully this post will inspire you (and myself) to hone in on the perfect storybook costume. In this post you’ll find a variety of ideas; from classic costumes with pieces that can be worn everyday, to wild and crazy ideas that will get you thinking outside the box. Here we go!

Make a costume that can be worn long after October has passed– a classic costume from a classic book! Add a green top and apple as prop to become The Giving Tree’s boy, add a red bow and yellow hat (or headband) to a timeless dress for a Madeline look, or try colorblocking a sleep sack in shades of green for your very hungry baby’s first costume.

1. Spruce Shorts (Zuzzy Patterns) 2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
3. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans 4. Debbie’s birthday dress (Sewpony Vintage)


1. Colorblocked Lua Sleep Sack (Straight Grain) 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 3. Double Knot Hat (Fish Kiss Fabrics)

Children’s book abound with animal characters, but you don’t have to create an entire animal costume. Try adding animal hats to the mix for a fun and functional costume. It’s already getting chilly where I live; new hats are definitely in order.


1. Winter Animal Hat (Living DIY Style) 2. Corduroy by Don Freeman 3. Bas (Zonen 09)

We just gifted Corduroy to our son for his first birthday and now I’m obsessed with the idea of little green overalls. The addition of a bear cowl makes this the perfect not-too-costumey costume.


1. Ballet Sweater (Heidi & Finn) 2. Angelina Ballerina 3. Ellie Skirt (Violette Field Threads) 4. Animal Ears Fleece Hat (Tie Dye Diva)

Yes, those are cat ears. But the pattern has many other ear templates included, and it wouldn’t be hard to adapt for an Angelina Ballerina look. This is a costume I know my daughter would wear all the time if I’d let her.


1. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney 2. Lazy Day Pajamas (Blank Slate Patterns) 3. Fleece Hat (Vaappi)

We love the Llama Llama books! Sew up a set of red pajamas and add a fleece hat (perhaps lengthen the ears a bit) and your little llama will be so pleased with his mama.

If you’re not-so-much into the multi-purpose costume, then by all means go nuts! Making kids’ costumes is a great opportunity to try out a new technique or material, or make your own pattern. I always get most creative when sewing costumes because there are no rules–unfinished seams, cut hems, and hook+loop closures are all fair game!


1&2. The Little Prince & his Rose (book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
3. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 4. the once-ler, the lorax, and the brown bar-ba-loot

For some characters, you’ll simply need to wing it–there aren’t many patterns for fur body suits, flower hats, and floor length waistcoats! Use your imagination and any materials you can find! The Lorax costume above makes use of a yellow duster, and two years ago I deconstructed thrift store teddy bears for our family’s Three Bears costumes. Look around the house and make it work! I can’t wait to see what creative costumes pop up for this round of Kids Clothes Week.

We’re already closing in on Halloween, so maybe you’re not feeling up to a big creative challenge for a once-worn costume. Luckily there are many patterns suitable for costumes–no pattern altering necessary!


1. Woodland Animal Costume (Running With Scissors) 2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. Alice in Wonderland 4. Storybook Pinafore (Tie Dye Diva)
5. Reversible Crown (Rae Gun Ramblings) 6. The Paper Bag Princes by Robert Munsch

For a straight forward (and very recognizable) pattern, choose the Woodland Animal Costume–it has views for a wolf, bear, or fox. Fantastic Mr Fox, anyone? The Storybook Pinafore is the perfect touch for an Alice look. I could also see how it could be modified to make a Dorothy costume. And the last pattern is a simple crown. This is perfect for any prince or princess, but I’m dying to see someone make a Paper Bag Princess costume. Bonus point if you sew a dress to look like a paper bag! This could also be a stress-free costume for a baby.

I obviously chose a selection of popular books for these costume ideas, but there’s no reason you can’t make a costume based on an obscure family favorite. I think it’s more important to make something special that your child loves than something your neighbors will recognize. What are you waiting for? Get to planning. I can’t wait to see your costumes!

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  • Reply Nicole October 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Oh my goodness, I love your Little Prince costumes! Your work is just fabulous – plus your kids are about as cute as they come.

    • Reply Natasha Early October 7, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks so much, Nicole! I’m pretty fond of them (the costumes and the kids). 🙂

  • Reply Maria October 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Lovely post Tasha. This theme is very vast and that is fantastic. I do to love your Little Prince costumes, that is a favorite book in this household.

    • Reply Natasha Early October 7, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks, Maria! I seriously can’t wait to see all the interpretations on this fantastic theme. I’m feeling very inspired by Emily Martin’s Dream Animals book. Love her illustrations!

  • Reply Marisa October 8, 2014 at 7:08 am

    Great post, Tasha. I do love a good costume – and I think your little green overalls are a lovely idea 🙂

  • Reply Ari Green October 9, 2014 at 4:18 am

    Super cute! I LOVE the very hungry caterpillar idea!!

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