The Best Book Characters to Dress Up as For Halloween

The Best Book Characters to Dress Up as For Halloween

The Gruffalo

Everyone knows and loves Julia Donaldson’s adorable monster, so a Gruffalo costume is a guaranteed hit this Halloween. If you don’t have a onesie to hand, head down to your local charity shop and look for some brown trousers and a brown top. Use fabric paints for the famous knobbly knees and purple card to make spikes to glue onto the back. Get creative with face paints, using orange for around the eyes, brown for the face, white for the fangs and horns and, of course, green for the “poisonous” wart at the end of your nose.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Lisbeth Salander

This gothic look is very much about black – black vest, black leather jacket, black leggings, black combat boots and a short black wig – and is ideal if you want an excuse to release your inner rock chick. Combine this with a spiked choker and a load of fake piercings and you’re good to go. Oh, and don’t forget the star of the show: a black dragon transfer. If you can’t find one, you could use a black eyeliner pencil and practise your artistic skills…

Peter Pan

Be the boy who never grew up for the night with this simple-to-make, iconic look. While there are plenty of ready-made Peter Pan costumes available, it’s so much more fun – and cheaper – to make your own. Buy some green fleece and create your pattern by tracing around an existing item of clothing (front and back) such as a vest or fitted T-shirt. Sew the cutouts together and then use your scissors to cut triangles into the sleeves and bottom of the dress. Make your hat with the same material and colour a feather with a red felt-tip pen. Then all you need is a thin brown belt, a sword, brown ankle boots and – of course – some fetching green tights!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Holly Golightly

Bring a touch of New York sophistication to your Halloween party with a simple black shift dress and long black gloves. If you don’t have any arm-length gloves, use a pair of old black tights and cut them so they will come to just below your elbow and cut a hole at the end to put your fingers through. Having mitten-style gloves will mean you can unwrap your Halloween sweets with ease, too! Next, you’ll need all the obligatory bling: a dainty pearl necklace and earrings, a fake diamond ring and a sparkly tiara to wear in your bun.

Pride and Prejudice – Elizabeth Bennett

Jane Austen fans can go all vintage this Halloween with a prairie-style dress, some plain ballet pumps and very simple make up. Remember, no bright colours… Elizabeth Bennett wore very neutral tones, so think 50 shades of beige! Put your hair up in a bun and curl a few strands at the front. You could even go all out with the writers’ look by carrying around a leather journal; you’ll certainly look the part.

Alice in Wonderland – The Mad Hatter

This weird and wonderful look is sure to get heads turning. Most of the costume can be made from items already in your wardrobe: a long jacket, boots and trousers (if they’re pin-striped and slightly too short for you, even better). Then all you’ll need is a bright curly wig, a top hat and plenty of white face make up. You could buy some party streamers and have them flowing out of your pockets, and tie a bow of orange ribbon around the base of your top hat.

Game of Thrones – Jon Snow

This is a homemade costume that can be created easily and inexpensively. Jon Snow is one of the most popular characters in the novels and wears a heavy fur-trimmed dark coat with big black boots, meaning you certainly won’t get chilly whilst out trick-or-treating this Halloween! Dig out an old, dark winter coat and add a faux fur trim to it (who knows – this revamp might mean you begin wearing your forgotten jacket once more!). Wrap up in a black scarf and gloves and then make your sword by finding a cardboard wrapping paper tube and painting it in silver paint.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Bring one of the most popular children book characters of all time to your trick-or-treat night this year; guaranteed to get ‘awws’ from everyone. The costume is very simple to make, requiring just a simple green dress or green top and leggings as the base of the outfit. You can then make the legs using brown card and sticking them to the sides, and the head can be made from a simple red beanie hat, with sewn-on or stuck-on green eyes and black antennas.

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi’s iconic red pigtail plaits can be made to look even more mischievous with the help of some wire. Hair can be plaited around the wire so that they stick out and held in place with hairspray. If you’re not a natural redhead, use an orange temporary colour, and add a final touch with a few freckles (this can be achieved with a brown eyeliner pencil). Wear a patched up dress and some mismatched stripy tights or socks with scruffy black boots.


Be a detective for the night with this instantly recognisable look, thanks to the popular television series. All you need is a stick-on handlebar moustache, a bowler hat, a dapper suit (preferably a lighter shade) with waistcoat and bow tie, a monocle and a cane. Go over your eyebrows with a heavy black eye liner, and then all you need to do is perfect your ‘suspicious’ look. This outfit is great for adults but is also adorably cute on children, toddlers, and even babies!

Do you have any other ideas for literary characters to dress up as this Halloween? We’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

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