As some of you might know, I love a bit of crafting, so when I got an email to say that Alfie’s nursery would be celebrating World Book Day, I was excited to create a costume for him!
World Book Day is in it’s 20th year of celebrating all things books, authors, illustrators, reading and writing and aims to encourage children to discover all the exciting things there are to explore in books. I have always been a massive bookworm, and loved visiting the library when I was younger. I was always the one to take out the most books, and couldn’t wait to return them the following week and get some more! I remember celebrating World Book Day at school, but we didn’t use to dress up (for which I’m sure my mum is pleased about because it would have been a nightmare for her to coordinate 6 costumes for my siblings and I!) Instead we would be given a book token to spend on purchasing a book of our choice.
Alfie isn’t hugely in to books yet. He has a few that he likes to read, but lacks the concentration to sit for long enough to hear a whole story – even the shortest ones are a struggle! He does love his pop up book though and can look at that one again and again and again! I hope as he gets a bit older he starts to share my love of reading.
So, for World Book Day, Alfie’s nursery have asked that we send them in in a costume to celebrate their favourite book. I did think about just buying one, because let’s be honest, between a full time job, a toddler to look after, blogging and keeping house, where was I going to find the time to make a costume?! There are some brilliant options out there for those of you who just won’t get a chance to make one – including some great ones from Asda and TK Maxx.
I do also begrudge spending £15 on a costume he’ll either wear once or ruin at nursery, so I decided to get creative and raid my craft box to see what I could find to make something myself. After scouring Pinterest for some ideas, I decided that Alfie could go as the lion from Dear Zoo. It is his favourite book at the moment and he loves lions too, so it was the perfect choice!
Due to lack of time, I tried to go for a simple option. Alfie already had a yellow top and brown trousers, so all I had to do was create a mane and tail for him. It was pretty easy in the end!
Here is my step by step guide of how to create your own Lion outfit:
What you need
3 different colours of yarn/wool (I used what I had but a thicker one would probably have worked better)
Pair of bear ears (I had these already from Alfie’s birthday but they only cost a few quid)
Fleece or felt for tail
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Method for Mane
Cut three lengths of each colour about 30cm long. I just guessed but they need to long enough to tie under your child’s chin. Plait these together. I used 3 lengths of each colour because the wool is thin, but if you used a thicker wool you could just use one length. Tie this on to the bottom of the bear ears. Repeat on the other side.
Cut another length of thread about 15cm long. This is to be tied on to the headband to create the mane. Use this as a guide to cut some more lengths of thread. I cut 50 lengths of each colour to begin with.
Tie each individual thread on around the headband, alternating colours. The more you tie on, the more full the mane will look. I ended up doing another 50 lengths of each colour for the main headband and 20 of each colour to put on the plaits.
Continue to tie these on the plaits so that when you tie it under the chin, it creates a full mane.
That’s your mane complete – how easy was that?!
Method for tail:
I then created the tail. For this, I used some light brown felt that I already had.
I folded the felt in half and drew a line freehand so it was curved and shorter at one end.
I then sewed around 2 sides with the fold in the middle to create a pocket and turned inside out to create a pocket.
Stuff with whatever you have in the house. I already had stuffing but you could use old fabric, or even newspaper for a quick, cheap solution.
Sew the end to close off the tail, with a machine or hand sew to finish it off. I left a little flap at the end and cut the sides to flatten out against his trousers to make it easier to attach.
Make a Pom Pom using the same thread you used for the mane. Tie it off and cut round the middle to make the pompom. I used superglue to put it on the end of the tail, although a hot glue gun probably would have been better. I also put a few stitches through the pompom on to the tail to make it more secure.
To attach it to Alfie’s trousers, I decided to use kam snaps so he could take it on and off easily. I put one end through his trousers and another the tail. I only did this because they were old trousers and I also knew I could take the snap off easily! You could either sew it on or tie a piece of elastic or string round your child’s waist to attach it.
And there you have it – a quick, easy World Book day costume! As I used bits I already had at home, it didn’t cost me anything and I’m quite proud that I got to make his first fancy dress outfit!
In standard parenting laws of sod, Alfie wouldn’t play ball and let me take a photo of him dressed up in the final outfit, but hopefully I can get one of him on the day!
Is your child celebrating World Book Day this year? What character have they decided to go as?
I’m pleased to say that I got Alfie to dress up in his costume this morning for World Book Day at nursery!