World Book Day ideas: quick and easy wins with a paper plate

Published on: 16 February 2017 Author: The Bookstart Team

Who has the time to hand-sew costumes of Matilda and Where’s Wally? Instead, read our ‘cheat’s sheet’ for a stress-free World Book Day on Thursday 2 March.

If you’re already fretting about World Book Day and keeping your child happy with a costume they’re excited to wear, fear not.

We have two very easy crafty ideas for you – and all you really need are some paper plates.

After all, where better to start than an eye-catching hat? Trust us, everything else can follow afterwards, with a quick rummage around the charity shops or high street.

Ready? Then let our very own Bookstart Bear talk you through it.

Costume idea 1: The Cat in the Hat

For Dr Seuss's masterpiece, you will need:

  • 2 paper plates
  • 1 A3 sheet of red paper
  • 1 A3 sheet of white paper (you could also use 2 A4 sheets sellotaped side by side if you don't have A3 ones)

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Compass or something round to draw round
  • Sellotape
  • Glue stick
  • Long ruler


1. Trim the white paper so the shorter edge is now 20cm. Cut three long strips of the red paper that are 4cm wide. Stick them onto the white paper so they look like stripes.

2. Cut the crimped edges off both plates. Draw a 10cm circle in the middle of both plates. On the first plate, create flaps around the outside by making a cut every cm up to the circle. On the second, poke a hole in the centre with your scissors so you can get the scissors through and then make cuts up to the circle from the inside.  Fold the flaps out on both plates.

3. Use sellotape to stick one end of the striped paper to the flaps on the first plate. Finally, stick the second plate to the other end of the striped paper. Your hat is ready!

4. If you have face paints and red fabric, why not draw some whiskers on and tie a bow tie round your neck?

5. Now all you need are some black or black-and-white clothes (say a white t-shirt, black cardigan and black trousers), and away you go!

Costume idea 2: The Day the Crayons Quit

Recreate Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers' modern classic, by getting hold of the following:

  • 1 sheet of A3 paper in the colour of your favourite crayon (or sellotape 2 A4 sheets side by side to create one big A3 sheet)
  • 1 sheet of A4 white paper
  • Scrap cardboard from a box

  • Scissors
  • Sellotape
  • Compass or something round to draw round
  • Glue stick


1. Cut a long strip from the coloured crayon paper that is 7cm wide. Mark a line at 2cm and 4cm along. Create flaps by making cuts up to the 4cm line. Fold the flaps at 2cm and 4cm.

2. Cut a half circle out of the crayon coloured paper and fold this into a cone shape by bringing the edges together. Sellotape only the bottom 2cm half of the flaps of the strip to the cone and your hat is ready.

3. Make the placard by cutting a bigger rectangle out of the card and then a thinner strip, which will be the handle. Sellotape these together. Cut a rectangle from the white paper which is the same size as your card rectangle and write your message on it with crayons or felt tips. Stick this to the card.

4. Bookstart Bear's yellow T-shirt is in the wash, so we used a yellow piece of paper and drew some zig zags with felt tips at the bottom - but you could just wear a t-shirt and trousers in your favourite crayon colour!

Ta-da - ready for World Book Day

For both hats, you might not have ears like Bookstart bear to help to keep your hat on, so glue them to a headband so they can stay on longer.

And there you go - fun, easy wins that will give you more precious time in the evenings for wine, boxsets or, most importantly…sleep!

With thanks to Jennifer Luk and Bookstart Bear

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