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Adult Costumes for World Book Day Comments Off on Adult Costumes for World Book Day

Posted on February 29, 2016 by Fancy Dress Ball


With World Book Day just around the corner, we’re wondering why the children should have all the fun! After all, most books have adult characters too, don’t they? Here are five great World Book Day costumes for adults who don’t want to miss out on all the fun:


1. Bert the Chimney Sweep

One of the best characters (and worst accents) the world has ever seen in a movie, Bert the chimney sweep began life in the Mary Poppins books by PL Travers. If you need a bit of inspiration for this role, check out this amazing video from last week:





2. Mary Poppins

You can’t have one without the other now, can you! If you’ve seen the movie Saving Mr Banks you’ll know that long before Disney made her into a movie star, Mary Poppins was the beloved nanny from PL Travers’s set of enchanting children’s books. Practically perfect in every way, of course.









3. Oompa Loompa

Everyone has heard of the oompa loompas, right? They come from Loompaland, which Willy Wonka describes as a terrible place filled with thick jungles and dangerous animals. They’ve left Loompaland to work in Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory…








4. Odlaw from Where’s Wally

You can expect to see lots of people dressed as Where’s Wally this World Book Day, so why not try something a little different and be Odlaw instead? Odlaw is the bad guy from the Where’s Wally books; all he cares about is getting his hands on Wally’s magical walking stick.









5. The Mad Hatter

One of the most famous characters, the Mad Hatter has had many forms. As well as appearing in the movie adaptations of the Alice in Wonderland books, he also appears in the TV series Once Upon a Time, as a bad guy in Batman and even in an episode of Futurama.






What are you dressing up as for World Book Day? Do head on over to our Facebook page and share a photo!




10 Easy Last Minute World Book Day Costumes Comments Off on 10 Easy Last Minute World Book Day Costumes

Posted on March 02, 2015 by Fancy Dress Ball

10 Easy Last Minute World Book Day


Everyone knows it’s World Book Day on Thursday, right?

And your child’s school is having a fancy dress day. The letter came home weeks ago… What do you mean, you haven’t had it? Did Junior not pass it on to you? Go check his school bag… yep, that’s it, the one screwed up and sporting a mysterious stain over half of the text. Don’t panic! You still have a few days to get a costume together…

Here are ten last minute costumes that you can still do without major upheaval. But before you get started, make sure World Book Day is in your organiser for next year, so that you can order a costume online and save all this bother!

1. A Rabbit

Watership Down is one of the best-loved children’s books of all time. If your child has never read it, there’s the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland (though that one would require clothes), there’s one in Rod Campbell’s brilliant Oh Dear, there’s Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny,  the rabbits in Guess How Much I Love You… the list is endless.

You will need brown or white trousers and long sleeved top, depending on which colour of rabbit you are aiming for. If you don’t have any bunny ears hanging about the house (it’s coming up to Easter, so they often tend to appear at this time of year), either buy some (a certain make of Easter egg came with fluffy brown bunny ears last year) or make some using an old alice band with 2 card ears taped to them.

To make it look a little less last minute, here is a fantastic tutorial for rabbit face paint that will make it look like you started planning this costume months ago and are a complete pro at this sort of thing…


2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This one is so easy you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it last year! Dress your child in green, and make a mask from a paper plate painted red. For added effect, tie a belt around their waist with plastic food from a toy kitchen hanging from it with string: an ice cream, a pickle, some cheese… you get the idea. You could even throw in a pair of butterfly wings if you find yourself with time to spare!

3. A Witch

Room on the Broom is really popular, as is The Worst Witch for slightly older children. Have a rummage around in the cupboard; there’s bound to be a hat and cape left over from Halloween!

4. Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants is of course famous for going about in just his underpants and a cape… obviously your child cannot spend the day at school like this – but he can wear a pair of pants over plain trousers, and a cape over a plain top.

5. The Fat Controller

From Thomas the Tank, silly! This one is great fun and really simple. You’ll need a white shirt that’s a little too big (perhaps belonging to an older brother). Put it on, and put a cushion underneath it for a belly. Then black trousers, a black jacket and a black top hat. If you don’t have a black top hat hanging about the house here is a really simple tutorial to help you make one:


6. Harry Potter77292741_ec5b47243b

You can probably get away with a fake scar on the forehead and some round glasses for this one. Great additions would be a black cloak, a broom stick, a red and gold tie (Gryffindor colours), a magic wand and a toy owl.

7. The Cat In The Hat

Does your child have a onesie that’s at all furry and could pass as a cat? If not, black leggings and a black or grey top. Make a red and white top hat using the tutorial above and attach a red bow to their collar (best not to actually tie it around their neck). Here’s a great tutorial for Cat In The Hat face paint:

8. Fantastic Mr Fox

Dress your child in brown or orange – again, most kids have a onesie so if it’s the right colour, just use that. You can make a mask and tail without too much bother. We love this mask tutorial, though if you don’t have sheets of coloured felt around the house (who does!) you can use paper, or just draw the shapes on. Templates are available from the poster’s website, and the shape is what you’re really after with this one.

You can make a basic tail from coloured card; cut out the basic shape and selotape onto the back of the trousers. If you have more time, an offcut of brown or orange fur sewn into a tube shape and stuffed with whatever is available works well.

9. Peter Pan

A green t shirt and shorts over green tights. If there are no green tights, a different colour will be fine. Use green felt or paper to cover the shoes; it doesn’t need to be fancy as it’s likely to have been kicked off by lunch time any way! You can make a really simple hat out of coloured paper using this great tutorial, presented by kids’ TV favourite Kirsten O’Brien.

10. Tinkerbell

Lots of little girls already have a fairy costume, especially since the new Tinkerbell movies have been coming out. Most don’t realise she was originally a character in a proper book though!

World Book Day: Best costumes for girls Comments Off on World Book Day: Best costumes for girls

Posted on February 17, 2014 by admin


World Book Day is well on the way, with just under a month to go until your favourite fictional characters come to life! In our last blog post, we looked at some top recommendations for book-based costumes for teachers (check out our top picks here).

This week we’ve put together some fab fiction costume ideas for girls, so if you’re out of ideas and searching for inspiration, then let Fancy Dress Ball be your guide to this year’s World Book Day!

Winnie the Witch

 Winnie the Witch

Thinking of magically transforming your daughter into everybody’s favourite accident-prone witch? This simple but effective costume can be created by using some stripy socks, a blue dress and some long beaded necklaces. A dash of red face paint on the nose will complete the look!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland continues to be an ever-popular costume choice for World Book Day. This excellent costume idea is a really creative twist on a classic character. Using a little artistic flair (and a cardboard box) to create the White Rabbit’s house, you can recreate this iconic scene from the book!

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark


Jill Tomlinson’s Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark is a great character to recreate for kids of all ages. This excellent costume has been created using brown clothes and layered swatches of fabric for feathers.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

If you’re feeling extra crafty (and have the time!) then this excellent patchwork costume is a great way to recreate Elmer the Patchwork Elephant! If you’re handy with knitting needles why not consider turning an old patchwork quilt into this creative costume?

Phileas Fogg

Phileas Fogg

If you’ve got something of an artistic talent or can enlist the help of someone who does, then this fantastic Phileas Fogg costume is quite the showstopper!

Planning something outstanding for your WBD costume this year? Share your ideas over on our Facebook page!

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Get the look… Queen of Hearts Comments Off on Get the look… Queen of Hearts

Posted on January 17, 2014 by admin


Lewis Carroll’s beloved classic Alice in Wonderland is never-ending source of inspiration for fancy dress and costume. The weird and wonderful characters can and have been reinterpreted time and time again and various screen adaptations of the story have provided the characters with a variety of looks and styles.

One character who has been reinvented countless times is the fabulous yet terrifying Queen of Hearts. This dynamic character has had many looks over the years ranging from angry Queen to a fierce fantastical force to be reckoned with.

If you’re looking for a new twist on this classic character, then check out these fantastic tips for your Queen of Hearts costume.

Get the look… Make up

When it comes to choosing the make-up for your Queen of Hearts costume, you can choose something simple but bold or something far more striking and detailed. In this fantastic make-up tutorial from Julia Graf, the entire face is used, making the make-up the focus of the whole costume.

Alternative looks

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You might choose to go for something a little more subtle and create a more detailed look using eye-shadow. This simple yet effective look uses pink and orange eye-shadow to create a soft heart shape around the eye.

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Create a deeper more striking look using a bold red eyes-shadow and black liquid eye-liner. By painting the base of the eye with a pale white shadow you can create an excellent contrast with the black and red colours.

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Depending on the kind of look you’re going for you might want to use some white face paint along with some red glitter for the lips and eyes. These false eyelashes also work well to add an extra bit of detail to your eye make-up.


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When it comes to creating a hairstyle for your Queen of Hearts you can make it as big and eccentric as you like. Alternatively, you might go for something a little simpler, if you’ve gone for a more fearsome looking Queen. This smooth, sleek bob works really well to create a more severe Queen.

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This eccentric hairstyle is created by back-combing and pinning curled hair, creating a frantic and crazy look for your Queen of Hearts costume. This design combines using bold eye make-up and face-painting, to create a simple but effective look. Only part of the face is painted with an Ace of Hearts design, with a bold eye-shadow and false eye-lashes on the opposite eye, creating a more detailed look.

Got a great Queen of Hearts costume or some excellent hair and makeup tips? Let us know on our Facebook page.

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