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The nights are darkening and in some places that chill has hit the wind… are your pumpkins and candy bowls ready? Halloween is almost here! That wonderful, spooky time of year when we get creepy – or just dress up in easy book character costumes to celebrate the characters we love!
And there are so many characters to love! Some of the most classic, iconic and beloved characters of our time come into our lives through the books we read, which means that books can offer an endless amount of Halloween costume ideas, for kids, kids, kids. adolescents and adults. (Hello, where do you think you are? Of course, we’re all about the books here.)
But hey, we are in 2021. There is (still) a pandemic, the world is on fire (again) and things are tough. If Halloween is your thing and you need a quick fix to finding a great Halloween costume this year (or if you just don’t have the energy for anything fancy) … hey, my friend, I can feel it.
The good news is that there are still a lot of fun options you can put together at any time, and everything on this list is super easy too. From the Wimpy Kid to the Wandaverse to Ms. Marvel, don’t worry, there’s something on this list of easy book character costumes for you.
Here are 20 easy bookish Halloween costume ideas:
Easy book character costumes for kids
Eloise, Eloise by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
This early little troublemaker is one of my all-time favorites, and her iconic look is actually very simple. Just put together a white button down top, black skirt, black suspenders, white socks and black flats. Leave the hair sideways and tie it with a red knot. Hope your child does not acquire attitude.
Stella Diaz from Stella Dias has something to say by Angela Dominguez
This sweet mid-level protagonist is a pillar of courage and heart! I would opt for the classic look of the first two volumes of the series, with a black t-shirt, a blue sweater, black leggings. Top it off with a headband and red flats, and don’t forget the contagious attitude.
Greg Heffley from Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Child
This extraordinarily popular character is actually quite easy to bring to life! All you need is a white t-shirt, black shorts, and a black backpack. To take it on top, add this printable Penguin mask.
Elizabeth from Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko
This rambling heroine has a distinct style that is easy to replicate. Create your own paper bag princess dress with this tutorial from Mama Papa Bubba.
Max where are the wild things from Maurice Sendak
Another iconic yet surprisingly simple costume! There are two ways to relax with this one. If you have the time and budget, get yourself an adorable costume kit from Etsy and call it right. But if you prefer DIY, I’ve always got you. All you need is a white jumpsuit or sweatshirt and sweatpants set, and construction paper to shape a crown and tail. Thanks to the Franklin Springboro Public Library, you can use this printable template for a simple guide.
Betsey Biggalow, from Magic Betsey by Malorie Blackman
I don’t have a tutorial of this one, but I don’t think you need it to bring this lovely character of a winner to life for kids. Drape a purple cape or blanket over a white button-down top and jeans, and top it off with a top hat and a magic wand. To take it a step further, cover the hat with white construction paper and decorate with yellow stars.
Sam Wu from Sam Wu is not afraid of the ghosts of Kevin Tsang, Katie Tsang and Nathan Reed
Another character with a distinct yet easy look, and a particularly suitable set of books for the Halloween season! (Don’t miss this book while reading the author’s video.) To bring Sam to life, simply put together some green pants, a blue top, and green glasses (or make your own from construction paper using the round pattern from this First Palatte printables set).
Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Sir John Tenniel
We can all recognize Alice in a flash by her blue dress and overalls. Polka Dot Chair offers several ideas on how to bring this character to life with seamless creativity.
Easy book character costumes for teens
Lara Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved By Jenny Han
With the trilogy adaptation completed earlier this year on Netflix, Lara Jean’s signature look should be recognizable with her stripes, flowers, sweaters, skirts and scrunchies. Add the names of her five favorites on envelopes to take with you to keep it crystal clear.
Black Panther’s T’Challa: A Nation Under Our Feet by Ta-Nahisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
There are a few options for this one, but if you want to keep it as simple as possible I recommend black pants and a fitted high neck top, and invest in a stylish, layered cosplay jacket like this- this. If you are a DIYer, you might be able to make your own with these sewing patterns from Mood Sewciety.
Mystique de Mystique by Brian K. Vaughan, Jorge Lucas, Michael Ryan and Manuel Garcia
What’s cool about Mystique is that she could be anyone, or anywhere – in this particular comic, she even plays the role of an undercover spy. Become a true mystic with blue leggings, a top, and face paint, or keep it low-key as a Mystic under cover as a high school student, party guest, or famous character by dressing up as you want, but with the added touch of Mystique’s sparkling yellow eyes.
Waldo d’Où est Charlie by Martin Handford
For a low-maintenance teenager, Waldo is cool, easy, and comfortable. Take a red and white striped t-shirt, knit yourself a Waldo hat with this pattern from Ravelry, and put on a pair of dark-rimmed round glasses.
Kamala Khan by Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, Sara Pichelli and Adrian Alphona
This super-teen’s signature look can be emulated with a black zipper t-shirt, a vividly printed scarf, a denim skirt and red tights. A tutorial to help you put it all together is available on White Hot Room.
Alice in Wonderland Queen of Hearts by Lewis Carroll and Sir John Tenniel
It’s one with a lot of room for creativity. Keep it simple with a red dress, red lipstick, and a deck of cards, or get elaborate with dramatic touches like a set of card necklaces, a crown, or makeup tutorials from Hative.
Nancy Drew by Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene, Mildred A. Wirt and Russell H. Tandy
Channel this classic teenage super sleuth with a 1960s style dress and magnifying glass. Show off by styling your hair with extra flip flops and a headband. This Costume Wall costume guide may give you some ideas.
Miles Morales by Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli, Chris Samnee and David Marquez
The clutch factor for this one is a navy hoodie with red details, but you can increase the impact with a Spidey mask or other iconic details. For a complete DIY approach, this video from The Costume Kid is a great resource.
Easy Book Character Costumes For Adults
Wanda Maximoff from Marvel Comics
The new show has tons of options, but you can create your own retro Scarlet Witch vibe with a red leotard and cape and pink bubble gum tights. If you want an even more casual look, tap into the Modern family ambiance with old sweatshirts and a checkered bathrobe. Make sure you break the fourth wall every now and then.
For more information, check out the WandaVision coloring book or the full breakdown of Wanda’s many iconic looks in the series can be found on SyFy Wire.
James Bond from Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
To channel the vibes of 007, dress in your most stylish tuxedo, be suave and for bonus points add a Walther PPK gadget or template from designer Etsy
Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
To make a statement with Handmaid’s Tale’s ominous dystopian future, all you need is a bright red cape and a handmaid’s signature beanie, which you can create using this video tutorial from Evie Willox.
Nick Fury from Agents of SHIELD: Hydra Reborn by Scott Lobdell and Eliot Brown
It’s not easy to look this badass while running the world’s largest spy organization, unless you follow this simple DIY tutorial from Costume Wall. With a sleek long black jacket, black top, and utility pants and boots, you’ll be ready to kick your ass topless. Don’t forget the eye patch.