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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Book Character Costume Ideas for Teachers

Every year for book week celebrations the teachers at our school will go all out and co-ordinate themed outfits. Most of the time the principal and admin team will be one theme and then each year level of teachers will have a different theme, which makes it super exciting for the kids at parade.

If you're looking for themed teacher costume ideas either for book week, world book day, or even Halloween, I've put together a list of 16 group costume ideas that are perfect for teachers.

group wizard of oz costumes for teachers
Image: @missinclusivity


Whether you're looking for a group costume idea for your grade level, a group of teacher aides, the admin staff, library staff, or the entire school staff, there's lots of ideas in this post. The best part is you can DIY a lot of them, especially if you're crafty with some cardboard or own a Cricut machine.

If you don't fancy DIY though, or want to be super prepared you can also prebuy a lot of these costumes in adult sizes from Spotlight,, Amazon or Amazon AU.

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit was the first book in the super popular series of crayons books where each of Duncan's crayons quit because they're overworked. The Crayons are a great group costume because you can include the red, purple, beige, grey, white, black, green, yellow, orange, blue, pink and peach crayons. If you want to get super creative you can also have someone dress up as an empty crayon box as shown below.

the day the crayons quit teacher costumes
Image: @misslua_edu

To make DIY crayons costumes you can make sandwich board costumes with coloured cardboard and black markers and then use corresponding party hats for the top of the crayon. You can also make your own shirts with coloured t-shirts and a crayon svg if you have a Cricut. You can also get premade crayons t-shirts and pair them with coloured tutus or pants. To finish off the costume, hold a posterboard sign that says I Quit!

Where Is the Green Sheep?

Where Is the Green Sheep? has been a classic Australian children's book since it's release in 2004. Each page features a different sheep including the blue sheep, red sheep, bath sheep, bed sheep, thin sheep, wide sheep, swing sheep, slide sheep, up sheep, down sheep, band sheep, clown sheep, sun sheep, rain sheep, car sheep, train sheep, wind sheep, wave sheep, scared sheep, brave sheep and many more sheep. And of course the green sheep.

where is the green sheep group costume ideas for teachers
Image: @leading.through.diversity

The sheep outfits are one of the easiest to DIY as they can be made into a sandwich board style costume with cardboard. You can either draw swirls to represent the wool, or glue on fabric or cotton balls. To make a sheep headpiece just glue some felt ears and cotton balls onto a headband. Although blue, red and green are the only coloured sheep mentioned in the book, a popular way to represent the story is for each teacher to go as a different coloured sheep.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Eric Carle's classic story of a newly hatched caterpillar and the journey he takes eating lots of different foods before turning into a beautiful butterfly. Over the course of a week the very hungry caterpillar chomps his way through an apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges, a piece of chocolate cake, an ice cream cone, a pickle, a slice of swiss cheese, a slice of salami, a lollipop, a piece of cherry pie, a sausage, a cupcake, a slice of watermelon and a green leaf.

the very hungry caterpillar teacher group costume
Image: @teachwithmissmifsud

There are a few ways to do a very hungry caterpillar group costume, each teacher can be a part of the caterpillar and represent a different food eaten as shown above with cardboard costumes attached with lanyards + one teacher in butterfly wings to show the caterpillars transformation into a butterfly. Or, you could have one teacher dressed as the caterpillar, then individual teachers dressed as different foods that were eaten and finally another teacher dressed as a butterfly. 

With the caterpillar, all of the food eaten and the butterfly, the very hungry caterpillar can be a group costume for up to 18 teachers. There are no premade specific hungry caterpillar costumes, however you can get adult butterfly wings from Amazon, Amazon AU and Spotlight. For food costumes simply copy the illustrations of the food onto cardboard and where them as a sandwich board costume.

Dear Zoo

Dear Zoo is an adorable lift the flap book for toddlers. Each page has a different animal sent from the zoo including an elephant, giraffe, lion, camel, snake, monkey, frog and a puppy.

dear zoo diy teacher costumes
Image: @mrs_zuideveld

To make DIY Dear Zoo costumes you can copy the container shapes and colours from the book and paint them onto cardboard. Match each container with the appropriate animal and wear clothes the same colour as the animals e.g. grey for the elephant. You can also add ear details for the animals by attaching felt to headbands as shown above.

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte's Web is the charming story of Fern's love for Wilbur {a pig born at her farm} and the efforts of Charlotte to save him with her amazing webs. Wilbur is some pig and so are the other animals at the Zuckerman farm. Bring all the animals from Zuckerman's farm to life including Wilbur, Charlotte, Templeton, the goose, sheep and other barnyard friends, as well as Charlotte's famous web sayings. Other main characters include Fern, farmer Arable, Homer and Edith Zuckerman.

charlottes web teacher costumes for book week

To recreate Charlotte's famous web sayings -  some pig, terrific, radiant and humble, you'll need some white fabric and a black marker {follow the instructions in this post}. For Fern, Homer, Edith and Fern's father you'll need some denim overalls, a plaid shirt and straw hat. 

For the animals you can simply use correctly coloured clothes and make felt masks, or get animal onesies from Amazon or Amazon AU.

The Wizard of Oz

Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City with Dorothy and all her friends. The Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900 and is the story of Dorothy and her dog Toto who get transported to the magical land of Oz during a tornado. In an effort to get back home to Kansas, Dorothy and Toto embark on a journey to the Emerald City so the Wizard can grant her wish to get back home. 

wizard of oz character costumes for teachers
Image: @missinclusivity

There are many characters to bring to life from The Wizard of Oz including Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, the Lion, Glinda the good witch, The Wicked Witch, Flying Monkeys, The Wizard and the Munchkins. Most of the main character costumes can be bought from Amazon, Amazon AU or I love how the teachers above have also made DIY tornado and house costumes.

Alice in Wonderland

Another famous book about a girl being lost in a magical land is Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. When Alice falls down a rabbit hole she goes on a fantastical journey meeting a plethora of weird and eccentric characters. The main characters include Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum and the Queen of Hearts.

teacher alice in wonderland costumes
Image: @_teachingwithmissv

You can buy premade costumes for most Alice in Wonderland characters from Amazon, Amazon AU, Spotlight and You can also make DIY sandwich board costumes for the different playing cards with cardboard and markers like the ace of spades above.

DR Suess Characters

With a catalogue of over 60 published children's books, there's a long list of Dr Seuss characters for teachers to choose from. Some of the more popular choices include The Grinch, Cindy, Lou, Sam-I-Am, Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 & Thing 2, Horton, Fox in Socks, The Lorax and The Sneetches. I also love how Oh! The Places You'll Go has been represented below.

teachers dressed in DIY Dr Seuss character costumes
Image: @teacherbydayauthorbynight

Of course these are also awesome costume choices for Dr Seuss Day if your school dresses up for that too. If you're handy with fabric, a hot glue gun or sewing machine and a Cricut machine you can easily DIY these costumes. However, if you don't have time to DIY, you can get most Dr Seuss character costumes on Amazon or Amazon AU.

Mr Men & Little Miss Characters

Mr Men is a series of individual books written from 1971 by Roger Hargreaves, with each book being about an individual character and their dominant personality trait. In 1981 the Little Miss series started being published with female main characters. There are now 52 Mr Men books and 41 Little Miss books. 

Some of the more well known characters are Mr Strong, Mr Happy, Mr Bump, Mr Tickle, Mr Grumpy, Mr Messy, Mr Clever, Mr Daydream, Little Miss Sunshine, Little Miss Princess, Little Miss Trouble, Little Miss Giggles, Little Miss Chatterbox and Little Miss Hug. With 93 different books, the entire school staff could potentially dress up as Mr Men and Little Miss characters.

little mr men diy teacher costumes
Image: @simply_the_west

You can make easy DIY Mr Men & Little Miss sandwich board costumes using coloured cardboard, markers and yarn for hair as shown above. Costumes can also be made using block colour t-shirts and Mr Men & Little Miss svg files if you have a Cricut machine.

Little People Big Dreams

If you prefer to dress up as real people, rather than fictional characters, pick your favourite person from the Little People Big Dreams series of books. Little People, Big Dreams are biographical books for kids written about outstanding designers, artists, scientists and activists and their contribution to history.

little people big dreams teacher costume ideas
Image: @miss.georgi

There are now 150 books in the series, so there's plenty of character options for both male and female teachers including Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, Princess Diana, Kamala Harris, Greta Thunberg, Vivienne Westwood, Maria Montessori, Dwayne Johnson, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, David Attenborough and Martin Luther King Jr. To recreate the characters simply copy some of the main features from their illustrations, e.g. Frida Kahlo has a flower crown, monobrow, layered necklaces and a shawl.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the journaling of Greg Heffley, however throughout the series of books we meet lots of other characters, making it perfect for a literary group costume. The main characters include Greg, Rodrick, Manny, Holly, Rowley, Patty, Fregley, Chirag, Susan and Frank.

teacher diary of a wimpy kid costume
Image: @amandarosezamp

The easiest way to make a Diary of a Wimpy Kid group costume is to print out the individual characters heads on cardstock and add them to a jumbo popsicle stick {as shown above} or cut out the eyes and add elastic to make a mask. You can download free printable Diary of a Wimpy Kid character heads here {scroll down to near the bottom of the page}. Finish the costume with black and white clothes to bring the characters to life.

The Book With No Pictures

A book with no pictures may seem like an unlikely costume choice, given there are no actual characters, however The Book With No Pictures has plenty of hilarious sayings that can be recreated as costumes. Things like "my only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named BOO BOO BUTT" and "glug, glug, glug my face is a bug..."

the book with no pictures teacher costume ideas
Image: @miss_robinson_

To recreate the books pages as costumes is really, really easy. All you need is a white t-shirt to represent the page and then either draw on the words in the correct colour and font style using fabric markers, or print them out in vinyl using a Cricut.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of Roald Dahls most famous books, with Willy Wonka also being one of the most popular children's movies of all time. Bring the chocolate factory to life with Willy Wonka, Charlie, Grandpa Joe, Oompa Loompas, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde and Mike Teavee. The golden ticket is also a popular costume.

You can get premade Willy Wonka costumes from Amazon, Amazon AU and Spotlight also have adult Ooompa Loompa costumes. You can also get adult golden ticket costumes.

Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

Snow White was first published by the brothers Grimm in 1812 and lends itself perfectly to a group costume because of the 7 dwarfs. Doc, Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Happy, Bashful and Sneezy are all easy characters to create alongside Snow White.

teachers in DIY 7 dwarfs costumes
Image: @kraftykatyy

To DIY the 7 dwarfs costumes you'll need block colour t-shirts, some stick on large buttons and a belt with a gold buckle. The outfits shown above were made with a Cricut for the t-shirt details and then matching tutus. You can get a set of all 7 dwarf hats, belts, beards and ears here. You can get premade Snow White costumes from Spotlight, Amazon, Amazon AU or

Harry Potter

Probably the most popular book featured in book week costumes each year is Harry Potter. There are so many character options for a group costume including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Hagrid, Dobby and Luna Lovegood. You can also go as random Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff students by wearing the appropriate robe and tie.

There's a huge number of premade Harry Potter costumes that can be purchased from Amazon, Amazon AU, Spotlight or

The Minions

Even though the Minions were officially introduced in movies, there's now quite a few Minions books so they also qualify as a book character idea. The main characters are Kevin, Stuart, Bob and of course Gru, however there are hundreds of minions featured in the movies so they're a great choice for a group costume theme.

minions group costume for teachers
Image: @k1m_96

To make DIY minions costumes you'll need a plain yellow t-shirt, yellow swimming cap or beanie, minion goggles and blue overalls. For Gru you'll need black clothes, a black stripe scarf, a nude coloured bald wig and an oversized fake nose. If you don't want to DIY you can get adult minion costumes from Amazon, Amazon AU or Spotlight.


group teacher costume ideas for book week or Halloween

Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may earn a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase. All costume images have been used with express permission.

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