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The Highway Rat World Book Day Costume for Less Than £2

Jack’s preschool is celebrating World Book Day on 1st March and all the children have been invited to dress up as their favourite book character.  They will also be taking part in plenty of activities that will celebrate books and encourage reading. The children will also each be donating a book of their choice to an orphanage in Malawi

The Highway Rat is a fairly recent addition to Jack’s bookshelf. We are all huge fans of Julia Donaldson books in this house and have nearly every one of her classic tales. This one is about the rat that rides the highway, stealing other animal’s food and has quickly become a firm favourite and a bedtime staple.

I was quite relieved when Jack said he wanted to dress up as The Highway Rat, I was starting to worry he’d choose Zog or Tiddler (my sewing skills are non-existent!).

The costume was really easy to put together. We had quite a few bits and pieces from themed parties or nights out (pre-baby days) and I’m pleased we decided to keep these items in good condition in case we ever needed them again!

Jack went through the book and pointed out everything that he needed to transform himself into The Highway Rat.

We somehow managed to only spend £1.60 in total for the whole outfit, with minimal DIY-ing involved. We really struggled to find a cape that wasn’t part of another outfit or cost a lot of money, so instead I made one by cutting out the back from a black t-shirt, making sure to cut carefully around the neck line. It took me less than five minutes and I know it will be used again and again.

The finished outfit may be a little rough around the edges, but I am pretty pleased with the end result and most importantly, so is Jack.

Here’s how we put the costume together

– A white shirt – from Jack’s wardrobe

– Belt – an old one from my wardrobe

– Black hat – was my sister’s and was about to head to the charity shop, but I rescued it in the nick of time

– Cape – Fashioned out of a black t-shirt we bought from a charity shop for £1.60


– Mask – made from the left over material from the t-shirt

– Sword – found in the loft from an old pirate costume

– Facepaint – originally purchased for Halloween last year, used to paint on the nose and whiskers

Jack is really excited to wear his Highway Rat costume tomorrow for his very first World Book Day. How are you celebrating World Book Day and who is your favourite book character?

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