Whether you grew up reading Roald Dahl's unique, uplifting books under the covers with a torch as a child or still frequently watch the incredible movie adaptations of his best books with your little ones, Roald Dahl undoubtedly has a place in everyone's heart.
Inspiring kids all around the globe as the author of most children's first reads, Roald Dahl continues to be one of the most popular children's authors. With his witty and magical characters, unforgettable storylines that capture the hearts and imagination of children, it's easy to see why - we still remember reading our first Roald Dahl book!
And whether you're more of a classic Roald Dahl fan, opting for books including Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, or more of a niche Dahl fan, enjoying the likes of Esio Trot and George's Marvellous Medicine, there's no doubt that these 19 Roald Dahl costume ideas will provide you with some serious, scrumdiddlyumptious inspiration! And if you're looking for some more Dahl themed crafts, look no further than our 7 Roald Dahl inspired crafts and activities here! Whether it's for World Book Day (4th March 2021), Roald Dahl Day (13th September 2020) or general dress-up fun, Roald Dahl costumes always prove to be a hit with youngsters and are so effortless to pull off!
Become A Believable Big Friendly Giant (The BFG)
You'll need: a cape, headband, scissors, pens, double-sided tape and some skin-coloured A4 foam sheets.
Everyone loves the Big Friendly Giant! Whether he's guzzling down snozzcumbers or saving the world from human-eating giants, he's totally lovable and makes for a super interesting costume!
Don your longest darkest cape to ensure your identity as the BFG remains wholly hidden and get to making your iconic, BFG ears. Grab your headband and cut out two ear-shaped pieces out of your foam sheets, making sure to leave a tab on the inner part of the ear that you can then fold over and stick to the headband using double-sided tape! Then draw on the details of an ear and attach them to either side of the headband and you're all set. Bonus points if you've got a trumpet as well!
Strike Gold As Charlie Bucket (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
You'll need: card, scissors, pen and gold glitter/foil/paint.
Cause I've got a golden ticket… Become Charlie and The Chocolate Factory's very own Charlie Bucket in just minutes with this super simple but effective Roald Dahl inspired costume.
Grab any old knitted jumper, shirt and trousers (even school trousers are particularly effective) and get to making your very own golden ticket - and maybe even the Wonka bar itself if you're in a foodie mood! Cut out some card approximately 20cm in length and 8cm in width and make it gold! Whether you want to use glitter, paint or even gold foil, this is your chance to be as creative as you like. After you've got your ticket, grab a black pen and doodle the Wonka Golden Ticket logo - there are plenty of templates online to help you with this.
Get Lost In Your Books As Matilda (Matilda)
You'll need: a blue dress, hair ties and some books.
Even if you're little you can do a lot - that's what Roald Dahl's Matilda taught us! Kids can don any kind of blue dress, tie their hair up into bunches (despite what Miss Trunchbull might think!) and grab your favourite book, and there you have it - Matilda dress-up!
Unleash Your Inner Oompa Loompa (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
You'll need: orange face-paint, white dungarees, wash-out green hairspray (if you're feeling brave) and a brown t-shirt.
Sure to make anyone stand out from the crowd, why not dress up as an Oompa Loompa? (Bonus points if you sing the song). Grab some orange face-paint (always make sure your child's skin works with face-paint) and go to town! Then don a plain brown t-shirt and some white overalls and you're all set!
Get Scruffy As The Twits (The Twits)
You'll need: old clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, a range of condiments, hairbrush and a fake beard.
Love them or hate them, they're The Twits! Out of all the Roald Dahl fancy dress costumes, this one has got to be the scruffiest but hopefully not the smelliest!
For your Mrs Twit costume, grab an old dress and mark it with lots of stains using condiments - the messier, the better! Then using a hairbrush, delicately scruff up your hair, leaving that signature Twit look. For your Mr Twit costume, do the same but this time add a beard - don't forget to smear some condiments in it as well!
Enter A World Of Pure Imagination As Willy Wonka (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
You'll need: a suit, top hat (or some black card, scissors and tape to make your own!), a colourful tie, stick and some sweet wrappers for finishing touches!
Owning your own chocolate factory sounds like a dream, so why not become Willy Wonka for the day?
Don a suit and colourful tie and finish it off with a top hat. If you don't have a top hat, it's super easy to make one. Wrap some black card around your child's head and tape it, then cut out two semi-circles and tape them to either side of the card to form a top hat. Finish off with a stick and some sweet wrappers in the pockets!
Experience A Bug's Life As An Insect (James and the Giant Peach)
You'll need: plain t-shirt and trousers, headbands, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, tape, spare fabric, fabric scissors and double-sided tape.
Not only a healthy and delicious snack, but also the basis for one of Roald Dahl's best-selling children's books - James and The Giant Peach.
Along James' journey, he meets a whole range of insects including Centipede, Miss Spider, Old Green Grasshopper, Earthworm, Ladybird, Glowworm, and Silkworm, so why not become one of them! Use pipe cleaners to form antennas and attach them to a headband, use scrap fabric to make Ladybird's spots and stick them on with double-sided tape, as well as using pom-poms to make some epic spider legs.
Get Your Mean Face On As Miss Trunchbull (Matilda)
You'll need: an oversized jumper, trousers, hair doughnut, hairbands and a belt
Perhaps your kids are more into Roald Dahl's baddies than goodies?
To create this Miss Trunchbull costume, whack on an oversized jumper and trousers and secure the jumper with a thick belt to really get that Trunchbull look. Then slick your hair into a high bun using a hair doughnut (which can easily be made out of a sock!) and secure with a hairband. All that's left to do it check on The Chokey!
Become Truly Cunning As Mr Fox (Fantastic Mr Fox)
You'll need: card, scissors, pens, elastic, a colourful suit (bonus points if you've got a yellow waistcoat and purple blazer!), orange tights, cotton, a belt
Take on the brains and wit of Fantastic Mr Fox - one of Roald Dahl's most cunning books.
Don your most colourful suit and then get to making your very own Fantastic Mr Fox dress-up costume. Start by making the all-important tail by using some orange tights and stuffing one leg with cotton or wool, then tie the other leg around a belt and then fasten at the waist - voila! Then to make your foxy mask, grab some card and ask a grown-up to help cut out the template of a fox face, colour it in to make it look as realistic as possible, cut out some eyes and then fasten around your head with elastic!
Expose Your Spooky Side As A Witch (The Witches)
You'll need: black clothes, nail polish, jewellery and long black locks (wool and hairbands work perfectly!).
Double, double, toil and trouble… This is one for your older kids, not to mention, a great Roald Dahl costume to remember when it comes to Halloween time!
Whack on an all-black outfit, then jazz it up with some witchy accessories! Paint your nails whatever colour you think best suits your witchy personality, add some silver jewellery and finish off with some long black locks. If you don't naturally have black locks, don't fear, grab some long black wool and wrap it around a hairband, tie your hair into a ponytail and let your new spellbinding locks blow in the wind - creepy!
Turn Violet As Violet Beauregarde (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
You'll need: a pillow, a long blue dress, belt and some blue face paint.
Violet, you're turning violet! Out of all the Roald Dahl costumes, Violet Beauregarde has got to be one of the most fun looks to recreate. Plus, this fancy dress is super easy to pull off and is bound to put a smile on everyone's face.
You'll need an oversized blue dress to stuff a pillow underneath to create the illusion of Violet turning into a blueberry, then fasten it with a belt and you're good to go! To really transform, you might want to consider adding some blue face-paint around the nose area to achieve the authentic Beauregarde look!
Get Messy In The Kitchen As George (George's Marvellous Medicine)
You'll need: red t-shirt, jeans and of course, a batch of your very own George's Marvellous Medicine to match!
Perhaps a dose of George's Marvellous Medicine is just what the world needs right now… For this Roald Dahl inspired costume, don your best red t-shirt and jeans and get to making your very own batch of marvellous medicine! This is a super fun activity and really encourages children to get their creative and culinary juices flowing. Whether they want to make a healthy smoothie or a yummy milkshake, it's bound to be exciting!
Get Comfy Living Inside A Peach As James (James and The Giant Peach)
You'll need: a shirt, shorts, some material to make a striped tie, fabric scissors, double-sided tape and a peach (if you want to make your own peach you'll need a balloon, paper mache and some orange paint!)
To get James' look from Roald Dahl's beloved book James and The Giant Peach, don a pair of shorts and a white shirt.
Then for James' staple striped tie, if you haven't got one around the house, it's super easy to make! Using the help of a grown-up, cut some black fabric (you can use old duvets or leggings) to the length of your desired tie (we would estimate around 15-20 inches in length and around 4cm wide at the top and 7cm at the bottom) and then cut up some white and coloured fabric to make the stripes and attach them with double-sided tape to the black fabric - and there you have your very own James inspired tie! For bonus points, why not paper mache your own peach? Using a balloon, cast a paper mache mould around it using PVA glue and newspaper strips, then wait for it to dry and paint it orange - good enough to eat!
Get Swept Away By The BFG As Sophie (The BFG)
You'll need: a pink nightie, blue cardigan and glasses (or you could make your own using pipe cleaners!)
To create Sophie's fancy dress costume from The BFG, it's super simple and it even involves pyjamas - what's not to like?
Become Roald Dahl's special little girl by donning a pink nightdress (after all, she was fast asleep when she met the BFG!) and knitted blue cardigan. Then all that's left are Sophie's glasses which are super easy to make using just black pipe cleaners! Simply twist two pipe cleaners into circles, ensuring to wrap around the edges, then link the two circles with a small piece of pipe cleaner in the middle (you can secure with tape if you'd like), then to make the sides attach two pipe cleaners to either side of the circles and bend the edges back around your ears for a perfect fit!
Shine Gold As A Golden Ticket (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory)
You'll need: cardboard, gold paint, black felt tip, ribbon, scissors and a gold outfit of your choosing!
Forget Charlie Bucket and the Oompa Loompas, why not go all out on this Roald Dahl inspired dress up and make your very own golden ticket costume - it's bound to dazzle friends and family!
Start by cutting out two equal sides of the cardboard, around half the height of your child and then paint them gold - you might even want to add glitter for that extra sparkle! Then after both sides are dry, it's your chance to go to Willy Wonka town with all the fine details! In bold writing, using a black felt tip, doodle the Wonka logo, terms and conditions of the factory - anything you'd find on a real golden ticket! Then using grown-ups help, make four holes at the top of the cardboard sides (two on each, above your child's shoulders) and thread the ribbon through the holes, ensuring to tie the sides together. Then place over your child's head and shoulders and you've got one walking golden ticket!
Experience Being A Tortoise As Alfie (Esio Trot)
You'll need: cardboard, scissors, glue, pens, stuffing, felt (or any kind of green fabric), velcro, fabric for the straps and an all-black outfit.
Fun fact: did you know Roald Dahl's Esio Trot actually spells tortoise backwards?
To make your Esio Trot tortoiseshell, cut out an oval shape out of cardboard, approximately as wide as your child's back and long enough to finish where your child's back ends. Then glue down some stuffing on top of the cardboard and pile it up into a dome shape that resembles a tortoiseshell and on the flip side of the oval, dot velcro stickers around the perimeter. Next, cut out your chosen green fabric big enough to fit around your dome shape, and go to town with your felt tips, colouring a basic shell pattern onto the fabric. Then, attach the other half of the velcro strips around the perimeter of the fabric, and simply wrap your shell in the fabric and stick down using the velcro on the other side! Use your leftover green fabric and velcro strips to create straps to form your very own Roald Dahl, Esio Trot inspired tortoise shell backpack!
Get Your Evil Grandma On As George's Grandma (George's Marvellous Medicine)
You'll need: a patterned dress, cardigan, dry shampoo, jewellery and a menacing demeanour.
We know all Grandmas are super lovely, but Roald Dahl's best-selling children's book George's Marvellous Medicine depicts them otherwise… Become George's evil Grandma by donning a patterned dress with a cardigan draped over your shoulders and finish off the look with some jewellery - bonus points for pearls! Plus, if you're feeling truly daring, use some dry shampoo on your hair to give it that grey tinge...
Dress As Sweet As Miss Honey (Matilda)
You'll need: pink dress, pink cardigan, pink pumps, red glasses and ribbon.
Don't you wish all teachers were a little more like Miss Honey? One of Roald Dahl's most loveable, heartwarming characters, Miss Honey is a lovely but straightforward costume option.
Put on a lovely pink dress, cardigan and pumps and add some red glasses for the full effect (if you don't have glasses, use our pipe cleaner DIY craft from Sophie's costume). Plus, finish off with a ribbon in your hair, and there you have it - there's no chance you're headed to The Chokey with this Roald Dahl inspired costume.
Oh, Snap! Become The Cunning, Enormous Crocodile (The Enormous Crocodile)
You'll need: a sheet (preferably green), lighter green fabric, double-sided tape, scissors and an all-green outfit.
One of the lesser-known Roald Dahl books but great for little ones - The Enormous Crocodile.
For this Roald Dahl inspired costume, don an all green outfit and then get ready to make your very own croc cape! Similar to a superhero cape, this is going to act as the body of your crocodile. Cut out plenty of triangles and place them side by side onto the sheet using double-sided tape to secure. Once you have lines of green triangles, cut the bottom of the sheet into a triangle shape, to make a point, to form the crocodile tail. Then tie the cape around your neck, ensuring to leave plenty of space so that it's not too tight and then crawl your way through!
Ellie is a keen Londoner, thespian and foodie! She's the oldest of three and loves taking her younger siblings, aged nine and fourteen, on adventures to the theatre and food markets, trying new foods and dabbling in the world of musical theatre. Some of her favourite spots include Primrose Hill and the Natural History Museum, not to mention the ever-changing Spitalfields Market.