Character Costumes for World Book Day – Cat in the Hat

It’s World Book Day Week on our blog and each day we will be bringing you another brilliant costume to make thanks to our fantastic parent bloggers. Today Chris from Thinly Spread shows you how to make this utterly brilliant Cat in the Hat costume.


We love World Book Day at Thinly Spread and my older children were very disappointed when they moved up to middle school and dressing up stopped. Luckily, we still have a little chap who loves books and dressing up so all is not lost!

I am normally a ‘leave it until the last-minute and panic’ type person, with four children in three schools keeping up with newsletters and crucial events is a challenge. I’m often to be found running, wild haired, around the house screaming ‘Who had the wand last?’ or ‘Has anyone got an old pair of trousers I can cut up?’ or just weeping quietly in a corner because someone has announced they would like ‘to be Willy Wonka tomorrow please.’

However, sometimes, I pull something out of the hat!

cat in the hat costume by

This is far simpler than it looks but will get you admiring glances at the playground gates and major brownie points with your children!

Fleece fabric is your friend if, like me, you are not a natural seamstress. You can cut it and it doesn’t fray, there is no need for hemming, you can sew a wonky line with the sewing machine or by hand and it magically disappears into the pile. I love it! I’ve used it to make Quidditch robes, Asterix, the Grim Reaper and more- it’s wonderful!

To Make a Cat in the Hat Costume You Will Need:

  • Red, white and black fleece fabric (you can’t usually buy it in any less than 1/2 metre pieces but the extra comes in handy for Harry Potter/Dracula/Witch costumes at a later date)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Cardboard (this hat is made out of old cereal boxes)
  • A length of elastic (to hold the hat on)
  • Sewing needle and thread or Bondaweb (Bondaweb can be placed between two fabrics and then ironed, no sewing required!)
  • Sticky tape
  • Glue or double-sided sticky tape
  • Black trousers
  • Black sweatshirt
  • Toy stuffing or old tights/cotton wool/fabric scraps
  • A cheeky chappy

How to Make a Cat in the Hat Costume

The Hat

  • Roll a cardboard cereal packet into a tube and stick with sticky tape. Draw around a large plate onto firm cardboard and cut out for the brim
  • Cut strips of fleece in red and white and stick onto the tube with double-sided sticky tape, over lapping slightly
  • Cover the brim with white fleece, stuck on with double-sided sticky tape
  • Attach a piece of elastic to hold the hat in place (it’s best to do this with the hat held on your child’s head and then measure how much elastic is needed) We punched holes through the fleece and cardboard with a screwdriver and tied the elastic on.

The Cat

  • Cut out an oval of white fleece and attach to the sweatshirt either by tacking it on by hand, sewing it on by machine or laying a piece of bondaweb between the two fabrics and ironing it on.

how to make a cat in the hat costume

  • To make his bow tie I drew a bow onto a piece of paper, cut it out and pinned it on to a piece of red fleece folded in half. I cut around the pattern which gave me two pieces of bow tie shaped fleece to sew together. I then did the same with the tie pieces. It is a good idea to make this larger than life. I sewed the two bow pieces together leaving a gap at the end and stuffing it with toy filling (pushing it right in with the handle of a wooden spoon), then did the same with the tie pieces and closed the gaps with a few stitches. Next I sewed the tie pieces onto the back of the bow then sewed the whole thing onto the sweatshirt. You could, or course, make this simpler by just cutting out one bow tie and sewing it on without the stuffing palaver but I love the 3D cartoon effect this gave!
  • His tail was made in the same way but tail shaped and nice and long and sewn onto the back of the trousers.

He popped on his trousers, pulled on the shirt, flourished the hat and prepared for a bit of mischief-making!


Find loads more dressing up and costume ideas for World Book Day over on Netmums and when you’ve made/found your children’s costumes we would love to see them so be sure to add them to our Costume Gallery. Each day this week we will be bringing you another great costume to make so check back each day. Huge thanks to the wonderful bloggers all from our Parent Bloggers Network for their time, help and brilliance.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Authors, bloggers, Books and reading, Dressing up ideas, World Book Day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Character Costumes for World Book Day – Cat in the Hat

  1. Oh that’s brilliant! I love it!

    I am thinking of doing The Cat in the Hat too this year – mainly as we have a cat costume already so just need to make the bow and hat. Also I want to dress the twins as Thing 1 and Thing 2 – hehe!

  2. Liz Burton says:

    This is AMAZING!!!

    I love fleece too – so forgiving! x

  3. You’ve made this sound eminently possible but it would not look like that if we did it, I absolutely know that for a fact. Brilliant!

  4. thelovingparent says:

    I am in awe of you! If only I could figure out if I could ACTUALLY do this. Would love it for my daughter to go as The Cat and my twin boys to go as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Hee-hee! x

  5. This is amazing! I have just posted a photo of my attempt of a slug from the stories in the gallery… I find it hard to find a different costume for my 4 year old boy… but I don’t think I have your skills! x

  6. Pingback: Easy World Book Day Costumes

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