With David Walliams’ Awful Auntie Live on Stage about to embark on a major national tour, we have teamed up with their costume designer Jackie Trousdale to get some Top Tips for easing the World Book Day stress for you all.

12 dress up ideas that won’t cost a fortune!

"Over the years when my boys were growing up I was always mindful of the possibility that they may need to dress up as a character for a school play or from a favourite book.

I would hoard items that other people might have thrown away - just in case!

Costumes do not have to cost a lot of money. Some of the most popular characters in books are often quite ordinary people but maybe something extraordinary happens to them. Sometimes it is the carrying of a prop which says more about the person you are trying to create rather than the actual costume. This presents an opportunity to resist spending a lot of money, and also to encourage your child to help create that character.

Working in the creative industry I became used to recognising potentially useful fabric, jewellery and household items and it is hard to throw them away.

Amusingly, I remember once that I overheard two ladies discussing my son’s Easter Bonnet parade hat and one said ‘there is a woman with too much time on her hands’! The hat in question had not taken me very long, I just reused something I had made for him that he no longer played with and re-worked it into a hat."

Here are some suggestions and thoughts on items you may have at home.

1. Old sunglasses with lenses popped out, decorated and made into glasses for Harry Potter, or lenses in for creating Billionaire Boy or Gangsta Granny. Glasses are also good for gluing jewels onto, fur for an animal, creating exaggerated eyebrows or making grey eyebrows for an old person.

2. Striped T shirts and using old scarves/ striped tea towels as head bandanas for a pirate perhaps adding jewellery on a loop to put around the ear for a ‘ Diamond Jack’ pirate earring also adding a waistcoat with trousers held up at the knees by elastic bands or string to represent breeches. Try a red striped t-shirt and glasses for Where's Wally or striped pyjamas for Tom's Midnight Garden.

3. Tatty clothes, old shirts, waistcoats, cut off old trousers made into ragged shorts for a character such as Charlie Bucket from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. Aprons and a headband for Mrs Trafe in Billionaire Boy. Adapting a school uniform to be one of the Grubb kids in Billionaire Boy is the simplest of costumes by adding plenty of jewellery, baseball cap, school tie tied around the waist, bright shoes if you have them and messy hair, shirt untucked and blazer tied around the waist.

4. Talcum powder in hair to make it white or using white hairspray for a Granny such as George's Marvellous Medicine or Gangsta Granny, with a blouse, cardigan, old pair of glasses (on a spectacle chain if possible) with lenses popped out, slippers and oversized tights bunched up at the ankles.

5. Hair gel or using hair bobbles to tie hair into spikes. Using hair bobbles to put long hair into two looped bunches to form ears such as for a bear worn further back on the head. Long hair can be used in various ways to represent birds - tied up in a line like a crest. Pippi Longstocking has very distinctive plaited hair, a simple hair band with a blue dress and white apron for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

6. Old white T-shirts are also great. You could use a marker pen to draw large circles to represent Bad Panda by Swapna Haddow. A character such as Liz Pichon’s Tom Gates could also be made quite simply - gelled hair in three spikes, a t-shirt drawn on with Dog Zombies written in the centre and possibly a cardboard cutout guitar, and sunglasses again.

7. Black leggings black T shirts and even a black beanie hat with elastic bands to pinch the hat in two places representing ears for the cat in Animalcolm by David Baddiel or possibly Miss Cat by Jean Luc Fromental and Joelle Joliet. Old black socks or brown socks can be used on the hands as paws for bears, dogs and mice.

8. Props are a parent’s friend. Fake money can be made out of cut up newspaper then held together in bundles with elastic bands. Large chains can be worn as jewellery for characters such as Billionaire Boy by David Walliams. A cream tote bag, tied at the neck with string or elastic bands, packed with bubble wrap and SWAG written on the front is so simple but it says - Burglar Bill/Burglar Betty and with a few simple additions such as a striped T shirt and a flat cap, costumes don’t have to take a lot of time. The golden ticket prop for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory says more about Charlie than his costume and then you can get away with old tatty clothes for him which should be relatively easy. An umbrella, and a straw hat for Mary Poppins.

9. Old faux fur cushions for animal characters such as The Gruffalo or Paddington Bear. Sheets, blankets and throws for cloaks are useful for Horrible Histories style characters - togas and cloaks for Vikings in How to Train Your Dragon or Two Terrible Vikings.

10. Make up is so useful - scar for Harry Potter, black circles on eyes for Bad Panda, eye liner from eyelids for cats and also their whiskers drawn on.

11. Cardboard boxes and cardboard packaging is great to make wings, crowns, and for the more adventurous a ruff for Elizabeth I. Cutting a rough circle of card tied at the waist under a lightweight adult skirt can create an effective Elizabethan style full skirt.

12. Finally larger props can be useful too. A broom shank with twigs tied around for The Worst Witch or a Harry Potter character. Silver dustbin lids for shields.

Washing pegs are great things to hold fabrics together. I have mentioned elastic bands, string and also have plenty of safety pins to hand.

If you don't fancy dressing up, there are lots of other ways to enjoy World Book Day, and engage young readers to get excited by books - find out more Exciting and Creative Alternatives to Dressing Up 

Happy WBD!

Find out more about Jackie's work at jacquelinetrousdale.com