Harold-FamilyOctober is here, ushering in cool, crisp air, shorter days and longer nights, and—perhaps most important—the countdown to Halloween! Whether you’re crafting costumes for kids or decking yourself out to beg candy from charitable strangers, we thought you might appreciate these book-inspired costume suggestions. Most of these ensembles can be made at home for not-so-much money, though several do require some skill with a needle and thread.

(Full disclosure: We gleaned these creative costume ideas from a variety of blogs and websites. So while we’d love to take the credit when you win the costume contest at your party, we must demur to the true artists. We’ve linked to the original sites when possible.)

Costumes for Kids
Harold and the Purple CrayonWe love this family-friendly idea on its own, but we really love it for its shout-out to Out of Print clothing, a favorite Bas Bleu vendor.

VikingHow to Train Your Dragon: We’ll never look at furry toilet-seat covers the same way.

Harry Potter series: This design works for Ron and Hermione, too.

If You Give a Mouse a CookieTwo kids? Two costumes.

The Hobbit: This could be made child- or adult-sized. Can we just say? Those hobbit-fur flip-flops are genius!

Pippi Longstocking: Those trademark braids take some work, so this is better suited for an older child or adult.

Costumes for Adults
Nancy Drew Mysteries: And by this, we mean the original: preppy skirt suit, matching hat, and sensible low-heeled shoes for running towards trouble. Accessorize with a magnifying glass, the keys to a sporty convertible, and the cutest, most supportive boyfriend ever. (Ned Nickerson, we love you!)

Where’s Waldo?: This one’s almost too easy. Just be sure to hide behind random objects and encourage people to search for you throughout the evening.

dorian-grayThe Picture of Dorian Gray: What a great couple’s costume! Just try to avoid arguments about whom is the better half…

The Outsiders: Another couple’s costume. Him (Pony Boy): a pair of straight-legged jeans with rolled cuffs, a tight white or black t-shirt, a black leather jacket, and plenty of hair gel. Her (Cherry Valance): knee-length a-line skirt, prim sweater set, saddle oxfords, bobby-pinned hair, and some cherry-red lip gloss.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Whether you’re looking for a single costume idea or outfitting an entire group, Lewis Carroll’s surreal tale is ripe with Halloween potential.

Sylvia Plath, Jane Austen, or Ernest Hemingway: Go behind the book by channeling a memorable author

Or you could just dress up as your favorite book!

If you have other literary-styled Halloween costumes to share with our readers, please let us know!