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Eco-friendly, Zero Waste Costume Ideas for 100 days of School Celebrations

The 100th day of school is a super fun milestone and if you’re lucky, involves dressing up as part of the celebration. This is a one-time event, so how can you make your 100 days of school costume eco friendly, sustainable and as waste free as possible? Here are a bunch of ideas to keep it green while still having fun.

Eco-friendly, Zero Waste Costume Ideas for 100 days of School Celebrations

Kids, parents and teachers celebrate the 100 days of school (usually in August, but sometimes in July or September) for a few main reasons...

  • Academic Milestone - 100 days is an important point in school life, and a cute way to celebrate progress

  • Numeracy Skills - it's a great chance to practice counting skills

  • Sense of Accomplishment - Recognizing the 100th day of school helps encourages kids to keep learning

  • Classroom or Home-school Community - Celebrations can strengthen the sense of community between kids, education providers and parents

  • Creativity and Engagement - this usually involves needing to get creative and use your imaginations for costumes!

  • It's Fun - who doesn’t love a break from routine and throwing a party as part of the learning process

Dressing up has definitely become more of a tradition in recent years and costumes often revolve around the number 100 or showcase some kind of creativity related to the theme of 100 days of school.

Below are some great tips on keeping it low or zero waste and further on are some popular themes for costumes along with several ideas of how to do this without creating a bunch of unnecessary waste, AND reinforcing that sustainability can be fun too!

Key Tips on An Ecofriendly 100 Days of School Costume

  • Many of the costume ideas below work well with existing items you might already have, and for comfort or simplicity consider if you prefer to use an old t-shirt, apron, dress or maybe make a cardboard hat to showcase the 100

  • Avoid using glue if possible and make attachments easy to remove when the 100 day excitement is long gone. For example, sewing on pom poms instead of permanent glue will be way easier to undo

  • If you must write text on clothing you want to wear again, think about using washable markers

  • Aim to make your costume reusable or un-doable, but also consider the possibility of passing it on to another child who can use it the following year. I know part of the fun is in the making, but there are plenty of families that don’t have a lot of spare time to do this

  • Upcycle things for your project and try to use things that can be easily recycled, reused or repurposed. Or dare I say, the costume might even be able to be adapted for Halloween, book week, parties or just as an addition to your home dress up box. (Those t-shirts with 100 plastic eyes are actually pretty horrific from a sustainably point of view!)

Zero Waste and Ecofriendly Costume Ideas for your 100 Days of School

Dressing up as 100-year-olds

  • Use clothing and accessories you already have at home, such as oversized sweaters, hats, and scarves, to create a "grandparent" look, or perhaps raid the grandparents closet

  • Use eco-friendly makeup or face paints to create wrinkles, age spots, and grey hair without the need for masks or wigs. You could dust hair with flour or corn-starch for grey hair or even use coffee grounds for age spots

  • Wear recycled or thrifted clothing items to create a vintage or elderly look and later donate the items back to an op-shop

child dressed as 100 year old person for 100 days of school

  • Use recycled cardboard or paper to create walking canes or walking sticks as props

100 Days Smarter

  • Wear a t-shirt or dress made from organic cotton or sustainable fibres, featuring your own 100 Days Smarter design

  • Use eco-friendly fabric paints and markers to create your design on a plain t-shirt, dress or apron

  • Repurpose old clothing by sewing or attaching numbers 1 to 100 to showcase counting skills

froot loop necklace for 100 days of school
Froot Loop Necklace from Kid Friendly Things To Do

  • Use sustainable or recycled materials to make a 100 Days Smarter sash or badge

Counting to 100

  • Dress in clothing with patterns made up of numbers 1 to 100, which can be achieved using eco-friendly fabric printing methods

  • Use eco-friendly markers or washable fabric paints to create a shirt with a countdown design from 100 to 1

  • Wear clothing or accessories with large, visible numbers that emphasize counting skills

  • Sew or attach recycled number patches to a shirt or dress

  • Make a dress or shirt using fabric scraps in various colours and patterns, each representing a different number from 1 to 100

100 days hat
100 days hat (Image Source Pinterest)

Collections of 100

  • Dress up as a collector with a shirt made from upcycled fabric and attach 100 buttons or pompoms (which can later be removed and reused)

  • Create a necklace or bracelet using 100 recycled paper beads

  • Dress up as a gardener or farmer, attach 100 small flowers or leaves to your clothing (these could be real or made from fabric scraps)

  • Use Flowers and leaves to temporarily dye pale clothing, you can even use a hammer for this one to bash the colours out of the plant materials, its pretty fun! (it will more than likely also wash out pretty easily)

  • Wear a shirt or dress decorated with 100 tiny fabric or felt animals, representing a collection that your child loves

  • Use recycled materials like cardboard or paper to make a vest or jacket and attach 100 origami figures or stars

  • Upcycle an old jigsaw puzzle(s) and attach 100 pieces to an outfit

100 days of school gumball pompom tshirt
Gumball Machine t-shirt (Pinterest)

Superheroes and Capes

  • Upcycle an old bedsheet or fabric to make a superhero cape, bonus points for featuring going as an eco-warrior

  • Put together a superhero costume using old t-shirts, attach recycled materials to represent powers

  • Dress up as a recycling superhero, make use of materials like cardboard or scrap fabric to create a recycling symbol chest emblem

  • Use non-toxic face paint or cut out some old fabric to create a superhero mask

100 days of School Cape - blue cape with stars and a rocket
100 days of School Cape (Pinterest)

Dressing up as a specific theme with 100 items

  • Dress up as a 100-year-old athlete by wearing recycled sports clothing and attaching 100 fabric or paper medals or ribbons

  • Create a costume representing a 100-year-old scientist or inventor, using recycled materials to make lab coats and attaching 100 recycled test tubes (I'm wondering if coffee pods could somehow be used for this, if you have an idea let me know!)

  • Dress up as a 100-year-old book character, using recycled materials to create the character's outfit and attaching 100 paper cut-outs of the book's title, cover image, characters or pages

  • Dress up as a 100-year-old environmentalist, wearing earth-toned clothing and attaching 100 recycled paper leaves or seeds.

100 days of school dress made from autumn leaves
Leaf Dress from Hippie In Disguise
  • Make your own version of this incredible leaf dress (you can read more about it at Hippie In Disguise) the autumn leaves work well in Australia but if you're in the summer months this could totally work with green leaves

  • Dress up as a 100-year-old artist, wearing a smock made from upcycled fabric and attaching 100 small recycled paintbrushes or mixed art supplies

Of course these ideas are just suggestions (some are harder than others) and I’m sure many of you will be inspired with your own unique ideas, but it's super important to make sure whatever costume you choose to make and wear is both safe and comfortable and of course, make sure any materials used are safe, non-toxic, and age-appropriate for your kids.

And whatever you're doing have a Happy (and sustainable) 100 days of school celebration!



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