Purim is a great opportunity to express your inner artist. Instead of buying a pre-made costume, renting something expensive, or settling for last year’s outfit, consider making your own costume. With a little creativity and some simple materials, it’s easy to be the hit of the Purim party.
Costumes from the Purim Holiday
Everyone loves the classic Purim costumes: Esther and Vashti queen outfits, the royal attire of King Ahasuerus, and Haman in menacing-looking garb. But there are other Purim-themed ways to dress up.
Consider going as mishloach manot, traditional Purim gifts. You can turn yourself into a walking gift basket with a quick trip to the gift wrap aisle. You’ll need:
-Brightly colored, non-matching shirt, pants (or skirt), and belt
-Packaging from festive foodstuffs such as candy bar wrappers, cookie boxes, etc.
Glue or tape food packaging to the shirt. Measure, cut, and glue cellophane to create a tube that can fit around your waist and chest. This can either be the length of a dress or a shirt, depending on how you want to wear it and how much cellophane you have.
Use the blade of the scissors to curl the multicolored ribbon (alternatively, you can buy pre-curled ribbon).
After putting on the shirt and pants, slip on the cellophane. Secure to your body with the belt. With help, tie the ribbon into a large bow across your chest or waist. Additionally, streamers of ribbon can be tied into long hair.
Another way to get into the Purim spirit is to dress up as a bottle of wine:
-One “construction grade” large paper bag for yard trimmings (found in any home improvement store)
Jeans and a “Super Jew” t-shirt from ModernTribe or PopJudaica are an instant Seth Rogen costume. A black tux, sunglasses, mustache, and an open collar revealing a large, gold Judaica necklace make a great Sammy Davis, Jr. costume (be sure to wear dancing shoes and carry a martini glass). Albert Einstein’s disheveled professor look can be recreated with black dress pants, a white button-down shirt, and an oversized sweater stuffed with newspaper for a plumper look.
Women can express their “entertainer” side with a nod to Barbra Streisand (long, blond wig and stunning dress), Joan Rivers (pant suit, pearls, short blonde wig, and a toy microphone), or Paula Abdul (a glitzy outfit from the thrift store, over-the-top makeup, and heavily teased hair held together with a scrunchie).
It’s always fun to dress up as your favorite piece of Judaica or Jewish product. Passover is just a month after Purim–why not prepare by creating a matzah box costume? You’ll need:
-Large cardboard box (you can get these in the layaway section of large chain stores and appliance stores, or ask a local retailer)
-Scanner and color printer
Cut a hole in the top of the box for your head and arms. Make sure that you can walk around (relatively) comfortably in it.
Scan the matzah box label and save the image on your computer. Print it multiple times and use the copies to cover the front, back, and side of the costume box. Alternately, paint your own label design on the box.
This costume can also be a Tzedakah box, just omit the food labels and instead decorate with Hebrew or with the logo of your favorite charity.
If you’d rather not spend all of Purim confined to a box, try dressing up as a menorah:
-Old, large silver or gold raincoat
-Matching spray paint
-Eight toilet paper tubes
-Red and yellow tissue paper
Spray paint the eight paper tubes so they match the old raincoat. Cut four equally placed slits in the top of the arms of the jacket and stick the tubes inside. Attach with glue on both the inside and outside of the arms (use extra scrap cardboard inside the arms to reinforce, if necessary).
Crunch pieces of red and yellow tissue paper together to make the flames for the menorah and glue to the tops of the tissue paper rolls. Cover the cap with glue and more crushed tissue to make your head the shamash.
Pronounced: muh-NOHR-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a lamp or candelabra, often used to refer to the Hanukkah menorah, or Hanukkiah.
Pronounced: PUR-im, the Feast of Lots, Origin: Hebrew, a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period.