Easy Purim Costume Ideas

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Cute Kids in Children's Costumes
Image by epSos.de via Flickr

Purim will be here before you know it. My 6-year-old wants to be a magician. Fortunately I have a cape I made in an ambitious moment a few years ago. My 8-year-old decided he wants to win the contest for most original costume, and is excited about dressing up as a photographer even though I won’t let him take my camera. I haven’t decided whether to say anything or not about his chances of winning. I’m open to ideas for making it more creative.

Last year I asked readers for easy Purim costumes you can make at home. Here’s a summary:

  1. Me: My son was an artist: a beret with a palette, a smock and paint smudges.
  2. Alpidarkomama:
    My favorite costume of all was when my son was a kohen gadol (high priest). Took a rectangular piece of fabric and cut a head-hole in the middle and tied it with a sash. Added the appropriate apron, breastplate, and cardboard hat. It was great!! I’m going to recycle it this year for him, if he wants. We’ve also been working on new hats (paper bag/papier mache/cardstock brims), paper bag dresses (cut out neck and armholes, decorate, and add additional paper bag panels to make it hang down further), and monster feet (large cardboard cutouts with cardboard straps stapled onto them– probably won’t last long!).
  3. Robin:
    My old standbys (for myself actually when forced to dress up) are a bum and a hippie — easy to do with mom and dad’s old clothes :) . Lots of scarves and some costume jewelry can be a gypsy too.A fairy is easy too — solid color clothing (i.e. leotard and tights) and then make a pair of wings. For really cheap you could use oaktag and elastic cord, though the wings are very cheap to buy.
  4. EmahS:
    My almost 8 year old son wants to be a robot. He will wear grey sweatpants and a long sleeve grey shirt, and over it, he will wear a box that we have cut and covered with aluminum foil, with a hole for the head, holes for the arms, bottom opened up. We bought a silver facepaint marker, and will paint his face silver. We’re embellishing the box with different recycled things around the house covered in more foil.My 5 1/2 year old wants to be a pirate. We took an old pair of sweats and cut them on a zig-zag just below the knee, he’ll wear a long sleeve white tshirt (big and a bit puffed), my winter scarf (plain black no fringe) around his waist for a belt, and we made a HOOK for him to hold. I took an old plastic cup, covered it with black paper and then made a hook by covering a drinking straw with foil and bending it into a hook shape. When the cup is placed over his hand, he’s got a piece of foil that is sticking inside for him to hold onto. He’ll wear a red bandana tied on his head, and the ONLY thing we’ve bought for him is an eye patch and a clip on gold hoop earring! OH, and we’ll paint on a beard for him. BOTH CHEAP to free, AND BOTH have loved working on the costumes with me!!
  5. Trilcat: Cheap and easy: Buy bunny ears (you can also make them out of paper. but I’ve bought them as cheap as 6 shekels, and I keep mine in a costume bag in my closet for the future.) Make a pompom http://www.ehow.com/how_5887_make-pompoms.html and stick just above the kid’s tush with a safety pin. (on the clothing, not on the tush itself, of course) It has to be above the tush so they don’t sit on it and find it uncomfortable. Use a white, pink, or grey sweatsuit or leotard for the outfit and lipstick for the nose and whiskers. For a mouse tail, you can stuff newspaper or one side of a pair of pantyhose and cut off the rest of the pantyhose. this is a perfect use for a pair with a run in one side or in the crotch.
  6. Reiza (who inspired last year’s post)
    A butterfly using a headband with wings that we had in with the dress-up clothes, a brightly colored-striped shirt and matching pants (that one didn’t go over so well. People didn’t understand what she was); a queen with an existing dress-up crown, fancy jewelry and a foofy dress; The princess and the pea (see above, but with the letter P cut from foam hanging around her neck); Goldilocks and the 3 bears (Girl1 in a dress and sweater with a nametag that read, “Goldilocks,” and 2 bears pinned to her sweater, and her then baby brother was baby bear); a pirate (cut up old clothing–super easy costume and free) plus a hat/hook set I got at the Dollar tree; Superman (blue pjs with the S symbol painted on); the tooth fairy (wings, pretty dress and ‘teeth’ accessories made out of foam–wand, bag, etc).This past summer, at camp, they had Purim in July for one of their meshugenah days. I just let the kids raid their dress-up clothes. One of the girls was a super hero who saved butterflies (butterfly hat with a cape pinned to her). The other one went as a cat with jaguar-printed pieces from the dress-up bin (pants and arm bands).Oh and last year, for Sunday school, the twins went as night and day. One wore a black sweat suit to which I glued (Elmer’s glue, so they all washed off) paper stars. The other wore a light blue outfit with a cloud blanket pinned over her shoulders. They wore paper plate masks–one with a crescent moon painted on it and the other with a sun painted on it.
  7. Shorty: This is my first Purim in a long time, and my husband and i are thinking of dressing up as Yetzer Hatov and Yetzer Harah (good and bad impulses). I was thinking for “Hatov” i would make a little Torah scroll to carry around, maybe some angel wings, dress in white. for Harah, we happen to have devil’s horns and dressing in black, maybe carry around a National Enquirer (to represent Lashon Harah) or some other “naughty.”
  8. AR: (a) Haman — any black clothes + construction paper triangles over the ears make oznei Haman (Haman’s ears) + evil looking mustache / whiskers / eyebrows drawn with a black eyebrow pencil. Extra efforts could involve some kind of Persian hat. Lots of kids find it thrilling to dress up as the villain. (b) a dalmation puppy. We bought cheap white pjs at the shuk and let the kids finger paint black spots all over and made matching floppy ears (hung over the kid’s ears with string loops). Young kids can be comfortable in the soft pjs all day and still say they are dressed up as puppy, which is something everyone understands.
  9. Annie: My son once dressed up as a British businessman: my husband’s suit jacket (which reached his ankles, which was funny enough in itself :-) ), a rolled up black umbrella, a copy of the Financial Times (or any English newspaper), an old briefcase, and a painted on pencil mustache.My daughter dressed up as Shalosh Regalim. I made her an extra leg (regel, geddit?) from a stuffed panty hose with the 2nd leg hidden inside, tied it to a belt around her waist. We made a paper and cardboard crown, half looking like matza, half decorated with flowers, and topped with leaves for sechach.
  10. Abbi suggested trading costumes with friends.
  11. Leora has a gemach, or a free-loan costume collection, in her town.

Thank you to all for sharing such creative ideas. Feel free to add more in the comments.

If you enjoyed this post you may also like:

An Explosive Purim (On caps in shul)

Purim Costume Fail?
Easy and Inspiring Purim Crafts


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Comments

  1. Am I the only one here who just does “silly” for Purim? When I was a child I’d pick out the strangest combination of clothes from everyone’s closets and have fun wearing the kind of thing you couldn’t get away with any other day of the year (my mom’s brilliant idea). My son’s costume this year is similar and involves using up my leftover yarn scraps – but I can’t tell how, it’s a surprise!

  2. When I was little I won a prize with the “snake charmer costume.” The outfit itself is harem pants, or “sharwall” pants, maybe a bolero top, you can wrap your head in a scarf, add bangle bracelts, jewelry, etc.
    But the piece de resistance is to make the snake:
    Cut a hole in the bottom of a basket (or cardboard box decorated as a “snake box”) big enough for your hand to go through. Use either a long glove, or just makeup to dress up your arm like a snake, and put it through the hole in the basket. Glue a glove to the basket to represent the hand that isn’t really there!
    You can tie a recorder around the neck too.

  3. thank you – I am showing this to my kids this afternoon and hopefully they will pick one of those – even I can handle these!!

  4. cross posted at shomer shekalim:
    My daughter came home from gan yesterday with cheap yellow fabric cut like a set of tzitzis to go over the head (round the corners to eliminate halachic issues) with black stripes of felt glued on it. On her head, she had a thick piece of black construction paper with two yellow pipe cleaners threaded through for feelers… She was a really cute bee for probably about 20 shekels with loads of leftover materials.

    You could easily do ladybugs this way too. And this is great if you have a few kids who want to dress up the same, as there is an economy of scale.

  5. my not quite 5 yo son wants to be a policeman–at least this week he does.

    any ideas??

    • I think you’ll need to invest in a hat for that one, but ask around. I think we have one in our bag. They often come with a badge. But remember, the point of a policeman costume is to carry a gun.

  6. Rabbiswife says:

    both the girls want to be brides this year. I know this is probably one of the most popular costumes, which is why I want to talk hem out of it. I think unique is more fun. although it has it’s limits. our first year here I dressed the baby as a hershey’s kiss. it was super cute and really easy, but the Israelis really didn’t get it. If you want to do it, you just cover a cone-style birthday hat in foil and run a white ribbon out the top of it. write “HERSHEY’S” in blue on the ribbon. I sewed a “tube” of silver fabric and elastic on both ends. all white clothes underneath, and you’re done. although I also made some little silver booties that were very cute.

    • rabbiswife, if they want to be brides why not? They don’t care if they’re not unique. Just as boys want to carry guns, girls want to dress up in a long dress.

      • Rabbiswife says:

        Sigh. It’s just my artsy side wanting them to break the mold. My mom is already started on making the dresses. it’s a project after her own heart. They’ll be the poofiest, whitest, bridey-est girls in shul.

  7. I like thinking out of the box, so Ive decided to dress up as the azazel goat this year. Another idea was a pregnant nun. Hard to tell

  8. hey how can i get a easy and cheap and nice costume out of the box for teens

  9. I’m dressing up as an Indian this year, in a sari (with a shirt underneath, duh.)
    My brother though, is dressing up as a jewish pirate. He’s going to wear tzitzit over a red or whit shirt, wear boots, blue pants, a bandana and a pirate hat, a sword (of course) and Gelt. :) Admit it, a stroke of genius. :D
    I always make my family’s purim costumes, because I’m artistic and i know how to sew. It’s very fun. we almost never buy them. except for the swords and stuff.

  10. hey. i am ten years old and purim is coming really near!!!! i stll have no idea what to wear. i want to be a cowgirl but what to wear that will look like a costume?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks a lot!!!!

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