Purim is Rivky Koenig's favorite time of year. When this scrapbooking specialist, who recently launched a new line of Jewish-inspired scrapbooking supplies, wrote her first book, Crafting Jewish, Purim was the hardest chapter to write.
"We came up with so many crafts for Purim that it was difficult to pick and choose which crafts to include," says Koenig, of her book. "Purim gives people a wonderful opportunity to express their creativity. Every year I get inspired by seeing what my friends and neighbors do."
From costumes to mishloach manot to the grand Purim feast, every aspect of this holiday is fun, spirited and child-centered. Koenig likes to get her kids involved as much as possible.
The Costumes and Mishloach Manot
"For costumes, use things you have around the house," she says. "This year my kids want to be cowboys so we are going to take plaid shirts and khaki pants or jeans. They'll wear bandanas and I'll get them some ropes to use as mini lassos."
For mishloach manot, Koenig also suggests reusing item from around the house. Why buy something new when you can use stuff you don't need anymore?" Koenig asks. She recommends saving containers or jars from bread crumbs, baby formula, oatmeal, or nuts, and then covering them with scrapbooking paper. "For a lid, you can decorate the plastic cover with coordinating paper," says Koenig. "Or, poke holes on two opposite sides of the container and weave a ribbon through it to create a handle." Koenig also likes to wrap the container in tissue paper or cellophane and cinch it at the top with a rubber band and tie it with a bow.
To show off homemade condiments, Koenig packages them in reusable glass jars she saves from pasta sauce. She spray paints the lids to create an original look.
"If you aren't so creative, don't worry about having to choose a theme," says Koenig. "You can tie everything together by picking a color or a flavor, and use that to bring together your shalach manos."
Here are some projects to get you started.
For Mishloach Manot
Mishloach Manot in Hamantashen Containers
- Dinner plate
- 1 large sheet of brown craft foam
- Purple tissue paper or cellophane paper
- Place the plate on the craft foam. Trace a circle around the plate.
- Cut out the circle of craft foam.
- To make the hamantashen's triangular shape, lift up two sides of the circle and staple together on top, where the two sides meet. Life up the remaining side and staple to each of the other sides. Fill with Purim goodies.
- Cut out a square of tissue paper or cellophane slightly larger than the hamantashen's opening. Stuff the paper into the opening to cover the food.
Cute Mishloach Manot Caddy
- Clean round container (such as from breadcrumbs, nuts, or baby formula)
- Craft glue
- Colored jumbo or regular craft sticks
- Decorative edge scissors or regular scissors
- Spread glue around the top and bottom outer edge of the container.
- Glue the craft sticks around the entire container. Let dry.
- Tie a ribbon around the center of the container and trim the ends with decorative edge scissors.
"I love this project because it's so simple. You can literally make this cape in ten minutes and it looks gorgeous," says Koenig. "Take a large square of fabric, cut slits in it, and thread ribbon through it. Then, have the kids decorate it with rickrack, ribbon, glitter."
- 36x36-inch piece of felt (sold in packages at most craft stores)
- Tape measure
- Straight pins
- Sharp scissors
- 48-inch length of 1-2-inch-wide ribbon
- 4 yards 1-inch-wide rickrack or 2-4 yards marabou or fake fur trim
- Fabric glue, or glue gun and glue sticks
- Place the felt onto a flat surface. On one side of the felt square, measure and fold over a 5x 36-inch section. Pin the folded section to the remaining felt with straight pins, to hold in place.
- Use the sharp scissors to cut 1-inch slits into the folded felt: cut 20 slits spaced approximately 2 inches apart.
- Remove the pins and unfold the felt. There will be 2-inch slits. Weave the ribbon through the slits. The part that folds over will form the collar of the cape.
- Cut a length of approximately 50-52 inches of rickrack or marabou to fit around the outer edge of the collar of the cape. Use fabric glue or glue gun and glue sticks to attach the rickrack to the edge of the collar. Fold the rickrack at a 45 degree angle when you reach a corner and continue gluing.
- Turn the cape over and hot glue the rest of the rickrack around the edge of the cape, not including the collar area (When the cape is worn the collar will be facing down).
Note: To make the cape longer or shorter using the same size of felt, increase or decrease the length of the collar.
"Why spend $25 on costume shtriemels (usually sold in a Judaica store) when it's so easy to make one at home?" says Koenig. "This is such a simple costume. It's very reasonable and original."
- 2 (12x15-inch) pieces brown fake fur
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- 1 large black velvet kippah
- Lay one piece of fake fur, fur side down, on a table. Fold one-third (4 inches) of the fur up toward the middle.
- Apply hot glue to the unfolded section. Fold the unglued section onto the glued area. Press to form a flat tube shape.
- Repeat with the second piece of fur. Glue the tubes together at one end. Measure the fur tube around the head and trim off extra fabric.
- Glue the two ends together to form a circle. Place the kippa into the fur circle. Hot glue the edges of the kippa to the fur inside the circle.