When you consider the cost and lack of originality of store-bought costumes, homemade costumes are a more fun, and oftentimes more cost-effective, option. Plus, if you involve your children in creating the homemade costumes, the results will be worth more than any store-bought costume anywhere.

Here are some inexpensive, homemade Purim costume ideas that will cost little money and show lots of imagination.

Queen Esther
There is nothing as exciting as spending a day as the beautiful Queen Esther. A white, pink or colored dress with a petticoat, a crown and some jewelry from the dollar store are sure to complete the essential Queen Esther look!

Soda Can
Find an inexpensive plastic barrel and cut a hole in the bottom. Paint the entire barrel the colors and design of your favorite brand of soda in a can. With holes for arms and your head, a simple barrel can transform your child into a soda can.

You can quickly create a great clown with sweat clothes that are a bit too large, decorated with fabric paint or markers. Sew on some pompoms, use an inexpensive wig with a large and colorful hat, and you could even stuff the clothing with tissue.

You can become a hippie from the 1960s with a tie-dyed shirt and faded jeans with holes in the knees. Combine this with a headband, a ponytail wig, and a jacket or vest covered in fringe, and you will have the most authentic-looking hippie costume of all time.

Doctor or Dentist
Put a large white shirt on your child as a doctor’s white coat. Have him wear a pager on the shirt pocket, and hang a toy stethoscope (from a toy doctor’s kit) around his neck. Put the rest of the doctor tools in a black bag.

Dress your child in a green shirt and pants. For smaller children, especially those in colder climates, a one-piece pajama-type outfit with feet works well. For the flower part, start with a brown hat or cap. Cut flower petal shapes out of yellow felt and glue them all around the hat. If you’d like, you can cut two large leaf shapes out of green felt and glue them at the back of each of the shirtsleeves. A little plastic watering can makes a cute pail to carry candy in.

Purim Costumes You Can Make out of a Cardboard Box

Start by cutting a hole in the box for your child’s head. Or, if the box is smaller, then you’ll attach straps to the edges of the box when the costume is completed (like suspenders) and fit them over your child’s shoulders. Also, cut armholes if you aren’t doing the suspender method. Then you’re ready to get started. All of these outfits fit perfectly over leggings and a long-sleeved shirt (or jacket).

Tzedakah (Charity) Box
Cut holes in the box for the child’s arms and head. Wrap the entire box in silver wrapping paper. Write “Tzedakah” on the front in English or Hebrew with a Sharpie marker. Make “coins” out of gold paper and glue them on the front for extra emphasis.

Box of Cereal
Does your child have a favorite cereal? Fruit Loops, Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs? Any box of cereal can be painted onto a cardboard box and turned into a costume.

Computer Monitor
Spray-paint the box gray. After it dries, paint a white screen on the front of the monitor. Of course, you can have fun decorating the screen with your favorite website, or print a screen from your favorite website and glue it onto the box for a more realistic look.

Spray-paint the box gray or silver. Then, after the paint dries, find a mish-mash of nuts and bolts and glue them to the box. You may also create attachments from aluminum foil, dryer vents, duct tape, or whatever you have lying around the house.

A Wrapped Gift
Wrap the entire box in gift wrap (whatever kind you like the best) and stick a bow on your child’s head.

Invite your child to help with making his or her costume. Spending time creating these costumes together may end up being just as much fun as the Purim party. Be sure to take lots of pictures!