Purim is one of the most festive Chagim, or holidays, of the year. It commemorates when the Jews of Persia were saved from an evil plot lead by the king’s advisor, Haman. One of the Persian Jews, A man named Mordecai was terrified of Haman’s plan to kill them and convinced his cousin, Queen Esther, to go to the King and plead for the Jews’ liberation. King Ahasuerus took pity on Esther and the Jews. He sent Haman away and saved the Jewish people from such a fate.

Purim begins next week, which means it’s the perfect time to begin putting together your Mishloach Manot packages! Mishloach Manot is a Purim tradition of sending out gifts and treats to family and friends.

My family always fills our boxes with a stack of jam-filled Hamantaschen, but these are some of the goodies you might include in your package:
-Hamantashen: Triangular shaped cookies filled with jam or poppyseeds, said to be shaped like evil Haman’s hat.
-Groggers: Noisemakers that we shake to drown out Haman’s name whenever it is mentioned during the Megilla reading.
-Masks: It is customary to dress up on this festive holiday and masks are a quick and colorful way to do that!
-Toys and trinkets: Stickers, temporary tattoos, colorful pencils, etc.

The most important part of Mishloach Manot is what goes inside the box, but if you wish to go that extra step and elevate your Mishloach Manot from “thoughtful gift” to “Wowzers what’s this?!” these are the instructions and templates to create your own beautiful gift boxes and tags.

You will need the following, all of which (besides the printer) you can pick up at a craft or hobby store:

– Blank and light colored boxes
– small blank white cards
– rubber stamping block
– carving tool
– stamping ink, your choice of colors but I suggest red, orange, purple and yellow
– x-acto knife
-pencil
– colorful string
-ink jet printer and white paper

Download and print out this template.Trace over the Hamantaschen outline and “jam filling” with a soft pencil, then place them face down on a rubber eraser or stamping block. Rub the back of the paper until images are transferred.  Carefully carve each shape out. On the “filling’ stamp you may want to cut the entire shape out with an exacto knife so that you can be accurate when you turn the stamp over and place it in the center of the cookie.

purimcuttingstamps

Cover “outline” stamp with yellow ink and stamp two or three times on one card that will be your tag. Here I’m using letterpress paper but any thick paper or cardstock will be fine.

puriminkhamantaschen

purimstampoutside

Use a dark red, blue or purple ink for the “jam filling” stamp, and match up in the middle of your cookie the best you can:

purimstamps

purimtags

To create a textile on the box:

Trace the square on the enclosed template using a soft pencil,  transfer onto a rubber block by placing paper pencil side down onto a rubber block and rub the backside with a spoon. Then carve per usual.

purimcutsquarestamps

Cover the stamp with any color ink you’d like, and repeat all over box. Test first! Here testing was necessary, as my ink pad had been muddied with green beforehand and I needed to clean it out.puriminksquarestamps

purimstampsbox

Any simple shape stamp would work, because stamping over and over brings it to a new level.

Here is our stack of boxes:

purimpackagesstack

Punch a hole in your gift tag, write a message, and tie around your box with a bright colored string. Stuff with treats, place your package in a box with bubble wrap, and ship!

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