With the Festival of Lights just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get your craft on and make a DIY Menorah Craft for Hanukkah. Forget store-bought versions – we’re going to make a unique menorah that’ll light up your Hanukkah celebrations in style. This Hanukkah craft is a great way to involve the whole family in your Hanukkah decorations and is perfect for kids or teens. So grab your crafting supplies and get ready to illuminate your holiday with this fun and meaningful project,
What is a Menorah and How is it Used?
The menorah is the shining star (well, kind of, more like a candelabra) of Hanukkah, one of the most beloved Jewish holidays. It’s a nine-branched candleholder that takes center stage during the Festival of Lights. Eight of those branches hold the Hanukkah candles, which are lit one by one over the eight nights of Hanukkah. This tradition symbolizes the miracle of the temple oil that lasted for eight days when it should have only lasted one. The ninth branch, often taller or set apart, holds the “shamash” candle, which is used to light the others. It’s all about spreading light and joy, especially for Jewish kids who eagerly anticipate lighting a new candle each night. And, of course, the menorah’s shape often resembles the Star of David, adding an extra layer of symbolism to this beautiful holiday tradition.
Why Should You Make a DIY Menorah?
Why make a DIY menorah, you ask? Well, there are plenty of good reasons! First off, crafting your own Hanukkah menorah adds a personal touch to your holiday celebrations. It’s like putting a piece of your heart into the holiday season. Plus, homemade menorahs have character – they’re unique and often make a more kid-friendly menorah than a store-bought menorah. It’s a fantastic way to involve small children or teens in Hanukkah traditions and create cherished memories. And hey, let’s not forget the sense of accomplishment you get from saying, “I made this!” So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to light up your holiday with your very own, one-of-a-kind menorah, courtesy of Creative Jewish Mom!
Making a Homemade Menorah
Making a homemade menorah is super easy! You can get most of these supplies at the Dollar Store, or you might even have some of them floating around in your junk drawer!
– Foam Block (You could also use a wood block, but foam is more kid-friendly)
– Foam Brush
– Colorful Napkins or Thin Wrapping Paper
– Hex Nuts
– Glass Gems
– Mod Podge
– Tacky Glue
– Table Covering
– Optional: Candle Holder Template (make a template out of cardboard or paper to mark where the candles will go)
How to Make Your Own Menorah
1. Rip or cut up napkins into strips.
Colorful cocktail napkins or very thin wrapping paper are a great option for this. Tiny hands might have trouble ripping the material. You could cut it as well.
2. Add a thin layer of glue to the foam block.
3. Place a strip onto the glue and smooth completely. Continue until the foam block is covered on all sides. This will be your menorah base, so make sure the bottom is a flat surface.
This is really where you can let your creativity shine! Use a variety of colors and patterns to make a unique DIY menorah. Layer the napkins in straight lines or go for a more abstract look. Another option would be to use spray paint or acrylic paints to cover the foam block.
4. Add a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the covered block. This will seal the napkins and will prevent fading. Let dry (Mod Podge dries quickly).
5. The nuts will be your candle holders. If you have a template, place it onto the top of the block and make a small marking inside each small hole to show where each nut will go. If not, freehand works too!
6. Glue down the hex nuts. Be sure to use two nuts for the Shamash (helper candle) to make a kosher Menorah.
I recommend using tacky glue for this step instead of glue sticks or white glue. A hot glue gun would also work, with adult supervision of course!
7. Begin to glue the glass marbles onto the foam block. Do one side at a time and let dry.
Make sure to use the tacky glue for this, not hot glue as you can see through the marbles.
8. Add candles and enjoy! Make sure to check the candle size will work with the nuts.
How to Use Your DIY Menorah
Now that you’ve made a beautiful family keepsake, you can use it year after year during the holiday season. Display your unique DIY menorah as a table centerpiece or let your kids display their homemade Hanukkah decorations in their room. We had a great time making this homemade menorah at my house last year, and its one of my favorite DIY projects and holiday craft ideas because of the memories made!
Other Fun Ideas to Make Your Own Menorah
A popular kid-friendly menorah used to teach small children about the traditions of Hanukkah is a felt menorah like this one from Our Happy Tribe. Kids love getting to add the felt flames on each day!
There are so many different options out there for pasta menorahs. This one from Make it Jewish is so creative with a lasagna noodle base.
Tea Light Menorah
For a more decorative menorah centerpiece, try this tea lights menorah from Jewish Moms & Crafters. You could use small mason jars or even baby food jars as your candle holders.
If you celebrate the Festival of Lights, Happy Hanukkah! If not, I hope you have a great holiday season!
Looking for other holiday crafts? Check out this post on handmade Christmas ornaments.