DIY Menorahs

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The well-loved tradition of displaying a menorah and lighting Hanukah candles doesn’t have to be done only on a traditional, store bought menorah. Add some fun and originality to your family’s festival of lights by creating your own beautiful and unique menorah.

Glass Bottle Menorahs

People have been using empty bottles as candle holders for millennia. These candle holders become even more interesting and attractive as candle wax drips down the sides of the bottles after each use. Here are a few ways to apply this idea toward making your own menorah:

  • Frosted bottle menorah: Paint nine bottles with opaque, frosted white or blue. Arrange the bottles in an attractive pattern on a heat-safe surface. Stick a tall white or blue candle in each bottle, choosing a slightly taller candle for the shamus candle.
  • Sand art menorah: Fill nine bottles with colorful sand to create pretty patterns before inserting a tall candle in each. Arrange on a heat-safe tray or surface.

Using Common Household and Garden Objects

You probably have just the right things in your house right now to design an amazing menorah. These menorahs are made from common objects you may already have at home:

  • Mason jar luminary menorah: Decoupage eight small mason jars and one larger mason jar with tissue paper in shades of purple and blue. If you’d like, add a paper star of David or dreidel to your abstract patterns. Place a tea light in each jar and arrange jars in a line or semicircle on a heat safe surface. Use the largest luminary as the shamus.
  • Gift menorah: Wrap eight small square boxes and one slightly larger box in pretty wrapping paper and ribbons. Arrange your “gifts” in a straight line with the largest box in the center. Glue a glass tea light holder to the top of each box and fill each holder with a candle.
  • Tree menorah: Spray paint a branch with metallic gold or silver paint. Lay branch flat on a heat-safe surface and glue nine small candle clips/holders on wherever you’d like. Use a slightly taller candle for your shamus and tie the bottom of the branch with a pretty blue ribbon and bow.
  • Rainbow menorah: Simply arrange nine colorful votive glass candleholders in a row.
  • Spool menorah: Paint nine empty sewing spools in blue and white (or your desired color scheme). Stick candles in the holes and arrange on a blue or silver tray.
  • Stemware menorah: Fill nine clearwine glasses with colorful glass beads,colored sand or river rocks and insert a candle in each. Use a larger glass for the shamus. Arrange on a metal serving tray.
  • Wood block menorah: Paint and glitter and old rectangular block of wood. Glue on candleholders and insert candles.

Spa Menorahs

Bring the relaxing feeling of a spa vacation to your Hanukah by creating one of these menorahs using a Zen garden kit frame or a shallow wooden box:

  • Basic Zen garden menorah: Fill Zen garden frame with sand and add nine small glass votive candleholders in a simple arrangement. Rake a pretty pattern in the sand around the candles. A nice variation is to use river rocks instead of sand and add a few tiny faux flower blossoms if you’d like.
  • Beach menorah: Fill eight small apothecary jars with colorful beach glass. Glue a ring of seashells around the outer rim of the shamus jar. Sit a votive glass candleholder in the mouth of each jar. Arrange jars in a large Zen garden frame surrounded by natural or colorful sand raked in complimentary designs.
  • Crystal fantasy menorah: Fill Zen garden frame with sparkling crystals such as quartz, amethyst or citrine. Arrange one glass votive candleholder and eight tea light holders among the crystals.

Kid’s Menorahs

Children love to get in on the fun of creating their own menorahs too! Here are a few your kids might enjoy:

  • Baby block menorah: Line up nine old wooden alphabet blocks to spell a child’s name or holiday message. For a longer message use two layers of blocks. You may want to use an extra block to build the spot for the shamus candle one block higher the others. Glue a metal candleholder to the top of each of the nine blocks and insert candles.
  • Toilet roll menorah: Use an old box or just a piece of cardboard for the base. Paint and glitter base, and add some faux snow. Then paint nine toilet roll tubes and glue them onto the base as “candles.” Paint and cut out nine cardboard “flames” and glue them in the “candles.”
  • Felt menorah: Create felt hanging with a large piece of felt, dowel and twine. From other colorful pieces of felt, cut out shapes for menorah, candles and flames. Glue menorah to felt hanging and use Velcro to attach a new felt candle and flame each night.
  • Paper cup menorah: Paint and decorate paper cups, then turn upside down to form “candles” you can glue on a painted cardboard base. Cut out and paint cardboard flames and glue onpopsicle sticks. Cut a slit in the top of each cup and insert to “light” a new candle each night.

With a little imagination, you’ll find endless ways to create homemade menorahs. You can even work with food items from your kitchen such as pasta, fruits and vegetables, cupcakes or marshmallows! Just always keep fire safety in mind; if your design is beautiful but not necessarily fire safe, consider using LED candles or light bulbs instead of actual flames. You can also make your menorahs safer for natural candlelight by gluing wide metal disks beneath your candleholders to catch drips or stray flames.

Last Updated: December 7, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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