Religion & Beliefs

Make Your Own Chanukiah Out of Stuff You’ve Got Lying Around the House

One of the cool things about Chanukkah is that because there are so few mitzvoth connected to the holiday, there’s lots of fun designs going on in chanukiot. You can buy some cool ones online, of course, but you can … Read More

By / December 5, 2007

One of the cool things about Chanukkah is that because there are so few mitzvoth connected to the holiday, there’s lots of fun designs going on in chanukiot. You can buy some cool ones online, of course, but you can also probably make one with stuff you’ve got at home already. Here are some ideas: Last year, some of you may remember my rockin’ Beer-nukiah, made out of beer bottles. This year I changed the design up a bit, using hard cider bottles, and a wine bottle for the shamash. It was so indie-frum, you wouldn’t believe.
Got some extra doughnuts from your first night’s celebration? Take eight traditional doughnuts with holes in the middle, and a muffin or sufganiya to use as the shamash. Put Shabbat candles in the holes of the doughnuts, and sink the shamash candle into the muffin (using a sufganiya might be kind of messy). Voila! The traditional Hebrew school chanukiah involves either bottle caps glued onto a piece of wood, with glitter, stickers, and drawings done with markers, or the same deal except nuts (the kind you get at a hardware store) instead of bottle caps glued to a piece of wood. Sweet!

Got a bunch of cans to be recycled? Turn ‘em upside down and stick a tea light in the concave bottom. Use a 40oz or an empty tomato sauce jar for the Shamash. Do you have an old Connect Four or Checkers set? You can make a chanukiah out of stacks of the pieces, just making a taller stack for the shamash, and melting candles so that they stick on top. You can probably do the same with Legos if you’re feeling industrious. The traditional Chanukiah-in-a-bind is made out of potato (I recommend Idaho baking potatoes, because they’re pretty soft), with candles just pushed into the potato. Doesn’t get much simpler than that! Another nice way to improvise your Chanukkah celebrations: gather all your spare change for a dreidl game. Whoever wins gets to choose which charity the money goes to (last night my friend Danny whupped my ass in dreidl during a particularly vicious game, and so I donated all the change—almost thirteen bucks—to his new favorite charity, the Make It Right Foundation). This is a lot more fun if you’re also drinking (i.e., working on next year’s chanukiah). (Psst—Today is my one year anniversary with FaithHacker! If I could take all my readers out to a fancy dinner and buy you all flowers, I would. Happy anniversary!)