Religion & Beliefs

Make Your Own Menorah (From Crap You Find Around the House) in 10 Minutes or Less!

Remember that guy, Kevin, from college? I think he was your roommate’s boyfriend’s best friend… You remember, that guy, the one who could make a pipe out of anything? He’d smoke pot out of tin foil, an apple, an old … Read More

By / December 15, 2006
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Remember that guy, Kevin, from college? I think he was your roommate’s boyfriend’s best friend… You remember, that guy, the one who could make a pipe out of anything? He’d smoke pot out of tin foil, an apple, an old tin can. Like a pot-head MacGyver, he could make a bong out of a turkey baster, a piece of tape, some glitter, and a plank of wood.

Well, often at Chanukah, I hear from less affiliated Jewish friends that they didn’t celebrate the holiday because they didn’t have a Hanukiah, and that seems dumb. I mean, if a total stoner dude is clever enough to make things out of household objects, you can too. And maybe your home-made candelabra won’t be strictly Kosher, but if you didn’t prepare in advance for this… you likely aren’t concerned about that anyway.

Tin foil is easiest, and this picture is my 10 minute version, made with just a stapler and a sheet of foil (I just fold the foil over a few times on each side, until it’s the right size, and then staple it 10 times, about an each apart each time. Be sure to stack a few quarters under the shamash BEFORE you staple anything, so that it’s higher than the rest of the candles Once the staples are in, you won’t be able to get the coins in. Then, just fit the candles in and mold the foil around them so they’re sturdy. If they wobble too much, you need more foil, and more folds).

But that’s just my lazy design. You could use a handful of nuts or washers from your toolbox, glued to a piece of wood or an old plate. You could use 9 little glass bottles (Tabasco works), glued or tied together side-by-side. If you wanted to get creative you could make something really nice, like Jenny Traig (who is lovely, smart, and artsy) made here, from Mah Jong tiles! (I found the link at Jewschool)

Basically, just make sure the candles are all in a line, and that the Shamash (the ninth candle) is raised above the others a little bit. Ideally, you should use metal or glass, but if you want to skewer 9 apples on a stick and cram your candles into the top of each apple, I won’t judge you.

If you want to get fancier, there’s all kinds of ways to do this. NPR even ran a contest for menorah-makers. And your local pottery-glazing place will probably let you paint a candleholder for about 30 bucks. Though I’m not sure it would be any more kosher than this inspiring potato menorah!

Good luck, and No excuses!