Hanukkah Crafts


A Hanukkah menorah.
A Hanukkah menorah.

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday that has historical and religious meaning.

Hanukkah is celebrated with delicious food, an exchange of gifts, and the lighting of the Menorah. The candles of the Menorah are lit on each night of Hanukkah -- one candle on the first night, two candles on the second, and so on.

In this article you'll find ways to celebrate Hanukkah with fun activities and crafts. Check out the following pages -- and Happy Hanukkah.

Star of David Bookmarks

With this craft, potatoes aren't just for eating anymore.

Dancing Dreidels

You just might find that the traditional Hanukkah activity is even more fun when you make the dreidel yourself.

Easy I.D. Bracelets

Homemade gifts are the best, and personalized gifts are twice as special. Here's an I.D. bracelet that's fun and easy to create.

Chocolate Hanukkah Balls

If you like chocolate, or know someone who does, try some fruity, chocolate treats -- they're yummy.

Wish Gifts

Let your friends and family know what you'd like to give them -- if only you could.

Luscious Latkes

Here's a twist on the traditional Hanukkah pancakes that might become the family favorite.

Shining Tin Menorahs

You don't need a candle to make your menorah shine brightly. Here's a different method.

Festival in Lights

Watch your family's eyes light up when they see your new kind of "candle" glowing brightly.

Happy Hanukkah Paper

Make your gift special with wrapping paper you make yourself. It's easy and fun to do with sponges and paint.

Countdown Calendar

Mark the days of Hanukkah with a pretty calendar.

Hanukkah Spinning Stars

Create your own star-mobile with paper and string.

Hanukkah Candle Cutouts

Shimmering candle cutouts look great in your window, especially when the sun shines through them.

Edible Menorahs

No, don't light it -- an edible menorah is a great snack. Find out how to make it.

Star Trivet

Create a star trivet to add cheer to the festivities.

Hanukkah Menorah

Make your Hanukkah celebration even more special with a menorah you create yourself.

Hanukkah Banner

Hang this Hanukkah banner and light a candle on each day of Hanukkah.

Star of David Napkin Rings

Meals will be extra-special during Hanukkah when you set the table with these napkin rings.

Continue reading to find out how to make a special bookmark by making a potato stamp.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Star of David Bookmarks

These bookmarks make great gifts.
These bookmarks make great gifts.

Make a Star of David bookmark as Hanukkah gift to last throughout the year. They're easy to make, so plan to create several to give to family and friends.

Ask an adult to help you with the cutting in this project, but then the rest of the fun is all yours.

What You'll Need:

Firm potatoes

Knife

Paper towels

Marker

Paintbrush

Paints

Construction paper

Scissors

Hole punch

Ribbon

Choose and wash a firm potato. Cut it in half. Pat the potato dry with a paper towel.

Using a marker, draw a Star of David on the white part of the potato half. Carefully cut the potato away around the star outline. When you finish you will have a raised star.

Cut a dozen inch-long rectangles from construction paper to make the bookmarks. Be sure to cut them a little wider than your potato star shape.

Brush a thick, even layer of paint onto the star shape. Carefully press it onto the bookmark where you want a star. Then lift the potato straight up -- don't wiggle or drag it when you lift it.

Print a row of stars along the bookmark. Try painting half the potato shape with one color and the other half a different color. When the paint has dried, write messages on the bookmarks, such as "Happy Hanukkah" -- or personalize the bookmark by writing the person's name who you are giving the bookmark to.

Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark, and thread the ribbon through the hole for a really decorative touch.

Spinning a dreidel is a traditional game during Hanukkah. It's even more fun when you make the dreidel yourself. Keep reading to find out how.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Dancing Dreidels

Hebrew letters adorn the sides of the dreidel.
Hebrew letters adorn the sides of the dreidel.

It wouldn't seem like Hanukkah without a dreidel -- make your own and then play a game of Dancing Dreidels. Although they're traditionally made of clay, these dreidels are made from cardboard for a similar effect.

What You'll Need:

Thin cardboard

Scissors

Ruler

Pencil

Colored tape

Paint

Paintbrushes

Tape

Markers

Chocolate Hanukkah gelt

Cut a 12x3-inch rectangle out of thin cardboard. Measure and mark the cardboard at 3, 6, and 9 inches.

Fold along those lines to make a box shape. Tape the ends together. Cut out two 3x3-inch squares of cardboard, and tape them onto the ends of the box.

Paint the cardboard in bright colors. When the paint is dry, draw a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters (from left to right, below) are the first letters of the words nun, gimel, hey, and shin, which stands for the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham -- "a great miracle was here."

Stick the pencil through the top, down through the bottom of the driedel. Tape the pencil in place with the colored tape.

See who gets the most Hanukkah gelt.

Easy I.D. Bracelet

First step -- cut the tube.
First step -- cut the tube.

This Hanukkah, create a personalized bracelet that everyone will love. Made with paper towel tubes and your creative eye, these eye-catching bracelets make wonderful gifts.

What You'll Need:

Paper towel tube

Scissors

Paint

Paintbrushes

Markers

Cut two inches of cardboard from a paper towel tube.

Then cut a slit down one side of the two-inch tube so that it can be worn on a wrist. Now, it's a bracelet.

Paint the bracelet however you want.

Personalize your the bracelet.

When the paint dries, write the name of the person for whom you're making the bracelet in large letters. You also can decorate around the name with tiny polka dots, squiggles, or hearts.

If you're ready for a treat, chocolate is always a popular choice. Find out how to make a special fruity, chocolate snack on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Chocolate Hanukkah Balls

Chocolate Hanukkah balls can make a beautiful table decoration, but it won't be long before they disappear -- especially if your family likes chocolate.

What You'll Need:

Clear glass jar

Blue sand

White sand

Blue or white ribbon

Seedless grapes

Wooden skewers

Semisweet chocolate chips

Saucepan

Spoon

Saucer of blue and white candy sprinkles

Prepare the base of the decoration by washing and drying a large, clear glass jar. Then pour alternating layers of blue sand and white sand into the jar until it is full. Tie a blue or white ribbon around the neck of the jar.

Wash and dry a bunch of seedless grapes. Push each grape onto a wooden skewer.

Ask an adult to help you melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly so the chocolate doesn't burn. When the chocolate is melted, dip each grape into it with a twirling motion so the entire grape is covered with chocolate.

Before the chocolate cools, twirl each grape in a saucer of blue and white sprinkles.

Poke the wooden skewers into the jar of sand you prepared earlier. Make a whole bunch and arrange them like flowers. Place the jar on the table for a delicious centerpiece.

It truly is the thought that counts in gift-giving. Keep reading to find out how you can let your friends and family know what you'd really love to give them.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Wish Gifts

With eight days of gift-giving during Hanukkah, a "Wish Gifts" bag can help solve the old "What should I get them?" question. With a wish gift, you can give someone a castle, a giraffe, a Ferris wheel -- or anything else.

Does your sister want a sports car? Would Dad like a new camera? Even if you're a little short on cash, you can give your loved ones what they really want. Let family and friends know you're thinking of them during Hanukkah with a special Wish Gifts bag.

What You'll Need:

Old magazines and catalogs

Scissors

Cardboard

Glue

White bag

Markers

First, cut out pictures from old magazines or catalogs of the presents you'd like to give.

Lay the pictures on cardboard, trace around the edges of the pictures, and cut out the cardboard shapes. Glue each picture onto its cardboard shape.

Put all the pictures into a white paper bag that has been specially decorated for whoever will receive it. Write "I Wish I Could Give You..." on the outside of the bag.

Part of the celebration of Hanukkah is the special food that's prepared. Learn about a new twist on the standard potato latkes. It's all there on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Luscious Latkes

Hanukkah wouldn't be Hanukkah without luscious latkes. You likely are familiar with the traditional potato pancake, but here's a delicious variation that gives tradition an interesting twist.

What You'll Need:

Recipe

4 sweet potatoes

1 onion

4 eggs

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup flour

Ginger (optional)

Materials

Butter

Oil

Grater

Knife

Measuring cup and spoons

Mixing spoon

Bowl

Skillet

Sour cream

Applesauce

Ask an adult to help you grate the potatoes and chop the onion.

Then beat the eggs. Add the onion, eggs, cinnamon, lime juice, salt, and flour to the potatoes. Mix well. You can add a teaspoon or two of powdered or freshly grated ginger for spice.

Ask an an adult to melt several tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add a little oil to the skillet so the butter doesn't burn.

Shape a smooth, flat pancake from the mixture. Ask the adult to fry it.

The pancake is done when both sides are crispy brown. Serve your sweet potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce.

On the next page, continue the Hanukkah tradition by making a shining menorah that doesn't require candles.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Shining Tin Menorah

Make an engraving of a menorah.
Make an engraving of a menorah.

Make a shining tin menorah to hang on your wall. Its shining brilliance will capture the spirit of the Holiday of Light.

What You'll Need:

Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Cardboard

Newspaper

Tape

Knitting needle or spoon

Glue

Markers

Double a large piece of foil -- the doubled foil should be several inches larger than your piece of cardboard.

Cut sheets of newspaper the same size as the cardboard; cut enough newspaper to make a pad, about 7 to 15 sheets. Put the newspaper pad on the cardboard, and center the foil on top.

Fold the excess foil over the edges of the cardboard, and secure them with tape, making sure there are no wrinkles in your foil. Use a knitting needle or spoon handle to draw the menorah shape onto the foil. Press firmly but not hard enough to tear the foil.

Work slowly; once the lines are drawn it isn't easy to erase them. Draw with long, smooth strokes, and don't lift your tool until you have finished a line.

When you have finished engraving, glue the back of your menorah onto a slightly larger piece of cardboard to create a frame. Color the cardboard around your engraving with markers. Your special menorah will last for years to come.

Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. Keep reading to find out how you can create a festival "in" lights that will add a special touch to any room.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Festival in Lights

Milk cartons serve as a base.
Milk cartons serve as a base.

Celebrate Hanukkah with a "Festival in Lights" in your home. Pretty and colorful covers hide the flashlights you use in place of a candles.

What You'll Need:

8 empty milk cartons

Scissors

Blue or white paper

Glue or tape

Thin cardboard

Pencil

Colored tissue paper

8 small flashlights

Wash and dry the milk cartons, and cut off the tops.

Wrap the remaining base with blue or white construction paper, and secure it with glue or tape.

If you overlap the paper, the glue will hold better.

Draw a candle template on thin cardboard, and cut it out. Lay it on the front of each milk carton base and trace around it.

Carefully cut out the candle shape. Glue a square of colored tissue paper inside the carton to cover the candle-shaped hole.

Colored tissue behind the cutout shape gives the candle its glow.

Line up the cartons, and place a small flashlight inside each. When the flashlights are on, the "candles" glow in soft colors. Light one candle for each night of Hanukkah!

Everyone loves to get presents, and you can make them even more special when you create the wrapping paper too. Keep reading to find out how.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Happy Hanukkah Paper

Sponges are easy to cut when they're compressed.
Sponges are easy to cut when they're compressed.

Wrap Hanukkah gifts in paper that you make using sponge-painting techniques.

What You'll Need:

Pencil

Compressed sponges

Scissors

Paper towels

Kraft paper

Acrylic paint: blue, yellow, white

3 foam plates

Old toothbrush

Download the stencils of a Star of David and dreidel as a PDF. Then trace and cut out the shapes from the compressed sponges.

Run the sponge shapes under water, and press out any excess water with paper towels.

Cut the kraft paper to the size you need to wrap a gift. Pour blue paint and yellow paint onto separate foam plates. Dip the Star of David sponge into yellow paint, coating one side. Press the sponge onto the paper. (You will probably have to dip the sponge into the paint a few times to cover the paper with stars.) Let dry.

Use the sponges to create shapes on your wrapping paper.

Now use the dreidel sponge and blue paint to add dreidels to your gift wrap. Let dry.

Pour the white paint onto a foam plate, then load an old toothbrush with the paint.

An old toothbrush works well for spatter-painting.

To spatter-paint the paper, hold the brush over the paper, and run your finger over the bristles. Let dry.

Wrap a Hanukkah gift in the paper, and add a matching ribbon for that extra-special touch. Your present will look almost too pretty to open.

All finished. What a great way to give a gift.

Continue reading to find out how to make a countdown calendar for Hanukkah.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Countdown Calendar

Make a Hanukkah calendar for your home.
Make a Hanukkah calendar for your home.

Because Hanukkah celebrations last eight days, a countdown calendar can help you remember how many days are left. A window calendar is a great way to help celebrate each day of Hanukkah.

What You'll Need:

Construction paper

Markers or colored pencils

Blunt scissors

Craft glue

Removable tape

Draw a menorah with candles to count the eight days of the holiday. Draw a flame above the center candle on the menorah.

To make the windows, cut eight small rectangles from construction paper. Fold each one in half, and glue one above each candle.

On the inside of the window, draw a candle flame. Close the window and secure it with a piece of removable tape.

Write the number for the countdown day on the front of the window, working right to left for the eight days of Hanukkah. Then open a window on each day of the celebration.

On the next page, learn how to make a Hanukkah mobile.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Hanukkah Spinning Stars

Watch the stars spin on this mobile!
Watch the stars spin on this mobile!

Creating Hanukkah spinning stars takes a little time and a steady hand, but you'll be proud of your accomplishment when you're finished. And everyone will enjoy watching the stars spin on this colorful mobile.

What You'll Need:

8-1/2 x 11-inch white paper

Pencil

Scissors

Colored construction paper

String

Craft glue or tape

Fold the piece of white paper in half.

Draw half of a large Star of David on the paper, keeping the center of the star on the folded edge of the paper. Unfold the paper, and draw two more stars inside the larger star.

Cut out the stars, trimming each so it's a little smaller than the next -- but be sure you keep the Star of David shape.

Place the open star patterns on a piece of colored construction paper, and trace around them. Cut out each star.

You should have three stars: one large, one medium, and one small. Line up the stars, one inside the next.

Cut two pieces of string; the strings should be slightly longer than the distance between the inside star and the next bigger star.

Glue or tape the string in place, but be sure the smaller stars move inside the larger stars. Cut another, longer piece of string, and glue or tape the string to the top of the largest star.

Make a loop at the end of the top string for hanging. Hang the mobile away from a wall, then watch the stars spin.

Try using shiny wrapping paper for shimmery, shining stars.

It's easy to mark the eight days of Hanukkah when you create your own candle cutouts. Learn more about it on the next page.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Hanukkah Candle Cutouts

Your candle cutouts will look pretty when the sun shines through them.
Your candle cutouts will look pretty when the sun shines through them.

Hanukkah candle cutouts are pretty and decorative. Ask an adult for help with using a craft knife on this project -- it's sometimes tricky, even for grown-ups -- but you should be able to do the rest on your own. The instructions are for one candle, so make one for each day of Hanukkah.

What You'll Need:

Cardboard

Pencil

Craft knife (adult use only)

Black construction paper

Scissors

Colored cellophane or tissue paper

Tape

Newspaper

Old crayons (yellow, red, orange)

Cheese grater

Waxed paper

Iron

Craft glue

Hole punch

String or yarn

On a rectangle of cardboard, draw a candle shape and a flame shape (see the illustration below).

Ask an adult to cut out the shapes using the craft knife; this is your tracing stencil.

Make two equal-size rectangles from black paper. Use the cardboard to trace the candle and flame shapes onto the black rectangles. Cut out the shapes.

Choose a color of cellophane or tissue paper, and cut a rectangle slightly larger than the candle stem. Tape the colored paper to a black rectangle so it covers the cutout stem shape. The colored paper makes the candle look as if it's glowing.

We know a menorah is an important part of Hanukkah. Continue on to the next page to learn how to make one that looks -- and tastes -- great.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Edible Menorahs

Its "candles" might not glow, but the menorah sure tastes good.
Its "candles" might not glow, but the menorah sure tastes good.

You probably have used a menorah for your Hanukkah celebration, but have you ever had an edible menorah? You'll have fun making -- and eating -- a menorah that looks so great.

What You'll Need:

Bread

Cream cheese or butter

Butter knife

Pretzel sticks

Carrot stick

Raisins

Spread bread with cream cheese or butter, and arrange eight pretzels on the bread as candles.

Poke them through the bread so they stand up. Use the carrot stick as the shammes -- the candle that is used to light the other candles. Put the carrot stick behind the other candles.

Place raisins as flames at the ends of the carrot and pretzel sticks. You may need to use a dot of cream cheese to make them stay.

Use your menorah as a centerpiece for your Seder.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Star Trivet

Make this trivet star to protect your table from hot pots.
Make this trivet star to protect your table from hot pots.

A star trivet will protect your table from hot pots on Hanukkah or any day of the year. The star looks so decorative, your family will want to keep it in your kitchen all year round.

What You'll Need:

Corrugated cardboard

Pencil

Scissors

Paintbrush

Craft glue

Aluminum foil

Many metal soda bottle caps

Silver paint

Sketch or trace a large star on a piece of cardboard, and cut it out. Paint the star with a thin layer of glue, and wrap it with foil until it is entirely covered.

Glue bottle caps in rows, with the flat side up, to the front of the star. When the glue has dried, paint the bottle caps silver.

The bottle caps will protect your table from the heat of the food you place on the star trivet. This trivet also makes a nice decoration when you are not using it.

Most people who celebrate Hanukkah do so with a menorah. On the next page, we'll show you how to make your own Hanukkah menorah out of clay.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Hanukkah Menorah

Your family will want to use your menorah for Hanukkah for many years to come.
Your family will want to use your menorah for Hanukkah for many years to come.

Build a Hanukkah menorah for the Jewish Festival of Lights. Your menorah will look so great, your family will want to make it a permanent part of the Hanukkah celebration.

What You'll Need:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1-1/2 cups water

Spoon

Bowl

Paint

Paintbrush

Here's how to get started:

Make some baker's clay by mixing the flour and salt in the bowl. Add the water and mix again.

Form the dough into a ball, and knead it for five minutes. Now it is ready for molding. Make nine candle cups, either by molding the dough or rolling it out and coiling it around to make a small cup.

You will need eight cups for the eight nights of Hanukkah and a ninth cup for the special candle that is used to light the other candles.

Make a base out of the dough and attach the candle cups to the base. Place eight cups in a row and then set the ninth cup higher up and off to the side or in the middle just behind the others.

The candle holder can be set to dry for a few days or baked in the oven at 300 degrees until it's hard. Once it's hard, paint it to express how wonderful you feel about Hanukkah.

Next you'll learn to make a festive banner to help you keep track of the 8 days of Hanukkah.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Hanukkah Banner

Hanukkah Banner
Hanukkah Banner

Count the days of Hanukkah with this hanging Hanukkah banner.

What You'll Need:

Pennant felt: 17×20 inches navy blue; 11×13 inches gold; 3-1/2×7 inches white

Gold spray paint

18-inch wooden dowel, 1/2 inch diameter

Two 1-1/8-inch wooden doll pin bases

Two 1-1/4-inch wooden head beads

19-inch length of gold fringe, 4 inches wide

28-inch length of gold metallic cord

Using the pattern you can download here, trace and cut the menorah from the gold felt. Working with an adult in a well-ventilated area, spray the menorah with two coats of gold spray paint; let dry. Spray the dowel, the two doll pin bases, and the two head beads with two coats of gold spray paint; let dry.

Spray paint the dowel. (Step 1)

To make a hem in the 17-inch side of the blue felt, fold over two inches of the felt and crease it. Unfold, apply a line of glue 1/4 inch from the edge, and refold the felt. Hold it in place until the glue dries. Be sure to leave enough room between the crease and the glue line to insert the dowel.

Using the patterns here, trace and cut nine candles from the white pennant felt and nine flames from the gold pennant felt.

Glue the fringe to the bottom of the A banner so that one inch of fringe sticks out from each side. Fold and glue the one-inch sections of fringe to the back of the banner. Position the menorah and candles as in the illustration, and then glue them to the banner.

Roll nine 1-1/2-inch lengths of masking tape into loops with the sticky side out, and put one on the back of each flame. (You can add one flame to the banner on each day of Hanukkah.)

Slide the dowel through the hem at the top of the banner. Glue a head bead to a doll pin base, and then glue them to one end of the dowel. Repeat on the other end of the dowel. To make a hanger, tie the ends of the cord to the ends of the dowel.

Celebrate Hanukkah at your dinner table with the craft you'll learn about next.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

Star of David Napkin Rings

Star of David Napkin Rings
Star of David Napkin Rings

Make your holiday table festive with special Star of David napkin rings.

What You'll Need:

6 mini craft sticks for each holder

Silver acrylic paint

Blue faux gems

Tools:

Paintbrush

Craft glue

Paint both sides of all the craft sticks; let dry.

For each star, glue three craft sticks into a triangle shape; repeat with the other three craft sticks. Let dry. Glue the triangles together to form a Star of David.

Decorate by gluing gems around the star.

For more fun activities and crafts for kids, see:

ABOUT THE CRAFT DESIGNERS

Dancing Dreidels by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Easy I.D. Bracelet by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Chocolate Hanukkah Balls by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Wish Gifts by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Luscious Latkes by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Shining Tin Menorahs by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Festival in Lights by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

Happy Hanukkah Paper by Lisa Lerner, Kersten Hamilton

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