Different Items Around The House You Can Use To Make Your Own Menorah

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When you think of the traditional image of a Hanukah menorah, "DIY" probably isn't the first thought that springs to mind. Most menorahs are made from fine metals like bronze, silver, or gold, and have either a straight or curved shape. A kosher menorah has nine candles — eight are arranged in a straight line at either the same height or an even slant. The ninth, called the shamash candle, is set apart and higher than the others, usually in the middle. However, there is no actual requirement for the sacred candle holder to feature any specific shape or material; it's the ritual that counts. 

If you've been struggling to find or buy a traditional menorah this year, consider some of the following ways to make your own using items you probably already have around your house or yard. From toys to vases and branches, you can DIY a menorah out of just about anything. All it takes is a little creativity.

Menorahs made from toys

You can easily craft a menorah out of basic household items like vases, votives, and individual candle holders. Even your leftover wood scraps can serve as your menorah's base. If you're looking for something a bit more fun and whimsical, head to the toy box. Reach for any four-legged animal toy that's large enough for nine candles. A horse, dog, lion, or dinosaur would all work perfectly.

Once you've chosen your toy, spread some air-dry clay, super glue, or hot glue across its back — and its head and neck, if necessary. Into the wet clay or glue, press nine brass candle cups, DIY aluminum foil candle cups, or hex nuts. If your cup or hex nut is a little big, try our genius trick that prevents wobbly candlesticks. Let the clay or glue dry for the amount of time suggested on the package, and then spray paint your new menorah to make all the parts match. Metallic gold, silver, or brass would be the most traditional color choices, but go for whichever shade makes your holiday happy. 

Even if you don't have extra toys lying around, you can still create an animal menorah without spending a lot of money. You can find a toy stegosaurus at Target for $15. Or, for a more upscale look, Amazon sells a glass lion figurine for about $17. New or old, this creative menorah will wow the entire family.

Menorahs made from natural items

Not all DIY menorahs require you to reuse household items or toys. You can also make a menorah out of natural materials that you grow, forage, or buy very inexpensively. For example, a simple set of oranges and a grapefruit, lemons and an orange, or limes and a lemon are enough to make a stunning citrus menorah. Simply cut the bottom off each piece of fruit so that it can lay flat, then cut a slit in the top for inserting your candle. Place the larger fruit in the center as the shamash.

If you have a small tree branch or piece of driftwood in your home or yard, you can craft a wooden menorah. Glue candle cups to nine twigs on the branch or drill nine holes into the top of the driftwood and insert your candle cups. Spray paint or stain the wood and decorate with flowers or foliage, or leave the wood natural. Then, place your DIY menorah near a window and admire your holiday craftsmanship.