Category Archives: Kitsch

The Final Menurkey (stick a fork in me, I’m done)

and flesh-colored candles on a bed of gelt.

and flesh-colored candles on a bed of gelt.

I just can’t get worked up about the Hanukkah / Thanksgiving thing. I can’t even bring myself to call the holiday mashup by one of its cute, mashed up names.  However, I did feel duty-bound to create a cheap Menurkey DIY, and then another even cheaper Menurkey.  

But what I really, truly wanted to do was roast a huge Empire Kosher Turkey, shove white turkey frills on the ends of the drumsticks and jab nine Hanukkah candles into the crispy, brown skin on top. Continue reading

Dollar Store Menurkey hack (and Talmudic quandary)

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Some folks are still looking for a cheap turkey to repurpose as a Hanukkah menorah, so here’s one for a buck.  If your once-in-a-lifetime Hanukkah/Thanksgiving needs will be satisfied with a cheap plastic Menurkey, get thee to a Dollar Tree before all the $1 solar-powered turkeys are gone.  Then, pimp that bird with a jumbo craft stick and super-glued birthday candleholders. I added glow-in-the-dark bday candles and Continue reading

Altoids tin Menorah

1/4" hex nuts all in row

Mint-orah

Nine hexnuts glued inside an empty Altoids tin = Travel Menorah.  Or, a Curiously Tiny Menorah.  You can’t get much easier.  Or smaller for that matter.  Mine is the classic Altoids size, and it holds—just barely—a row of birthday candles with the Shammash nearby.

I might have to name this a Mint-orah, although my gag reflex is already on the alert.  In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a Menorah-saur Continue reading

Marmite Menorah

Marmite Menorah

Marmite Menorah

The subset of people who love Marmite and who celebrate Hanukkah must be infinitesimal, so I do not expect a ton of hits on this project.  Still, it begged to be created: a Marmite Menorah.  Mmmmmm. The name sounds delicious, so warm and yeasty, like Marmite on challah toast.  My 6 year-old saw this in the window after school today and declared it a “Men-armite.”  (Such a genius.)  Whatever the name, I love the look of flames licking up from the open jars, as if by some miracle Marmite is transformed into fire.   Continue reading

Passover PEZuzah (PEZ + Mezuzah)

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Just in time for the plague of frogs, another PEZuzah.  My husband came home bearing a Kermit the Frog PEZ dispenser, and it begged to be converted into a holiday mezuzah case.  Pull Kermit’s keppie to reveal a cavity perfectly sized for a real scroll.  This little trick makes it far more convenient to inspect the klaf twice every seven years, as per tradition.  A PEZ mezuzah is not per tradition, but it works. Continue reading

Hub Cap Seder Plate

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Hub Cap Seder Plate.  Is it the first?  What with all the upcycled hubcaps online, I’m surprised.  I see bird baths, bird feeders, wall clocks, yard art, but no seder plates. Then again, a Venn diagram of Jewish + DIY + Automotive Enthusiast would not reveal much of an overlap.   Continue reading

Recycled CD bowl: Mishloach Manot 2.0

I like to think I’m picky about projects. They have to involve irresistible materials or a smidge of kitsch or flat-out, hands-on educative potential.

melted CD mini-Mishloach Manot bowl

In contrast, I present the CD Mishloach Manot.  I wasted a few hours of my life on this one.  Yep, I flatlined on these suckers and now I pass the tacky torch to someone, anyone else.

The idea seemed good at the time. I have a teetering stack of old CDs and DVDs, see, and even though “the disc is dead,” my stack continues to grow.  What if I could transform trash into Jewy treasure?  What if I could melt unwanted CDs just enough to coax them into ersatz hamantaschen that could hold actual hamantaschen?  Wouldn’t they be the cutest little recycled Mishloach Manot?

Melting cds is not recycling.  It is simply delaying the date at which the cd will end up in the landfill. Continue reading

LEGO gragger for Purim

Lego gragger with canoe paddle flange

For Purim, we call it a gragger, but the generic and rather wicked-sounding term is “ratchet instrument.” Jews hardly have a monopoly on this thing.  Throughout the world it’s been a child’s toy, a police call, a poison-gas alert, a football (soccer) noisemaker, a percussion instrument, a scarecrow and a lure for corncrakes. And now, finally, it’s Lego.

World, I give you Lego graggers.  They spin, they make noise, and although Continue reading

Distributor Cap Menorah

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I should’ve had a V8.  Oh wait, I did.

A hanukkah menorah made out of a repurposed V8 distributor cap might not be kosher, I’ll admit.  But it sure is cute, and if you live with a car freak, satisfyingly thematic.  The function of a distributor cap is all about fire—or at least sparks: it’s part of the ignition system and it helps distribute or control the path of the current.

And Hanukkah is all about fire, right?  The miraculous distribution of that wee bit of fuel? Continue reading

Rosh Hashanah Craft: the Pantyhose Challah

Yes. It's a round challah made of pantyhose. I promise the honey jar is just to lend atmosphere.

Not much could prompt me to create anything, much less photograph and post it, after a rainy, three-day weekend at home with an “energetic” 4 year-old and a migraine, but Homeshuling‘s post just did.

In her Craft Projects for Rosh Hashana roundup, she generously mentions two of mine: the edible honey bowl and the blessings placemat. Then, she issues a challenge. Could someone please create and send a pic of a round stuffed challah made from pantyhose,  as per the directions at Akhlah.com?  Well, since I already have a pantyhose challah on display in the dining room (made 13 years ago by my older kid), and since I already have a packet of “suntan” Legg’s knee-hi’s leftover from a Purim project (more on this later), and since I am willing to sacrifice an ancient bedpillow to harvest the still virginal polyfill, I accepted the challenge.  (And, I did this knowing how much the craft resembles something Amy Sedaris should include in a sequel to Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.)

Heads-Up: stuffing knee-hi pantyhose  with polyfill is not the easiest task for anyone with fine-motor challenges.  My preschooler  thought it was as much fun as putting on his own socks. I thought it Continue reading