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. (EDIT: see smaller one here.) 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 and a Men-armite and a Dorm-menorah and a Man-orah and my quickie Menurkey…
The Altoids tin menorah is inspired by the continuing search for the right hanukkiyah to mail my college freshman. I predict she will reject my LED Dorm-Menorah as being not quite to her taste, and frankly, it is too sincere for mine as well. I loved the Easter egg repurpose, but the final product is, well, pretty. We prefer funny or kitschy or weird or all three. Maybe if I hadn’t spray-painted the eggs and yardstick?
So, I’ll see if she wants this Altoids tin menorah. Definitely not kosher for a dorm with a “no open flame” policy, but these flames are so small and will burn so quickly that perhaps the RAs won’t notice?
And speaking of kosher, guess what? Altoids aren’t. (Gelatin, of course.)* But don’t worry, I boiled, roasted and flame-throwered this tin before converting it into a ritual object. Just kidding.
My treyfe tin doubles as candle storage. Ideally, all 44 Hanukkah candles would fit, ready for all eight nights, but alas, it holds but 35.
- Altoids tin, the original size, about 3.75 inches wide
- 1/4″ hex nuts, 9 (bring a candle to the hardware store to fit!)
- a washer or extra nut to elevate Shammash
- Super glue
- Birthday candles (not Hanukkah candles, which are too wide)
Altoids tins are famously adaptable. Many a Pinterest page (see this neat one) is devoted to the creative repurposing thereof.
*Sugar-free Altoids are supposed to be kosher (no gelatin, but perhaps no hecksher, either?), but as far as I know they only come in the “Smalls” tins, in which ordinary birthday candles would loom too large to fit in the requisite straight line. (EDIT: See my “Smalls” menorah here.)
BUT, my kosher friends, fear not, for we have a heckshered alternative: Rabbi Mints. Yes, certified kosher mints in a tin that appears to be a size similar to the iconic Altoids. I’m intrigued, but not enough to buy the minimum dozen online. Those of you luckies who live in the Jewier regions (here’s a list of vendors) can traipse down to the store and pick up a single tin. You have my blessing to make the first Rabbi Mint Menorah. Just post a picture on my fb page, please, because I want to see it.
KASHRUT: BURN TIME
Birthday candles don’t burn long enough to be “kosher” Hanukkah flames. The minimum burn time for candles and oil will differ according to one’s Authority, but most folks seem to say at least 30 minutes after sundown.
SAFETY FIRST: Never leave any lit menorah unattended. Always place a menorah on a nonflammable surface to catch any stray drips or fallen candles. If you are concerned about the safety of this or any menorah I’ve written about, do not make or use it. Try an LED tealight version (here and here) or flameless LEGO versions instead!
EDIT: See this post for an even tinier travel hanukkiyah: the Altoid’s Smalls menorah. Only 2.25″ wide.
MY OTHER MENORAHS at BibleBeltBalabusta are made of scrap or otherwise interesting materials, such as:
Altoids Smalls tin
Easter eggs and a ruler
V-8 engine distributor cap
Solar turkey toy
Papier-mache roast turkey
LEGO minifigs (as flames)
LEGO for human-size celebrants
LEGO for minifigure-size celebrants