More Lulav Re-cycling Projects (after Sukkot)

four Lulav leaf weaving experiments

four Lulav leaf weaving experiments

I’m still playing with leftover lulav leaflets.  Consider this an in-progress Show and Tell.  Six different projects so far.  Scroll down to see some serious lulav love. 

Remember, my goal is to re-cycle the lulav in a respectful and thematic way, with an eye on serving next year’s sukkah.  Last week, I made long Lulav Chain Garlands to drape under next year’s sukkah roof.   (No staples, no glue: just origami-esque lulav leaf folding.)  Tons o’ fun.  My 7 year-old joined in and made his own garland until we ran out of lulav to re-cycle.

More lulav project prototypes. . .

Lulav leaflets instead of Doublemint gum wrappers

Lulav leaflets instead of Doublemint gum wrappers

 • Lulav Leaf Gum-Wrapper Bracelet:
I love to “convert” stuff, so I took the classic chewing-gum-wrapper bracelet weave and worked it in lulav: a material that would have been unimaginable back when my (Presbyterian) sisters and I messed about with Doublemint and Juicy Fruit.  Now I mess about with Jew-cy fruit (the etrog).  Ho ho.

By the way, the “gum” bracelet was made from lulav leaflets 2 or 3 years old.   The lulav leaf fibers were still useable: brittle, but strong.

a braid with 3 leaflets

a braid with 3 leaflets

• Lulav Leaf Tri-Weave Bracelet:
In contrast, note the coloration of the fresh leaves here: still a hint of green at the margins.  Pretty when sunlight shines through the fibers.

This piece (and the gum-wrapper piece) is intended to be a simple version of the binders ’round the lulav branches.  You know, the holders that are shipped with your arba minim.  I have no idea how to weave a proper koishekle (the Mandrake-shaped basket-y doohicky with two tubes and center hole, of course) and cannot find any info online.  Is it a trade secret, or what?  Or is this something that no one else seems to wonder about, LIKE SO MANY THINGS I WONDER ABOUT?

Lulav leaf basket for the Etrog

Lulav leaf basket for the Etrog

• Lulav Leaf Basket for an Etrog:
In the Fiddly-Project-of-the-Year Department, I made an Etrog basket.  I had quite a bit of trouble trying to weave walls with these slippery leaves, all of which are tapered from wide to narrow and thus never uniform.  Ugh.  I do have an idea for a simpler version, if there is a next time.

Lulav leaf mat, woven

Mat. For something that needs a mat.

• Lulav Leaf Mat:
Simple over-under weave.  As I was about to finish the last side, I decided to keep the dangly ends rather than weave them in.  No idea what to use this mat for, but I like it because it is sturdy and neat.

stylized etrog and pomegranate, a la lulav leaf quilling

stylized etrog and pomegranate: lulav leaf quilling

• Lulav Leaf Quilling (ornaments):
Lulav quilling is way harder than paper quilling, which I used to do as a kid.  Stiff lulav leaflets do not keep their coil as well as do papers, nor do they anchor with a mere dab of glue.  Leaflet coils do anchor with a Swingline Tot staple, and if the staple rusts next year, I’ll worry about it then.
The stylized lulav I made by opening up the doubled leaflet and NOT tearing the the pieces apart.
The stylized pomegranate might as well be an apple because I was not willing to quill 613 slide-y strips to represent the mitzvot.  But at least the top of the pomegranate is the fringy end of the lulav leaflet, where I ripped it from the spine. Subtle, but it’s there.
These two attempts are ENOUGH.  No more lulav quilling for me.

And the last project is something I started making from the wispy leftovers snipped from the Lulav Chain Garland:
• Lulav Leaf garland, LEGO minifig scale, for LEGO sukkahs:

lulav chain, LEGO minifig scale

lulav chain, LEGO minifig scale

Oh, and here are some tinkerings  with rings and spirals.  Love the spirals but what to do with them?  Hang from a mobile, sure, but I am fresh out of patience for fussy processes and delicate balancings.  I need to go play in dirt.

Lulav leaf tinkering

Lulav leaf tinkering

BUT, I am still not done with the lulav….

I’ve got at least one more lulav project to come, which will be easy for students, and practical, too.

Please let me know any other lulav recycling ideas, especially if they are suitable for kids to make for Sukkah decor.

– – – RELATED POSTS – – –

• Lulav Chain Garland for Sukkot decor

• Lulav Brush for Passover

• Mini polymer clay lulav and etrog for LEGO minifigs

• Mini polymer clay lulav and etrog for Tabletop Sukkahs





2 responses to “More Lulav Re-cycling Projects (after Sukkot)

  1. Thank you so much for these wonderful crafts ideas. I, too, have a tiny school, only an hour and next to no budget. Quick question: how did you separate the individual strips from the lulav?

    • Thanks, Peg. Just grab an individual leaflet and yank straight down from the spine. I guess I didn’t mention that on this post, but I did on the one right before it: “Lulav Chain Garland,” which also has very short (less than 2 min.) video. The ripping happens in the first few seconds!