to practice “hitting the mark”
I’ve used craft stick catapults for Lag B’Omer, but this year I needed a quick, thematic craft for 2nd graders right before Yom Kippur.
Yom Kippur liturgy features archery imagery: missing the mark (“al chet,” which is the closest thing Hebrew has to the word “sin”) and hitting the mark. Torah is sometimes translated as “to take aim.” Continue reading
Hula Hoop Seder Plate (scrap art)
A seder plate the size of a hula hoop—because it is a hula hoop—makes an unforgettable project and display. Kids can learn or review the symbolic foods and traditional placement thereof; work individually or in small groups; and create a teaching prop that gets noticed even in cavernous synagogue social halls. Continue reading
When life gives you a breathalyzer, make a necklace:
punch a hole on the other side, add a ring and ball chain.
Elephant Menorah with Martyr and Matches
Today’s menorah features Eleazar Maccabee (Judah’s little brother) and the elephant that was his downfall (because it fell down on him).
What else would I make with a ziploc bag of spent rifle casings?
With me, anything longer than it is wide is not automatically “Freudian,” it is a menorah component. Continue reading
Before Sukkot, our shul’s myrtle twigs shipped from Israel in gaudy Hebrewlicious plastic sleeves. The three branches per pack were destined to join the lulav for a week of shaking in the sukkah. But what of the destiny of the now empty purple packets? I could not imagine throwing them away. The siddur font, the Mardi Gras magenta, Continue reading
Tacky Tiki Torch
The Manischewitz Tiki Torch. Unendorsed, unaffiliated, unnoticed by the Manischewitz company, but most emphatically created in homage to it. I timed the debut for erev Sukkot, and I admit, I am tickled purple with myself. Continue reading
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
Another coffee-cup sleeve headwear option: the almost instant Haman hat.
I went on (and on) about the Coffee Cup Sleeve Crown for Purim, so do please visit that page and see the applications and whatnot. I am stoked about those crowns.
For kids who would rather get poked in the eye than show up at shul in a crown, try a Haman hat. It’s the same size as the Crown variations and it offers the same thrill of repurposing coffee-house trash into holiday wear, but without the Crownyness. Continue reading
Make a mini crown from a coffee sleeve
It’s free, jaunty, quick and eco-kosher:
the Queen Esther or King Ahashveros Coffee Cup (sleeve) Crown. The alliteration is even more delicious in Hebrew: Keter Kos Kafe.
My husband does the daily coffee-house thing. He triangulates amongst locally-owned joints. One of the byproducts of this habit is the accumulation of cups and sleeves. The cups are repurposed as seed-starter pots, but the sleeves multiply unused in the shed, awaiting an aha moment. I had the aha moment last week, and it is this: the Keter Kos Kafe. I like typing it and I like saying it. Continue reading
melted CD hamantasch mishloach manot bowl
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.
In contrast, I present the CD Mishloach Manot. Continue reading
A Glue Stick Mezuzah
Here’s a new use for an empty glue stick tube: a mezuzah case. If you collect a bunch, you have a cost-free craft for a whole class.
Glue Sticks don’t last very long. Manufacturers seem to keep shrinking the volume of glue without shrinking the actual container, and the glue has a fairly short shelf life (about two years). Thus, empty glue stick containers multiply, especially at a school.
A mezuzah is really the scroll inside of a mezuzah case: a klaf, or piece of kosher parchment upon which a sofer—scribe—has written (special ink, special quill) the first two passages of the Shema, Judaism’s central prayer.* The Shema is comprised of key verses from Deuteronomy (6:9 and 11:13-21), and begins, “Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”
Mezuzah literally means “doorpost,” and it is on our doorposts that Jews are obliged to mount a mezuzah. Doing so is a mitzvah—a commandment—and, what a coincidence, it is a biblical commandment found in the Shema itself: “you shall inscribe them [these words] on the doorposts of your home.”
So, every Jewish home, or to be more inclusive, every home in which someone identifies as Jewish, needs a mezuzah on the doorposts. Home in Hebew is bayit, and the home of a mezuzah—the case—is called a beit mezuzah, or mezuzah home. A beit mezuzah can be made out of just about any material that protects the scroll, and in every price range. This one comes in sticky plastic and is free.
Making a mezuzah case as pretty as you are able can actually Continue reading