Tag Archives: upcycle

Manischewitz Tiki Torch Menorah

Manischewitz tiki torch menorah 2

Manischewitz Tiki Torch oil Menorah

A new lamp for the concord of our souls at the festival of lights: the Manischewitz Tiki Torch Menorah.

Happy Hanukkah, friends. Continue reading

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DIY Menorahs from Repurposed or Otherwise Interesting Materials

building

building the PVC menorah at a carnival

All my DIY Hanukkah menorahs are made with repurposed materials, scrap or otherwise compelling components. Meatloaf? Easter eggs? Car parts? Marmite jars? Swim noodles? Plumbing supplies? LEGO, too, of course. And more. Irresistible materials attract builders. To build any menorah is a far deeper learning experience than to simply color one on a sheet of paper. Our builders need to build because they are building themselves. Continue reading

Bottle Lid Menorah (flame or LED)

scraptastic

upcycled scrap hanukkiyah

Scraptastic or simply crap?
Here’s why I vote for the former:
Orange juice lids are the exactly perfect right size for tealight candles. I dare you to not enjoy slipping a candle into the inner ring of an upturned Tropicana lid. Irresistible. Kids love it. (Teach them the word “frisson” while you’re at it.) Continue reading

Tie-Dye Challah Covers (with kids and free dye)

diluted acrylic paint

diluted acrylic paint

Did you know you can (sort of) make fabric dye with acrylic paint? This trick turns even ancient acrylic into gorgeous tie-dye for free. I found out by accident.
Bottom line: I used old paint to “squeeze-bottle tie-dye” challah covers with kids while we stood over a sink. It was easy, it was gorgeous, tidy, and it was free.

Continue reading

Marker Mitzvah: Making Liquid Watercolors

“do not dink or you will die”

In conjunction with our big, ongoing Marker Mitzvah program—where we collect the school’s dead markers and ship them for conversion into diesel fuel—we keep some dry markers for use in the art room.

What do we do with dead markers? We make mezuzah cases (which I’ve written about here) and we make FREE, gorgeous liquid watercolors. Even the driest of dry marker will leach plenty of color into a bottle of water. Continue reading

Marker Mitzvah Project: Converting Crayola

Marker Mitzvah display at school program

Marker Mitzvah display at school program

Here’s an easy mitzvah project I started with our 3rd graders, and it benefits the entire school. The mitzvah is B’al Tashcheet—”do not destroy”—and what we are trying to “not destroy” is the Earth: we’re saving oodles of markers from the landfill. Continue reading

Dryer-Lint Fire-Starters (Fun With Trash for Lag B’Omer)

roadkill fire-starter

roadkill or wax-soaked lint?

[Making flammable treasure from trash, with kids.] Continue reading

Snail Plate = Seder Plate (instant upcycle)

seder plate, kid-sized

seder plate, kid-sized

Instant upcycle for the miniscule percentage of folks for whom both statements apply:

  • need a seder plate
  • have an escargot plate

Continue reading

Hula Hoop Seder Plate: BIG Upcycle for Kids

Hula Hoop Seder Plate

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

Mishloach Manot for free: origami upcycle DIY

mishloach manot bag

mishloach manot bag: ready to fill and send

First, tell me you’ve seen my original post—with quick video—about making these EASY origami mishloach manot bags. Because today’s upcycle is that very same pattern but with newspaper, which makes the bag even cheaper and greener.

Continue reading

Pigs in a Breastplate (parsha or Torah project)

painted breastplate black

Torah breastplate upcycle (from frozen food packaging)

When my husband brought home the wrong brand of kosher pigs-in-a-blanket, I opened the box, slid the frozen contents onto the formica, and nearly plotzed.

It doesn’t take much, I can hear you thinking.

But truly, look at the plastic tray. Albeit designed to keep mini franks from merging into one giant maxi frank, it is an instant and entirely unintentional Torah scroll / priestly breastplate. An accidental choshen.

Continue reading

Screw the Star of David (Jewish hardware in the art room)

screwdriver pokes in clay

screwdriver pokes

Torx screws are wee Stars of David. Have you seen them?  If you’ve peed at a urinal you have. Or if you’ve waited for your preschooler inside a public loo. (In both cases, the screws are at about eye level). Torx screws are part of most public bathroom installations because they are fabulously functional. Torx don’t “strip out” as easily as do Phillips or slotted screws, because the design resists torque. There’s more to grip and less room to slip.

This anti-slip head design just happens to be a 6-pointed star: the Mogen David.  Who knew the logo on the shield of an ancient king of Israel would be so darn practical?  Continue reading

DIY Breathalyzer Mouthpiece Necklace upcycle (not for kids, obviously)

When life gives you a breathalyzer, make a necklace:

punch a hole on the other side, add a ring and ball chain.

punch a hole on the other side, add a ring and ball chain.

Continue reading

Instant (free) Replacement Shades for Multi-Head Lamp, DIY

soup containers from take-out menu

soup containers from take-out menu

A post about repurposed soup containers as lampshades is not my usual fare.  Let’s pretend it is not glaringly unlike the Earnest Sunday School Teacher posts adjacent.  And let’s remember that up-cycled trash is part of my make-it-with-what-you’ve-got mantra.  And let’s also note that this (or any) up-cycle project bags at least 3 mitzvot (see below).  But the truth is, I have to post my discovery somewhere, and this is this my only somewhere.  Continue reading

Dormenorah (upcycled LED Menorah for dorm)

You can still kinds see the measurements on the yardstick.

Dorm menorah

An upcycled menorah for a dorm room, made of an old yardstick and plastic Easter eggs.  My cost was zero, because I happened to have eggs left over from the seder plate lesson plan wherein I tried to convince 3rd graders that the brightly-colored, hinged and apparently hilarious objects were, in fact, “beitzim”  and not Easter Eggs.  The eggs ended up as projectiles, as talking eggs (what with the handy hinge) and as unintended take-home favors. Continue reading

Coffee Cup Sleeve Crown for Purim: an UpCycle

Make a mini crown from a coffee sleeve

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