Chanukah Holiday Banner

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah! You know what that means? While you Gentiles still have time to get overnight shipping on your last-minute gifts and decorations, we Jews are totally screwed!

I realized last night that my sisters and their families will be stopping by tonight for a little light-up-the-winter cheer. Though it's not a big to-do, I did want to make some cute homemade Chanukah decorations. I scoured Pinterest for stuff that wasn't shaped like dreidels and candles (come on, people, surely we can do better than that) and threw together these neat-o ideas in only a few hours. (Note: A quick color-change can make these decoration appropriate for Christmas, too.) Take a look:

Felt banners (above) are all the rage, and I love them. But I'm so not handy with a sewing machine. No problem! When I went to my local reuse warehouse and saw books and books of fabric samples practically free for the taking, I was struck by inspiration. A little ribbon, some iron on-letters, and a pair of pinking shears later ... whaddaya think?


Chanukah Christmas Holiday Decorations

Next up, this construction-paper flower was super-easy. It was just a question of cutting out 1-inch strips and using a staple and some tape. Would it have been even easier with double-sided tape? Yes, yes, it would. But too bad, I didn't have any. Anyway, these flowers will hang from the archway between our kitchen and living room.

The felt garlands are so pretty! I realized too late that 1) there is something known as bulk felt that you can buy in six-foot strips and 2) that was what I was supposed to get. I like this stuff anyway: It comes from Michael's, and it's made of recycled plastic bottles. I snipped 1-inch lengths and will attach them end-to-end to create a simple, festive garland. It can also be made into little bracelets or go onto a picture frame.


chanukah handprint menorah

The menorah handprint was a lot of fun with my kids, inspired by a craft they did at school (the Christmas-tree version, below). I'll add a yellow "flame" each night, and my thumb is the shamash. Awesome, no? You can do this one with finger paint, of course. (I just have a low tolerance for finger paint. Does that make me a bad person?)

As promised, here's the Christmas version:

Handprint Christmas Tree

What holiday crafts do you like to make or do with your kids?