Menorahs—the nine-branch candelabras used to commemorate Hanukkah—are expressions of personal style. Problem is, our taste is pretty expensive. In the spirit of the DIY season, we asked Glynnis Lessing, teacher of an annual family menorah-making workshop at Lillstreet Studios, for some tips on how to make our own.
1 To begin, take a softball-size hunk of self-hardening clay and flatten it on a table. Mold the clay into a sweet-potato shape, and flatten again by hitting it against the table until it’s three-fourths of an inch thick. Roll the ends on each side up into a 180-degree spiral curve. Use additional clay to cut out shapes to decorate the menorah with, or engrave designs directly on its surface. Press cutouts onto the menorah’s surface, then sit it upright and fold both ends toward you so that the back is curved. Use a pen or other tool to poke nine holes in the top for candles, leaving about an inch of space between each hole. (Make sure the holes are at a 90-degree angle to the table so the candles stand straight up). Make sure your candles will easily fit, then leave your menorah to dry for 24 hours.
2 After that, paint with acrylics, paint pens or whatever else floats your boat.
Supplies from Blick Art Materials (42 S State St, 312-920-0300; 1574 N Kingsbury St, 312-573-0110):
• 2.5-lb. bag of self-hardening clay, $7.30
• acrylic paint, one 8 ounce jar, $8.40
• other supplies: glitter, paint brushes, butter knife, cookie cutters, ball point pen
TOTAL COST: $15.70