Not everyone just has a menorah lying around. Maybe you’re living away from your family, maybe you’re a recently convert, maybe by total coincidence you just really want to light a holiday candelabra. Whatever the case, even buying a menorah is not always an option. Did you know they can cost anywhere from $30 to thousands of dollars? That is $30 to thousands more dollars than I currently have. But, nevertheless, time marches on and the festival of light and (as far as I can gather) potatoes will sweep upon this fair land tonight. So let’s go over some ideas for menorahs you could make after work before sunset.
With all the menorahs below, construct the entire menorah even if you would only need, say, three “prongs” for that night. This gives the best menorah-esque effect. With all menorahs, put the shamash candle in first, and then the rest of the candles in starting from the right. When you light the menorah, light the shamash first and then use it to light the candles left to right.
Rock and Glass Menorah
I’m not sure why, but everyone seems to have tons of ball jars hanging around. This is a great use for them. If you do not want to ball jars or don’t have any, any plain glass cup will do just fine. You will need nine of them. You need nine identical glasses on one different one.
1. Fill each glass with rocks. These can be pretty rocks from the beach or just gravel from outside. Even sand is great. Anything works as long as the jars/glasses are filled half way to the top
2. Line up the jars in a half circle. Put your shamash in the middle or on the end.
3. If you are using taped Chanukah candles, align the candle with the center of the jar on top of the rocks or whatever and pour more rocks around the candle. Try to be even so the candle stays in the center.
4. If you are using tea lights, fill the jars/glasses with rocks almost to the top, just under the lip. The place the tea lights on top of the rocks. Doesn’t that look pretty?
Idea: If you don’t mind dirtying them, use eight low balls for the regular candles and a martini glass or a wine glass for the shamash.
I swear I had this idea on my own, but after some quick searching it turned out I was not the only one. The Shiksa has a super in depth plan for making a cupcake menorah, but as far as I’m concerned all you need are cup cakes and birthday candles.
1. Make the cupcakes.
2. Arrange nine cupcakes in a line. Put the middle cupcake up on some sort of small box (this is where your shamash candle will go). A Klenex boys or coffee container works great.
3. Put the correct number of candles in the cupcakes birthday style
Note: Often on Chanukah we make donuts. This idea works exactly the same with with donuts.
The marshmallow menorah was a classic in my Hebrew school. Like an every single year without fail classic. You will need jumbo marshmallows, toothpicks and a large plate. Butter is optional
1. Microwave about a cup of marshmallows in a bowl until smooth like fluff. A tablespoon of butter can sometimes help the process.
2. Arrange nine marshmallows in a semi-arc.
3. Attach each marshmallow to its neighbor using toothpicks. try to keep the toothpicks towards the bottom of the marshmallow. Also use some fluff between the marshmallows to help them stick.
4. To the center marshmallow, insert two toothpicks on either side of the bottom marshmallow
5. Put some fluff on top of the center marshmallow around the toothpicks and then slide a top marshmallow down on top of the toothpicks. Do not just use one tooth pick because then the candle wont be able to push in.
6. If you menorah seems unstable, you can also stick it to the plate.
7. Push the number of candles you need straight in to the tops of the menorahs.
Super Classy Ribbon Menorah
This idea came from Sunset(the people who brought you Foo& Wine Magazine). I’ve altered the instructions to become something I would ever realistically do. I’ve also added some explanations when necessary, but for the full effect feel free to check out the original article. You’ll need nine glasses. The original instructions suggest hurricane glasses (like low balls) but I’m sure any straight edged glass or jar would do.
1. Measure the circumference of the glass
2. Cut 9 strips of ribbon the length of the circumference of your hurricanes. Chanukah wrapping paper would look nice too, just make sure to fold it so that the raw edges don’t show.
3. Using glue dots, (or double sided tape) on the ribbon ends, secure each to the exterior of hurricanes so ends meet.You can also do that foldy lope the tape thing if you have neither glue nor double stick tape.
5. Elevate the middle hurricane with a glass candleplate, a thick coaster or even an incognito peanut butter jar or jam lid.
6. Place 2″ pillar candles inside glasses. These are the sort of small cylinder candles you see and yankee candle and have no idea what to do with because they don’t look like they could fit in any type of holder.
Ants on a Log Menorah
For some reason whenever I try to come up with menorah ideas on my own I end up thinking of food. God I love eating. For this awesome menorah you’ll need three long stalks of celery, peanut butter and the tiny style of birthday candles. Probably also some hot glue. Optionally raisins
1. Wash your three stalks of celery and line them up side by side. Glue, or better yet hot glue, the three stalks together so that they are all lying with the rounded side down and the hallow side in the air. Like the way you normally put down celery. Gluing them together should make like a raft.
2. Take some peanut butter and put it in a small plastic baggy. Cut a small hole in one corner of the baggy.
3. Pipe out the peanut butter in to nine small globs along the center celery stalk. Make the middle glob sort of less small.
4. Stick the appropriate number of candles right in to the peanut butter. You have to use the teeny birthday candles or they’ll fall over.
Optional: Decorate the other two stalks with raisins on globs of peanut butter.
Non-Optional: Eat the remaining peanut butter.
This one was a personal favorite in my BBYO chapter (my Jewish youth group).
1. Have nine people stand in a row. Either the four on each end should be height matched and the person in the center taller or the person in the center can stand on a chair.
2. Have each person hold a candle. These can be tea lights, kitchen candles or whatever you can find. They don’t even need to match.
Apples make shockingly good menorahs. Like shockingly. You’ll need nine apples and either a melon baller or a apple corer. Caramel or chocolate is optional. Also you should use tea lights because they look nice.
1.To each of your apples, cut the bottom flat so the apple sits without rocking
2. Using your melon baller or corer hallow out a hole in the top (where the stem usually comes out). Check using tea lights that it is the right width.
3. Arrange the apples on a platter. You can indicate the shamash by either peeling a design in to it or dipping it in caramel or chocolate. You could also dip all in caramel except the shamash.
If you have kids at home you also probably have Legos. A Lego menorah is actually really easy to make. However, Legos can probably melt so be super careful to watch your menorah and blow out the candles as the flame approaches the bottom.
1.Using a Chanukah candle as a guide, create a “base” of Legos with walls on all four sides that the candle just fits in to. If the candle flops around, make the walls higher.
2. Use tinfoil to line your Lego candle holder box thing and also around the top rim.
3. Make nine of these little candle holder boxes. They can be all the same color, different colors or totally random.
4. Once you have all nine assembled, make the base for the menorah. This can be as easy or complex as you want. a simple “ground” strip of Legos would be just fine, as would perching your candle holders all around a Lego pirate ship. Just make sure the shamash is distinct or higher up.