Want to jazz up your Hanukkah with a homemade menorah that your kids will love? It’s easy! The secret ingredient to your hip homemade Chanukkiah is the 3/8″ hex nut (you can buy these on Amazon or at your local hardware store) — these little metal bolts are perfect for holding Hanukkah candles. Basically, if you’ve got something that can hold nine hex nuts (that’s eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah and one for the shamash candle that is used to light the rest), you’ve got yourself a menorah. Want to get started? Scroll down for three easy tutorials for our favorite homemade menorahs.

DIY menorah Before you begin:

Word of caution: Be sure to place all menorahs on level, nonflammable surfaces away from drapes, decorations, and fabrics. Keep them out of reach of children, and never leave a lit menorah unattended. To be extra-careful, we recommend menorahs not made out of metal be coated with a fire-retardant spray (like this one) before using to reduce the risk of fire.

menorasaurus

The Menorasaurus
Go ahead: Type it into Pinterest and you’ll see the whole kingdom of prehistoric menorahs up for the taking. Most of these are for sale, though; Why not make your own? It’s super-easy, and takes less than an hour to make!

Parental note: This menorah doesn’t leave much for the kids to do (hot glue guns and spray paint aren’t exactly child-friendly), but your kiddos will love seeing their dinosaur transformed into an instant Hanukkah heirloom.

What you’ll need:
– Plastic dinosaur
– Nine hex nuts
– Metallic gold spray paint
– Clay (for leveling the hex nuts)
– Hot glue gun

What you’ll do:
Let your kids pick out their dinosaur (Hello, Dollar Store!).

Using a hot glue gun, glue eight hex nuts onto the back of the dinosaur and another atop the head for the shamash. To make sure all the candles will stick up straight, squish a little clay onto the bottom of the hex nuts before glueing them onto the dinosaur (it helps to also dab some glue onto the bottom of the hex nut themselves so they really sticks into the clay)

Spray the whole thing with metallic gold spray paint and you’re done!

misfit-menorah

The Menorah of Misfit Toys
If your junk drawer is anything like ours, it’s probably full of left-behind kid stuff you wish you had the heart to throw away. Don’t toss those treasures; use them for this menorah that will make your kids love their misfit toys all over again.

What you’ll need:
-Nine small toys or figurines (think Barbie Doll heads, Happy Meal toys, lone blocks, etc.)
-Nine hex nuts
-Wooden plank (or a few simple wooden blocks glued together to make a platform)
-Hot glue gun

What you’ll do:
Have your kids dig through their toy boxes (and your junk drawers) and pick out nine small toys to use as candle-holders. Be sure they find one that’s a little taller that can serve as the shamash. You can also place the shamash toy onto a block to set it higher than the others, as shown above.

Glue hex nuts onto the top of all the toys, being sure to cut off any hair or string that poses a fire risk when candles are lit. Let your kids decide which toy will go where, then glue them all onto the platform.
hot-wheels-hanukkah

Hot Lights (or, the Hot Wheels Menorah)

What you’ll need:
-Nine Hot Wheels cars (with flat tops)
-Nine hex nuts (or 10 if you want to raise the shamash candle a little higher)
-Wooden plank
-Paint
-Hot glue gun

What you’ll do:
Have your kids pick out nine cars and paint or decorate a plank of wood however they wish. While the paint is drying, glue the hex nuts atop the cars as shown. For the shamash (middle) candle, use a taller car or glue two hex nuts atop so it stands higher than the others.

Let your young assistants help you arrange the cars in whatever order they want. Then, glue the cars onto the plank.

Do you have any cool ideas for DIY Menorahs? Share with us in the comment section below!

—story and photos by Melissa Heckscher

 

homemade menorahs