CHANUKAH

I have become a fan of a really fabulous art medium! Chalkboard paint!! I am loving it and seem to be painting everything in sight! It comes in so many colors and hues yet for my Chanukah projects I prefer the traditional ‘black board’ look!

All you need to do is follow the instructions of your choice of blackboard paint (I used Hudson Brand) and voila ! A creative approach to Chanukah crafts!

Chalk Board Dreidel
A fun and educational way to teach children how to write the letters on the Dreidel!
Just add a piece of chalk (or a liquid chalk pen) and spin!
MAGNETIC MENORAH
Labels of dreidel.Labels of doughnutsLabels of latkeLabels of geltLabels of menorahAnother fun and unique way to decorate Menorahs is to paint the metal with chalkboard paint (or any acrylic paint).Then, using either stickers, alphabet letters, Chanukah photo images (like sample here), stick these on to magnets (you can find a roll of magnet in craft stores).This will allow the kids to continuously decorate their Menorah each night of Chanukah if they wish or every year they use it!You can really get creative and help kids to write magnetic Chanukah phrases, or personalize their Menorah with their name etc.CHANUKAH TAGSLong Lasting Chanukah decorations are testimony to the most meaningful and long lasting Jewish experiences that happen at Chabad!So I have found small wooden craft tags and painted one side with chalkboard paint to match our other Chanukah projects, so each child can personalize their Chanukah decor.Upon teaching the story of Chanukah, enjoy decorating these tags to hang or even attach to a gift as a gift tag.It will surely impress all who walk into their home and can be taken out year after year for a beautiful stylish Chanukah!You’re It!!

MENORAH WITH TWO SIDES

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Bright! Vibrant and Fun! These ones are sure to last!
Bright! Vibrant and Fun! These ones are sure to last!

Finally packing up all of my Aleph Art Room workshop crafts to be given to the kids this week!

Here is a quick look at the final product (without the magnets…see Magnetic Menorah).

One side is painted with acrylic paint (any kind from Michaels or other craft store), and the other side with chalkboard paint.

The best way to do this is to cover the flat side with blue painters tape and then let the kids paint away! Once dry, peel off painters tape (re-label their names on tape under Menorah) and paint with chalkboard paint.

(Save the clear boxes that they came in so you can nicely re-pplace the Menorahs inside to give to the kids.)

I think that this project would be great for the mivtzoim type metal Menorahs, although I would not use the magnets as it does pose a safety hazard (paper, somewhat close to candle flame). Offer vibrant paint colors for this kind or go with the chalkboard paint and a pack of colored chalk!

Have fun!

IT’s THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

Brown Craft Tissue and Twine has a great look with this Label. You can purchase long craft envelopes to match and stamp with your return address. I love getting my stamps from http://www.expressionary.com. (You can always find good discounts from http://www.retailmenot.com for these stamps and others items).

Before Chanukah we send out a small little package to certain Baal Habatim who we are connecting to, and for those people in the community we know it would really touch.

Here is a simple, inexpensive gift that is cheap to mail lightweight!

We love Harney and Sons Teas! They are superb, delightfully tasty and a couple steps above Lipton:)

Here I have packaged 3 individually wrapped tea bags with a label (from http://www.myownlabel.com) and will include a few coins of Chanukah gelt as well.

A personal card or tag or note can be included saying something like:

“Chabad of Mill Valley and SpiritualiTEA….The Perfect Blend!”….and then a nice note handwritten to finish off the thought.

CHANUKAH GELT BAGS

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Inside are Chanukah Chocolate gelt coins, a dreidel and the Chalk board painted dreidel with chalk. There is also a card with the printed rules to play a great game of Dreidel!

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These are fun little gelt bags!! And so easy to create and inexpensive too!

I bought my bags from Save On Crafts, they come in various sizes. (Look up Burlap, Jute or Muslin bags.)

Then using my “Aleph Art Room” Expressionary stamp (www.expressionary.com) I stamped the back of the bag to complete the look in a prominent but understated way, still keeping the look neat.

On the front I stamped a Dreidel stamp (regular stamp and ink) and then gave puff paints to the kids to have fun with!

To use the gemstones, just squeeze a nice amount of paint, like a large dot and gently place gemstone on top, applying light pressure. The paint will glue the gemstone to the fabric.

These will need TIME to dry especially if the kids get a little ‘paint happy’!!

CRUNCHY DREIDELS TO EAT

Just cut out, baste and bake!
Just cut out, baste and bake!

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This is simple and attractive! Try this for a meal for Shabbos Chanukah or any Chanukah event!

It is great over Salads or to use as a cracker to hold piped cream cheese and a swirl of lox!

Just take wonton wraps and pile up 3 or 4 at a time and use a dreidel cookie cutter and cut away!

Place on baking sheet and baste with a little olive oil if you wish and some sesame seeds. (you can add a bit of soy sauce for a more asian taste) . Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes and that’s it!

Try different flavorings…maybe some sprinkles for the kids:)

Crispy, crunchy and definitely a conversation piece!

GLOW IN THE DARK OIL JUG

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Just tape both ends of glow stick to the back.

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I thought I’d dry something different for our Chanukah event!

It’s fun and bright although it wont last too long!

I think that walking around with ‘glow in the dark’ oil jugs, decorated with glitter, gold flakes and anything else that I find would be a new craft for this year!

I plan to order yellow glow sticks in bulk and will post best site as soon as I find it! (it’s ok to be behind sometimes…it’s all in the journey…right?)

Just cut out a jug in dark card stock (construction paper will work too, but a little flimsy) then using scissors or an exacto knife, slice a space down the middle (not too wide otherwise it looses it’s effect).

Here are a few pictures of what it looks like as it gets dark!!

(sorry, hard to take normal pictures in the dark with only the glow of a lightstick!!)

CHANUKAH TAGS

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These were really a hit so I am posting in detail.You can string them on ribbon or attach to other Chanukah items (favor bags, boxes with sufganiyot for mivtzoim etc.)

How to make Tags:

Sufganiyot Tag: Using tacky glue, glue two layers of felt and a tiny red button for the ‘jelly’. These were so cute and sweet without the stickiness!

Chanukah Gift Tag: A mini paper bag can be made from regular paper bags. Just cut out two squares and place a large glue dot in between. Add some scrunched up tissue paper and use twine or paper strips to make handles. (the ones in the picture were from a craft store but they can be easily tweaked for a home made version).

Latke Tag: Use a metal bottle cap as the frying pan and cut out latkes and pan handle from felt or even construction paper. Use glue dots or tacky glue to stick together.

Jug of Oil Tag: Purchase mini bead containers. (I found mine in a beading store for .5c) and fill with gold glitter and a bit of water! Place the lid on top and glue to tag. Then Add a cut out jug of oil with a slit down the middle so you can see the oil moving in the jug!! (the glue lines are best used for this tag)The kids loved this one!!

Enjoy!

OUR KINDERLACH

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Every Yom Tov, I work really hard to make it extra special for our own kids.

I feel that with the hectic busy life and programs and with all the endless lists of tasks that need to get done, it is imperative to not only thank our children personally and in public but to do something special just for them.

For example…one night of Succos, my husband and I made an ‘event’ just for them! It is thought out, set up nicely and on some occasions the little ones are put to sleep first.

This year we enjoyed hot cocoa while sketching and painting in the sukkah, with music and some nosh….it was so special and they realy appreciated it!

So every Chanukah we have an ‘event’ just for our kids. No rushing around, no household tasks just plain simple, family fun!

I prepare Chanukah packages of $5 worth of dimes per child (including my husband and I) and some nosh bags, maybe a small little treat. I make latkes just for us, doughnuts just for us, hot cocoa just for us! We may even indulge in whipped cream on top or even marshmallows! We play niggunim and spend a beautiful evening of a real game of dreidel, We learn about being a ‘team player’, about math skills! (adding all those coins!!) and about stopping to enjoy the moments of being Shluchim of the Rebbe.

Here is a sweet way to package your coins! All you need is a tag, some ribbon and a roll of coins! (I use dimes because my older children appreciate the value of money more than the little ones…so to them it is exciting to have potential to win big!…put pennies work too!)

Another exciting ‘favor’ are real scratch and win cards! (My husband gets one too!!…we work on all avenues to reach that big Chabad house dream!!) The kids enjoy scratching their cards with the potential to win and yet learning all about not being a winner but enjoying the game!

After our Dreidel game we all decide, to which shluchim we would like to send our maaser to….this is always so heartwarming…especially when they want to give more than required!

Anyways, have a wonderful, bright, freilichin Chanukah and successful events!

CHANUKAH SNOW GLOBES

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I have always wanted to make these and finally tried various recipes to get to one that works well!

So here it is!

(Feel free to use any dreidels. I chose wood ones for a more natural artistic look but I also made them with plastic dreidels and they were so colorful and cute! Remember that the basic wood ones would get moldy as time goes on. You can coat your wood dreidels with clear nail polish if you want them to last.)

We are making an Aleph Art Room Chanukah party this week and what I may do is: glue gun the dreidels to the lids first, making varieties to choose from….this may be a good idea if you have a lot of kids, and a lot of ages.

Glue gun your first Dreidel to the inside of the lid of the jar, lying down flat.  MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DREIDEL IS NOT TOO CLOSE TO EDGE OF JAR OTHERWISE YOUR LID WILL NOT FIT ON JAR.   Then glue gun your 2nd dreidel to the first dreidel, on a tilt if you wish to give it a ‘motion’ look. (If you use only one dreidel it will still work however you have lost some height).

If you want snow around your Dreidel, just buy “batting”, kind of like stuffing from a craft store and glue gun some to the lid around the dreidel.

Let it dry. While you prepare the next steps it should be completely dry.

Fill the jar. Get bottled water, and pour into the jar to the very top.

Add the glycerin. Pour in about a dash of glycerin. A “dash”, means you should just poor the bottle of glycerin for 1 second. The glycerin will let your glitter fall down more slowly.

Pour in some glitter. Using glitter, sprinkle a small mountain of the flakes into the water. After you have a good amount of glitter, stir the contents with a small spoon to mix together all of the glycerin, water, and glitter.

Fill the jar to the very rim. Make sure that the jar is filled to the top. (add water if you need to) That is if you don’t want any air bubbles in your snow globe.

Seal the lid. Keeping the glass jar right side up, just place your lid onto the top of the jar, and seal it. The jar might leak some at first, but that is just because it is overflowing from being filled. Once you have dried the excess water up, turn your jar over, and you have made a snow globe!

TO SEAL: you can add glue from glue gun, working quickly to then place lid on top and turn to seal. OR : Use the glue gun once the lid is twisted on, to seal it to the glass, glueing a thin line of glue around the lid where it joins to the glass jar.

Decorate rim with Washi Tape, ribbon if you’d like.

Add stickers to jar as well, maybe Alphabet letters to spell out “Chanukah”.

Experiment with colored glitter too!

Shake and enjoy!!

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A WINTER TREAT

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A cute favor to give out for a Chanukah party or gathering.

It’s a cozy little package for those who have already given out Chanukah gelt!!

A pareve or milchig (depending on your needs) hot cocoa packet (I used Liebers) and mini marshmellows.

(You can buy mini and regular size marshmallows from whole foods if you don’t have access to Kosher supermarkets (The brand is “Elyon” and they are from Israel. They are also Gluten free! )

The packages are the sealable bags (you can find various kinds of such bags from http://www.paper mart.com or http://www.glerup.com).

I re-packaged my marshmallows so that they wouldn’t slide all over and it would have a neater look.

I used twine and ribbon and wrapped it from under the package so both ends of ribbon/twine were on the front in the middle. Then I used a label which I stamped with my Aleph Art Room Stamp (www.expressionary.com), to seal and hold in place the ribbon ends.

Cute. Cozy. and something sweet to take home after a Chanukah dinner, craft and Menorah Lighting!

I will wait until the crowds leave and kids are sleeping peacefully before sipping mine!!

A CHANUKAH SNOW GLOBE EVENT

Our playroom set up as a craft room! Look above when looking for a surface! I found that my desk was the perfect spot for reading instructions!
Our playroom set up as a craft room! Look above when looking for a surface! I found that my desk was the perfect spot for reading instructions!
By Posting instructions you don't need to exhaust yourself by having to explain everything over and over.
By Posting instructions you don’t need to exhaust yourself by having to explain everything over and over.
I set the table with pre- glue gunned jar lids sitting on the jars. This made the craft easy for all ages and they still had a blast pouring the ingredients and decorating!
I set the table with pre- glue gunned jar lids sitting on the jars. This made the craft easy for all ages and they still had a blast pouring the ingredients and decorating!
I used small water bottles to limit the spills. The caps miraculously made it back on and it kept the project neat for others who came in to do the craft.
I used small water bottles to limit the spills. The caps miraculously made it back on and it kept the project neat for others who came in to do the craft.

Phew! What an exhausting yet meaningufl Chanukah evening in our home/chabad! For the first time we actually have a blossoming Hebrew School (dont tell anyone I called it that!)…I mean “Aleph Art Room”!

We had a little over 40 people, kids and parents and it was like having family over! Such a nice feeling!

Anyways, after re- arranging furniture, cooking and perfecting the snow globe craft I wanted to share some little things that made a difference in case you decide to do this craft too.

1. I found it really helpful to write the instructions!! This way I did not have to repeat myself as people came in and out of craft room (i.e playroom). You can use poster board or an easel like I did, which after moving it from corner to corner it finally found it’s home on top of my desk!! In fact the height was great because everyone could see it!

2. I pre-glue gunned the dreidels and “snow” to the lids since I was worried about the glue gun and all the smaller kids. I left a couple of jars without dreidels i case the older kids wanted to do the craft by themselves with their parents help. This was a really important idea because even with all this prepared I was still running form child to child…thankfully not with a glue gun in hand…just glitter and glycerine!

3. Keep wipes and paper towels on hand so they can wipe jars dry from water. This will help when they decorate with stickers!

4. I would use really good jars with a great screw-on lid. (I would avoid baby food jars because they do not twist well). Mine were from the container store and did not need to be glue gunned to seal.

Anyways, just a fun craft, happy kids and a new Chabad experience to last forever.

I made sure to take pictures and email them to everyone who attended (this is the benefit of smaller attendance:). I wrote a personal letter thanking them for coming and a reminder about upcoming aleph art room workshops. I included the parents emails, even those who could not attend so they could see what they missed and to inspire future attendance!

FLAVORED WATER

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A cute way to add a little Chanukah touch!

I love water dispensers probably because I love putting things in the bottom and tying ribbon and a tag to it, more than drinking the water itself!!

So, here I added apple slices (I usually use lemon slices and lime slices or cucumber slices…but there are so many flavored waters one can make!) and Gelt coins to the bottom!

I do not serve any soda or juice in my home as I can’t stand sticky floors!

Really…I know it’s a bit OCD considering we have shul/events in the home but really, it’s so much healthier (body and mind!) and so much more relaxing when someone spills to say “oh dont worry…it’s just water!”….anyways…we all have our comfort zones…and mine is water only:)

This was a fun way to serve water and the kids had fun dispensing it themselves…spills an all!!

Look for water dispensers with a separate base so you can have fun updating your “water look” at each event!

2 thoughts on “CHANUKAH

  1. Love your snow globe idea
    ! I think I will use it for our first grades for a Chanuka Melave malka this year in HALB. Thanks!
    Felicia Bernsten

  2. HI Chana.

    I love the idea of the Chanukah Gelt bags! I think I will do it with the ladies at a women’s evening, so thank you! do you mind sharing the instruction paper for the dreidel game you included in your bags?

    Thank you,

    Zeldi Fradkin

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