Artful Sukkah Decorations: No-fail waterproof materials for your Sukkah

 By Laurie Bellet

 

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Computer Disks: all those CD’s you get in the mail or that can’t be re-used can become beautiful, reflective decorations. Use Tacky Glue to decorate them with sparkling beads and gems. Add some shiny stickers. Thread your string through the hole to hang. If you glue 2 of them together, you can have a decorated, shiny side facing out no matter which way the wind blows.

Pie Plates
: Punch holes in the rim of disposable foil pie plates. Thread beads and bells and hang in the Sukkah! You can also decorate the pie plate with Sharpie markers and stickers.

Waterproof Origami Paper
: Sold in most craft catalogs, this paper folds just like ordinary origami paper yet, it is waterproof!

 

Strawberry Baskets: Hang these upside down. Cut the tooling foil or disposable cookie sheets into small shapes; punch holes and string them from the strawberry baskets. Consider stringing bells, nuts, bolts and washers instead of more traditional beads. When the wind blows they will make noise. You can also twist wire around the basket for a truly unique look.

Craft Tooling Foil
: This is a heavy duty foil available from craft catalogs. You can cut it with a heavy duty scissors. It is best to put colorful masking tape along the edges which can be sharp. Use a pointed dowel or a pencil to engrave designs into the foil (Put a few layers of newspaper underneath so you can make a deep imprint.) You can hang beads and decorate just like with the pie plates! If you cannot get tooling foil, you can buy disposable foil cookie sheets at the market to use in the same way.

 

Wire: Wire comes in all widths and colors. You can purchase it at hardware stores and from craft catalogs. Cut it with a heavy duty scissors and bend it into all sorts of designs. For extra fun, thread it with beads. To create a spiral, wrap the wire around your index finger and slide it off.

 

Craft Sticks: Glue ordinary craft sticks together with Carpenter’s Glue. Add tiles, shells and beads.

 

Giant Pipe Stems: Available in a class pack from Lakeshore, these giant puffy pipe stems are an exciting alternative to the paper chain. It appears that age is no limitation to the enjoyment of twisting these into the longest chain possible.

 

Wood Discs: Available from many craft catalogs, wood discs resemble a large branch cut into thin tree rounds. They come with a hole ready for stringing and can be decorated with all manner of collage materials. (Remember to use the Carpenter’s Glue for these!)

 

Fun Foam: You can cut fun-foam sheets into any shape you like. Decorate using self-stick fun foam shapes or by gluing other fun foam shapes (Carpenter’s Glue). Fun foam strips can be made into chains by stapling or stitching them together.
  1. Cut strips for paper chains as usual.
  2. Invite students to write one hope for the future on each slip of paper.
  3. Laminate the paper strips.
  4. Cut them apart and make the chain using colored masking tape.

In addition to hopes for the future, students can write:

  • Vocabulary words in Hebrew or English.
  • Sukkot blessings, one word per slip of paper.
  • Names of guests, students might wish to invite.
  • Aleph-bet with a letter, word and picture on each slip of paper.

 

Cellophane Windsocks

Materials:
  • Plastic rings from 6-packs of soda
  • colored cellophane paper
  • scissors
  • colored masking tape
  • fabric strips
 
Preparation:
  • Leaving the outer plastic intact, snip the inner rings with your scissors so that no birds can get caught.
  • Cut the cellophane into strips
Activity:
  1. Fold the 6-pack ring assembly in half and tape.
  2. Thread the cellophane and fabric strips through the 6-pack rings
  3. Secure the strips with masking tape.
  4. Hang in the Sukkah.
 
Materials:
  • fun foam sheets (9X12)
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • ribbon (1” in a variety of colors and styles)
  • yarn
  • plastic crafting needles
Advance Preparation:
Punch holes (approx 2 inches apart) along the long edge of one side of the fun foam and evenly along the short side edges
Activity:
  1. Cut ribbon into a variety of lengths.
  2. Thread craft needle with yarn
  3. Poke the needle through the top of a ribbon strip.
  4. Thread the yarn (in the ribbon) through a hole in the fun foam
  5. Tie the ends of the yarn together.
  6. Continue in each hole along the long edge of the fun foam.
  7. Match up the holes along the short edges.
  8. Tie the two short edges of the fun foam together to form a cylindrical windsock.
  9. Use the top hole along the short edge to tie the windsock to the Sukkah.
Materials:
  • Wire clothes hangers
  • colored masking tape
  • yarn
  • scissors
  • narrow ribbon
 
Preparation:
Wrap individual strips of masking tape around the top and bottom rim of the wire hanger to create the warp for a weaving loom.
 
Activity:
  1. Tie a long piece of yarn in a corner of the hanger.
  2. Wrap a small bit of tape around the tip of the yarn to make it easier to weave.
  3. weave the yarn over and under the masking tape warp on your hanger loom.
  4. when the yarn has run out, tie another piece of yarn along the rim of the hanger and continue your weaving.
  5. Use ribbon instead of, or along with, the yarn.
  6. Hang your weaving in the Sukkah.
Materials:
  • flat wood toothpicks
  • wikki stix
  • small die cut people figures (“calendar shapes”)
  • fabric scraps
  • white glue
  • craft sticks (2per student)
  • construction paper 9X12
  • scissors
  • star stickers
Activity:
  1. hold paper horizontally.
  2. use white glue to stick a craft stick, vertically, on each side of the paper.
  3. cut toothpicks with scissors to craft a roof that will allow you to see the stars.
  4. glue you roof in place
  5. with fabric scraps, fashion clothing for your small people shapes and glue them into your sukkah.
  6. use Wikki Stix to make fruit, that you can stick (no glue necessary), anywhere in your sukkah.
  7. stick several star stickers in the sky.
Materials:
·        cardstock or matboard approx. 8X10
·        white glue
·        metallic or other decorative cord (the width of yarn or string)
·        thin line marker
·        text from Ecclesiastes
·        scissors
·        pencil

 

Activity:
1.    Use pencil to draw a spiral, beginning at the center of the cardstock/mat board, extending to the edges.
2.    carefully trace over the spiral with white glue.
3.    Lay cord over the glue on the spiral and gently press into place. (cord can be cut before or after this step).  While the glue is drying, study the verses in the text that speak of all things happening before and in the future; nothing new under the heavens. Ask students to select a meaningful verse.
4.    When the glue has dried, use a pencil to write the selected text along the cord spiral (*note – any letters that would normally fall below the line must be written above it).
5.    Use a fine line marker to trace over the text.
6.    Write the text citation somewhere on the completed art piece.
 
 
Materials:
  • mailing tube (any postal supply store)
  • small beads
  • white butcher paper
  • decorating supplies: dot painters; markers, stickers, crayons, sequins.
  • small beads (do not use rice or beans)
  • scissors; ruler; pencil
  • white glue
  • *optional – nails and duct tape
Before You Craft:
Teach about Shemini Atzeret and the hope for rain.

 

Activity:
*optional – push nails into side of poster tube and secure into place with the duct tape.
  1. place beads into tube and cap the tube securely.
  2. cut the butcher paper to the correct size to fit around the tube.
  3. decorate the butcher paper as desired
  4. wrap the paper around the tube and glue into place.

No-sew Sukkah panel

Do not be apprehensive about the number of supplies. This project is very easy and oh so beautiful.  (There are many ways you can vary this project to create just the right size and color Sukkah panel for you!)

Materials:
·        cotton fabric (determine the size you wish your panel to be)
·        colored fabric for smaller center panel.
·        contrasting or coordinating fabric for lettering
·        Tulip fabric paint (‘metallic’ or ‘slick’)
·        muslin squares (cut to approx. 5 inches by 5 inches or size needed to accommodate panel size and class membership)
·        ribbon or other trim.
·        colored tissue paper
·        Tacky Glue (You can get ‘washable’ Tacky Glue specific for fabric. Your panel might be subjected to rainy weather)
·        ‘Outdoor’ Mod Podge
·         fusible webbing’ or self-adhesive ‘web fuse’
·        Hebrew stencils ( 2 or 4 inch size depending on number of letters needed)
·        scissors
·        (*optional – wood dowel for hanging)

 

Advance Preparation
  1. Place center fabric panel in desired location and Tacky glue into place.
  2. Trim center panel with ribbon if desired and glue into place.
  3. Determine how many squares of muslin you will need and how large each square should be.
  4. Follow the directions on the fusible webbing to iron it onto the muslin and onto the materials from which you will be cutting your lettering.
  5. Cut muslin squares and the letters of the word “Sukkot,” and whatever else you want to have in your center panel.
  6. Glue the design or lettering onto the center square.
Activity:
  1. Decorate squares as desired.
  2. Allow squares to dry completely.
  3. If you will be hanging the panel from a dowel, create a hemmed edge large enough to accommodate the size of the dowel.
  4. Decorate each square as desired.
  5. Cover each square generously with outdoor Mod Podge.
  6. Glue each square into place on the cotton panel
  7. Hang and enjoy for years to come.
 
Materials:
·        3 inch size clay (or plastic) garden pots (must not be cracked and must have a hole in the bottom)
·        Acrylic paints
·        Shoelaces – 12 – 18 inches
·        Large size beads
·        “pony” beads
·        Tape
·        Outdoor Mod Podge (optional)
 
Activity:
1.      Paint the garden pot as desired and allow it to dry completely
2.      (Optional – coat with outdoor Mod podge)
3.      Trim one end of the shoelace to the desired length and wrap it with a tiny piece of tape.
4.      Thread one end of the shoelace through the hole in the bottom of the garden pot.
5.      Tie the end of the shoelace around itself to form a large loop for hanging.
6.      Thread beads onto the bottom end of the shoelace.
7.      Finish the bead lacing with a smaller ‘pony’ bead and secure the end with a knot.

Watch Us Grow Sukkah Decorations

Add a new one of these each year.

Materials:
  • Doilies 8 inch or larger
  • Paint, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
  • Clear Contac paper or access to a laminating machine
  • Hole punch
  • Lace for hanging
Activity:
1.      Trace or print the child’s hand and/or foot on both sides of the doily.
2.      Decorate the doily with the coloring materials
3.      Note the child’s name and age on the doily
4.      Laminate the doily or cover it on both sides with the clear Contac paper to render it waterproof.
5.      Punch a hole in the top of the doily and thread the lace through it to hang.
6.      Repeat every year!

 

Laurie Bellet is the Art Specialist at Oakland Hebrew Day School. Having revolutionized the way art education is experienced by Jewish learners of all ages, Laurie is a popular artist-in-residence and consults with school, community and museum programs nationwide.

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