How special would a handmade Menorah be to your holiday collection, especially created by your kid(s), reminding you each year of their talent at a certain treasured point in time? Here we investigate the making of three types: salt dough, baby food jars, and clay.

The baby food jar menorah is an excellent way to recycle those tiny jars into a gorgeous row of light! Simply soak and scrub them to wash and get all label/glue off, then have your child(ren) decorate the jar exteriors with sequins, beads, lace, etc. Use Q-tips to spead the glue. Let them dry, line the jars horizontally, and put tea light candles in them for each night of Hanukkah lighting, gorgeous!

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Many parents recommend Crayola Air Dry Clay, and say that it really feels exactly like the clay from our past time in ceramics studios as teens. It’s only about $5 for a 2.5 pound bucket, which is a great deal. It works well when you want to make long-lasting projects. With a rolling pin, you can fashion a slab of clay into any kind of shape you’d like your menorah to be, and simply poke holes in it with the candles you will be using for your menorah.  Menorahs hold nine candles, eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah and one for the Shamash (“the attendant”) for the others. Make sure that you smooth out your clay before letting it dry, as cracks can create problems later on. You can use a small amount of water and tiny fingertips to do this. Let this clay dry for 3 days before going ahead to paint it. This is so fun!

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For salt dough, here’s a basic recipe:

1 cup salt

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup luke warm water

Make your Menorah however you want to- many people like to make 9 dough balls in a crescent shape, but the world is your oyster here. Bake at 200 degrees from forty five minutes to three hours, depending upon work’s thickness. Fun!

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Rebecca Conroy is an artist, stylist, and Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn. She is  from New York City, and has an MFA from Columbia University in screenwriting. Rebecca often finds herself on film and photography sets making things run or look better, and is the mom of two outrageously wonderful kids. 

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