Chanukah for Crafters

It might only be August, with Chanukah the furthest thing from anybody’s mind. But, in the craft world, now is the time to start planning for Chanukah and its potential flurry of gift purchases that will hopefully accompany its approach.

Being a list person, Agru of AgruArts has offered up a list of possible Jewish items that offer up possibilities for etsy creativity. Next to each you’ll find possible materials for that item. Feel free to comment and add more suggestions.

Here are some brief explanations for items that might be new to people. If still confused, feel free to Google or wikipedia them.

The list :
This is the small, long ritual item that goes on the doorposts of Jewish homes. Some people have one on every doorpost, making them a perennial gift item. In the future, look for another article by Agru with more details.
Materials: clay; polymer clay; metal; wood; mosaic; stiffened fabric; yarn; glass; needlepoint.

This is the ritual head covering for men and, now, many women.
Materials: yarn; fabric; suede/leather; needlepoint.

Kiddush Cup
The ritual wine cup for Sabbath and holiday use. Can either be a goblet or a cup shape.
Materials: clay; metal; wood; mosaic; glass.

Lots of options here. The Shabbat (Sabbath) or holiday sets can have two separate sets or can present as a candelabra. For Chanukah, there should be eight with an additional higher one for the Shamash candle (see my article on Chanukiyahs/menorahs.)
Materials: clay; wood; mosaic; glass; metal.

Choices, choices, choices. There are platters for Challah on Shabbat, for Matzoh on Passover, for latkes or soofganyot (jelly donuts) on Chanukah, and the list can go on and on.
Materials: clay; glass; wood; mosaic; polymer clay; metal.

Tzedakah Boxes
Think piggy bank for charity that can be easily opened for the removal and donation of collected monies.
Materials: clay; glass; stiffened yarn or fabric; wood; polymer clay; mosaic; glass; metal; needlepoint.

Havdalah Set
Used every Saturday at the end of the Sabbath. Includes a Kiddush cup, special candle with many wicks (with holder, if one so chooses), spice box, and a plate. The ritual includes the kindling of the first flame after Sabbath and looking at ones fingernails reflecting the flame; a blessing over the wine, with shared drinking; a blessing over the spices, with a shared sniffing of their aroma for a sweet week; and ending with pouring of a small amount of wine onto the plate and the snuffing of the flame in that wine. Truthfully, this has got to be my favorite Shabbat ritual! - Agru
Materials: clay; glass; wood; mosaic; metal.

Washing Cup
A two handled cup for use in ritual washing before Shabbat dinner.
Materials: clay; glass; wood; mosaic; metal.

Apples and Honey Set
For Rosh Hashanah
Materials: clay; glass; wood; mosaic; metal.

Yad/Torah Pointer
Because the Torah scroll is holy, hand written, delicate, and expensive (yeah, I think that last one is one of the reasons -Agru), we read it using something called a “yad” (Hebrew for Hand - Tamdoll). This is a stick with a small pointing hand at the tip of it. As we read, we use this pointer and it’s index finger to keep our place. Each of my kids got at least one for their bar and bat mitzvah gifts. - Agru
Materials: clay; glass; wood; metal; polymer clay.

Compartmentalized Matzoh Holder
On Passover, we store three pieces of matzoh on the ritual table. They can be on a plate or rolled into a napkin. But I’ve always liked the idea of a fabric with a separate compartment for each piece.
Materials: fabric; felt; yarn; quilt.

The ritual “shawl” worn by men, and some women, in shul (temple). If you’re going to approach this project, you should learn about the specific requirements for the knotting of the strings hanging from the corners of the piece and the types of fabric or fabric blends that are acceptable.
Materials: yarn; quilt; fabric.

Tallis Bag
The bag in which you carry your Tallis to and from shul.
Materials: yarn; quilt; fabric; needlepoint.

Challah Cover
This one has a cute story, so bear with me. At the beginning of Shabbat the candles were so proud. “We’re the first to get attended to and blessed!” they bragged. At the Shabbat table the wine was so proud. “Look at me,” it said. “I’m the first to get blessed at the table before people can begin to eat!” The poor little Challah began to cry, feeling neglected, since it was the last thing to get everyone’s attention. So we now cover the Challah until the time for its blessing, to protect it from feeling so sad.
Materials: yarn; quilt; fabric; needlepoint.

Siddur Covers
OK, so maybe this one comes before Chanukah. Most Hebrew schools give out their Siddurim (prayer books) to third grade kids. One of the traditions is to have the parents come up with some sort of personalized cover for said book. I made one for each of my kids. But I saw many parents go kicking and screaming to other sources. Why can’t etsy fabric artists be those sources for commissioned ones?
Materials: yarn; quilt; fabric; needlepoint.

It means hello, it means goodbye, and it means peace! Put it on shirts, on hanging plaques, on dishes, on flags, on buttons!
Materials: anything!

I DO believe etsy has more jewelry artists than any other type. And the range of “perfect gifts” that fall in this category is only limited by imagination. Here are a few off the top of my head, other than the usual Star of David or Chamsa: Tallis clips, Jewelry that says: Aba (father), Ima (mother), Tsaba (grandfather), Tsavta (grandmother), Morah (teacher), mezuzah pendant, Hebrew name/name in Hebrew, shalom, Yiddish descriptive words such as mensch, nudnik, shayne maidel, etc. Go for it!!!!
Materials: up to the jewelers’ discretion.

Additional ideas thrown in without additional explanations, since this is long enough:
Meat/Dairy stickers for the kitchen.
Milcheg/Fleishig if you want the above in the vernacular.
Chamsas for anything and on anything.
Greeting Cards (card people!!!! Pay attention – I didn’t forget you).

Now, go forth and create!

1 comment:

DrMom said...

And how about a grogger, etrog box, Yad, afikomen bag, challah knife, spice box... the list is endless.
For more ideas, take a look at what other artists have done at my blog: