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When I was in 3rd grade, I met a sweet friend, Erin, who is Jewish. I remember her mom coming into our class and teaching us about Hanukkah. Being Christian, I found this very interesting! I remember playing with the dreidel and thinking how awesome it would be to get presents for eight days instead of just one! It’s important to me that my kids learn about different cultures and religions as well. I’ve thought back on my Hanukkah lesson all those years ago and thankfully Erin and I are still friends so I reached out to her for some ideas. First things first… I needed a menorah!
My Cricut Maker made this project a breeze!! I absolutely love how versatile this machine is! And because is has multiple accessories (like the rotary blade and knife blade) it can cut so many different materials!
To create my DIY holiday decoration, I used Cricut’s Heavy Chipboard, Adhesive Foil in Gold and Felt, Carousel Sampler.
Here is the design I came up with in Design Space. You can find it here.
You will cut this mat once using the orange felt and the fabric cutting mat.
You will cut this mat three times: once using the Heavy Chipboard and Lightgrip mat and twice using the Adhesive Foil and a Standard mat.
You will cut this mat once using the Heavy Chipboard and the Lightgrip mat.
You will cut this mat once using the yellow felt and the Fabric mat.
When placing your Chipboard, make sure you use a Brayer to help secure it down. Once down, use painters tape around the edges to make sure the Chipboard doesn’t move while cutting.
The setting on Design Space calls for Chipboard to be cut 20 times to make sure it’s cut all the way through. Please stay near your machine while cutting so you can check!! Many times, your material is cut all the way through BEFORE 20 passes but if you let your Maker keep cutting, it will cut your mat! My chipboard was 99% cut through by 12 passes, so please check!
I could have let my machine keep cutting to have my Chipboard completely cut through but I didn’t want to risk my mat so once it was 99% cut through, I removed it from the machine. I flipped over my Chipboard and used my TrueControl Knife to help release the last little bit, mainly the corners that weren’t quite cut through.
I then cut out my Adhesive Foil. I peeled the excess while still on the mat because I found the foil tended to curl from being packages in the roll. Peeling while on the mat helped keep my Foil flat. Once the excess is peeled, I laid the transfer tape on the foil (still on the mat) and then peeled from the backing.
Now my foil is ready to be adhered to my chipboard! I carefully laid it down. Thankfully the Foil is forgiving so I was able to peel and reapply where needed. The leg of the menorah is only one chipboard piece thick and should have the foil applied on both sides.
Once my foil was applied to the outsides of both chipboard menorahs, I used liquid glue on the inside sides to attach my two chipboard pieces together. I placed a few heavy books on top while the glue was drying to help stick them together.
Once the glue was dry, I used the Cricut Paper Crafting set to help create the holes to hold my “candle flame.”
Using the pointed tool, I pushed lightly to make a hold 1/4 inch deep.
To create my “candle flame” I glued the orange flame onto 9 of the yellow flames to create the front of the flame. I then cut about 1/2 inch off of a toothpick and glued the fronts to the rest of the yellow flames or backs.
Here is what they look like finished.
The “candle flames” fit perfectly into my menorah!! And once the leg of the menorah is added, it stands up beautifully! Now I’m ready to teach my kids a little about Hanukkah!
My friend, Erin, suggested I buy the book “Eight Chanukah Lights.” It has definitions of words like shamash and gelt as well as instructions on how to play the Dreidel game. I also showed them this video which helped us understand why Hanukkah is celebrated.
We then played the Dreidel game! It was intense with the winner walking away with ALL the gold coins! Luckily Maggie decided to share her winnings with everyone.
Overall, my kids had a great time learning about Hanukkah and why it’s an important holiday for Jewish people. And now that we have our own menorah, we plan on adding out lights on the correct days. (FYI, Hanukkah starts the evening of December 2nd, 2018.)
Whether you’re Christian, like me, or belong to any other religion, this activity is a great way to teach children about Hanukkah! And if you end up making your own menorah, please send us pictures!! We’d love to see how yours turns out!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
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