DIY Abacus Menorah



Here’s a fun Menorah craft you can make without a real flame in sight! This is great for a teachable tool or a toy children can play with.

What you will need:

1. a cheap wooden picture frame without glass. If you don’t have one on hand check your local thrift store or dollar store.
2. big chunky wooden beads
3. twine or string
4. 18 small brads or picture framing nails
5. a hammer
6. scissors
7. gold felt
8. white glue (not pictured)
9. pencil or pen
10. ruler

First you will need to measure for your candle strings. Start in the middle and measure outwards. You’ll want one candle in the middle and four on each side. Make little hatch marks on the wood with a pencil or a pen. Do this for the top and the bottom.

Nail a brad or small nail at each hatch mark. Hammer your nails gently so they don’t go all the way through the frame and show on the other side.

Now you’re ready to string your candles. You’ll put the beads on later so don’t worry about them yet. Tie your twine or string to the first nail and start threading from the bottom upwards. You’ll double up your string so that there are no diagonal strings when you go from one nail to the next.

Once you have all the nails threaded, make sure the twine is tight and tie it to the last nail. Now gently remove the top loop from the center nail and drop your beads over the doubled up thread like so.

Add beads until you are almost to the top but not quite. You’ll want to leave room for your candle flame that will be added later.

Then load up your strings until you’ve created all nine candles. Don’t forget to add one extra bead to the middle candle!

Lastly you’ll add your flames. You can add one flame during each night of Hanukkah or add them all at once. To do this you’ll need to cut nine small pieces of felt in an oblong shape with two pointy ends.

Then with a dab of white glue add your flame to the string. Let it dry and your Menorah is complete! You could also try gold foil if you had some.

Then hang your menorah up for decoration or leave it out for children to touch and play with. If you’re going to leave it out, you might want to go over the back of the Menorah frame with a layer of masking tape to make sure little fingers don’t unravel all your work.

About the author

Brenda Ponnay
Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it's painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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