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DIY Abacus Menorah for Hanukkah by Brenda Ponnay for Alphamom.com

DIY Abacus Menorah

By Brenda Ponnay

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.

Supplies needed for DIY Abacus Menorah

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

A table with hammer nails ruler and wooden frame

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.

Putting nails in frame

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.

Stringing nails on frame for Abacus Menorah

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.

adding beads to string

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.

beading string for craft

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.

Adding more beads to string for craft

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

Cut felt to look like flames for craft

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.

Gluing felt to string on top of beads

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.

DIY Abacus Menorah next to bowl of beads on a table

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.

Find More Holiday Crafts on Alphamom:

 

About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. 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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