Joyful Jewish

Archive for the ‘Jewish symbols’ Category

Bar Mitzvah card

I’ve made a few Bar and Bat Mitzvah cards over the years, but I don’t always remember to scan or photograph them before I give them away.

They often feature this lovely stamp of a tallit (prayer shawl) which I purchased along with the text (which says Bar Mitzvah in Hebrew) online from Zum Gali Gali.  I like to use embossing powder and a craft heat gun for a shiny finish.  Not so many years ago I would melt embossing powder over a toaster, resulting in burned crumbs and often burned fingers as well. Thankfully those days are behind me. 🙂

If you want to make a card like this, it is very simple.

1. Stamp your design on a plain piece of card (and emboss if desired)

2. Cut one or more pieces of paper just a few millimetres wider and longer than your central piece of card, and attach the layers together with double-sided adhesive tape.  A metallic paper gives a classic finish.

3. Attach to your card.  I decorated plain blue card by stamping it with Mazel Tov (congratulations).  This stamp is one of a lovely collection I bought from Papertrey Ink a few years back. I used another design from the same set on these Chanukah cards. It’s a little bit wonky but I’m hoping that adds to the charm of a hand-made card.

 

 

 

I was teaching the Hebrew letter kaf () to some 6-7 year olds, and wanted a quick craft activity to go with it.  What starts with kaf?  Well all sorts of things actually, but one of them is kippah. So we made paper kippot.

Paper kippot

You will need:
– paper – normal photocopy weight paper is fine
– a small plate to trace around, or a compass
– scissors
– sticky tape
– decorating materials (markers, stickers etc)

First, draw a circle on a piece of paper.  I used an 18cm (7″) paper plate, which makes quite a large kippah.  If your child wants to wear the finished product, you might need to make it a little smaller.

Next, decorate the inside of your circle.  You might like to draw other things which start with kaf, such as keter (crown), kochavim (stars) and kelev (dog) as well as the letter kaf itself.  My daughter decided to draw a dragon wearing a keter (crown – starts with letter kaf) while flying over a derech (pathway – ends with letter kaf) through a bamboo forest.

Now cut out the circle, and carefully fold it in half, then into quarters.  Unfold it again.  You will need to cut halfway along each of the four lines you have just made in the paper.  (See where the green lines are on the image below).

Paper kippah pattern

Once you have made your cuts, gently overlap the two edges of each cut (as per the green shaded area above, adjusting it to the shape you want) and secure it with sticky tape.

And that’s all there is to it!  Just add a hairclip and wear your new kippah with pride!  🙂

Wear your paper kippah

 

This is part one of the story of two chanukiot (chanukah menorahs).  I really wanted to sew a wall hanging of a chanukiah, so I designed a lovely nine-branched menorah on graph paper and scaled it up.

This is how it started.

As will become apparent later, this design turned out to be the wrong size for my planned wall hanging – but I still liked it.  So I decided to make it into something smaller: a challah cover.  Yes I know they usually have a Shabbat theme, for obvious reasons, but I have plans for a number of festival themed covers so we can change them over as we move through the year.

In my haste to get the project underway, I cut out the menorah from a lovely teal blue/gold fabric which, I discoved later that day, clashed with every other piece of fabric I had intended to cut the candles from.  I was about to throw it out and start again when my husband said “that would look great with red”.

I’m not sure that anyone else has ever used red chanukah candles, but when we lived in the UK a decade ago, nowhere near a Judaica shop and well before it became easy to buy anything and everything over the internet, we used to buy candles that were perfectly sized for our chanukiah from our local Asian food shop.  They were very good quality, and they were red, a symbol of good fortune in their country of origin.  In the end, the whole project had quite an oriental flair to it, with the dramatic use of dark colours – a striking contrast to our existing white challah cover!

This is my first effort at a hand appliqued project.  My stitching was a little variable, but I enjoyed incorporating some beads for the wicks and around the candlelight.  And here is the finished product!

Click for larger picture!

Now, back to the wall hanging…

You can read my version of the 10 Commandments, rewritten for children, here.  We did the same craft activity again this year, but I revised the printout (download it here) so that the numbers are against the text of the commandments rather than next to the names of the hebrew letters. Personally I think it looks a bit better – the kids probably didn’t mind either way.

In other news: dabbing a (wet but not too soggy) teabag onto paper gives better results than wiping it over; and foam cutout stickers (something I only recently discovered) are awesome!

Look what I made!

Exhibit A: not my cup of tea

I’ve been wanting a stuffed toy Torah for a while now, but they are not available locally, postage from overseas is expensive, and frankly I wanted something that looked more like a scroll and less like a multicoloured cartoon alien (see exhibit A).  With Shavuot approaching, I decided to take the plunge and make my own.  Thankfully at least one talented person has been smart enough to design their own toy Torah, and kind enough to put the instructions online.  Thank you Sweet&Crunchy!!

Days are like scrolls; write on them what you will.

Following her tutorial, I didn’t have too much trouble putting my own home-made sewn-and-stuffed toy Torah together.  I used calico (approx 30cm wide x 85cm long) for the scroll, felt for the handles (approx 8.5cm diameter for the circles), a ribbon for the belt, and some leftover fancy fabric (with scalloped edge) for the cover.  I only had to unpick one major blooper, so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself!

My daughter is very happy and already making plans to carry it around shul for Simchat Torah!  I am hoping to make a breastplate, yad and possibly even rimonim, but the technicalities of all that will be revealed in the fullness of time (ie after I figure it out for myself!)

This past week, I designed a little Jewish card game/board game for my daughter (aged 4).  In it, you need to match 3 pictures to each of a selection of Jewish holidays.

For example, Shabbat is represented by candles, a kiddush cup and challah; Chanukah has a menorah, dreidel and latkes; Pesach has a seder plate, the plagues and matzah; and Yom Ha’atzmaut has an Israeli flag, a map of Israel and some Israeli dancers.

I found this game to be a fun way to review a lot of the festivals, identify some key symbols and talk about what we do, what we eat and so forth.  Please feel free to use it yourself.  The instructions are included on the pdf.  I suggested putting the pieces into boxes or bags during the game, but I’ve thought of another way to do it (especially for older children) – put all the pieces face down in the middle, and turn over two at a time as you would if playing Memory.  If either matches your card, move them to your card.  If not, turn face down again and let the next person take their turn.

Jewish calendar game for website

Collage is always fun for young children, and it’s easy to incorporate the key elements of Rosh Hashanah – apples, honey, shofar, round challah and “L’Shanah Tovah”.

I used:
– cardboard – I used a plate to trace circles on some old cardboard folders I was recycling.
– pictures – find them on the internet or draw your own, cut shapes from coloured paper
– scratch and sniff stickers – who knew they came in both apple and honey scents?  (Mind you if my honey smelled like those stickers I don’t think I’d be eating it!)
– textas for additional decoration

Cut out your pictures and glue them on, then add some decoration (if you want to) and hey presto, a colourful new year decoration for your fridge or wall.

If you’re short of time, you are welcome to print off my compilation of pictures gleaned from the internet: Rosh hashanah collage pictures

Last year I used the same pictures and we made cards to give to grandparents.

We made this collage of Shabbat symbols as a craft activity recently.  It’s very easy to make a good-looking picture with just a few scraps of felt, fabric and metallic or coloured paper.

I wanted to make something that was quite tactile, so cut challah shapes out of felt and a rectangle of sheer material which could be either a table cloth or a challah cover.  I traced the outline of a kiddush cup from a picture on the internet, cut out the shape from metallic paper and stuck on a silver star.  The candles were white rectangles with a gold circle behind to represent the light of the flames, and a simple shape for the candlestick.

I printed “Shabbat Shalom” in English and Hebrew characters onto coloured paper.  Here’s my template as a PDF file: Shabbat Shalom.

Then – all you need is some glue.  And maybe some stickers!

Here is my daughter’s version:

And another little girl’s:

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The design for these fabulous mobiles comes from Sara Rivka at Creative Jewish Mom.

She sells an electronic “kit” via her Etsy store which I purchased.  The kit allows you to print off coloured dreidel shapes onto white paper (allowing you to glue glitter all over the back of the dreidels, for example) or print an outline onto coloured paper, which you can then either leave blank or decorate any way you like.  All you need to do then is cut them out and connect them to each other with a little bit of thread.

These are a hit with the whole family, and need hardly any breeze before they spin madly (in fact I took these photos outside and they nearly spun off the line!)

And in case anyone is wondering why I’m still posting about Hanukkah nearly a week after it finished… it’s because Hanukkah is unofficially running at our house until the end of December!

I admired my neighbours’ door wreaths late last year, and decided we needed something cheerful and seasonal as well.

Our front door has a wire mesh security screen which is absolutely perfect for attaching this chanukiah and magen David, which I made out of pipe cleaners.  I just twisted them together and used extra pieces to lash it to the screen.  The unlit candles all go on at the start, and then each evening of Hanukkah we add an extra “flame”.

The chanukiah is made of the fluffier pipe cleaners, the “candles” from striped ones, and the “flames” from gold metallic pipecleaners, as is the magen David. (Can you tell I love these things?)  I made this last year and put it away in my little (but growing) stash of Hanukkah decorations, and both my daughter and husband were so excited to see it back up again this year.   We will leave it up until the end of the year.


Fun crafts and activities for Jewish families with young children

A resource site for anyone who wants to share the joy of being Jewish with the children in their life.

Enjoy!