A collection of scrapbooking items, including paper, glue, and custom cutting tools, fills a table. (Photo: Flickr.)

Arts and crafts

Every year, the Jewish festivals bring with them all kinds of fun foods and traditions. Our healthier traditional Jewish recipes will help you fill your table in style, but we've also gathered together some great activities to give your friends and family something to celebrate!

    Rosh Hashanah

    Apple print card

    What you’ll need:

    • apple cut in half
    • plastic fork
    • styrofoam tray or plates
    • poster paint
    • paper
    • glitter (optional)
    • markers or crayons

    Instructions:

    1. Put the paint onto the plates.
    2. Stab the rounded side of the apple with a fork to use as a handle.
    3. Dip the cut side of the apple into the paint.
    4. Stamp the apple onto the card.
    5. You can use the glitter while the paint is still damp.
    6. When the card dries, you can decorate it with crayons or markers and also put on any Rosh Hashanah greetings you would like.

    Family Rosh Hashanah greeting card

    What you’ll need:

    • construction paper
    • ruler
    • pencil
    • scissors
    • family member pictures
    • glue stick
    • markers

    Instructions:

    1. Draw a house with the number of windows that corresponds with the number of your family members. Use a ruler.
    2. To make the windows cut the top horizontal line and the bottom horizontal line, but don't cut the vertical lines.
    3. Cut the middle of the window so you can fold half the window left and half right to make flaps.
    4. Glue another piece of construction paper the same shape and size under the one with the cut windows.
    5. Glue pictures of the family in the windows or draw them.
    6. Write a Shana Tovah message on the outside of the card, such as on the roof.

    Yom Kippur

    Paper mache shofar

    What you’ll need:

    • paper towels (about seven or eight)
    • aluminium foil
    • newspaper (about 10 sheets)
    • poster paints or markers
    • glue

    Instructions:

    1. Tear the newspapers into small rectangular strips (about 2" wide and 4" long). Immerse these completely in a large bowl with 3/4 parts glue and 1/4 parts water.
    2. Leave the solution for about six hours, stirring occasionally.
    3. Rub the paper strips together to prepare a paper mache paste.
    4. Roll five or six paper towels together to form a hornlike structure.
    5. Wrap the horn completely with the aluminium foil and shape like a shofar.
    6. Cover the surface of the foil shofar completely with two or three layers of paper mache. Leave it for three or four hours.
    7. Cut the shofar in half before the mache dries fully. Remove the foil and again let the shofar dry.
    8. When the shofar has dried, apply glue to fix back the two halves. Allow it to dry for three or four hours more.
    9. When it has completely dried, embellish your paper mache shofar using the poster paints or markers you have.

    Tzedakah Box

    What you’ll need:

    • an empty cocoa box with lid
    • scissors
    • coloured paper
    • double-sided tape
    • glitter, markers and crayons

    Instructions:

    1. Clean the inside of the box you have.
    2. Cut a slit on the surface of the lid. Make sure that the slit is big enough to allow coins (even the largest ones) to pass through.
    3. Apply glue on all sides of the box. Wrap the construction paper around the box, covering all the surfaces, but make sure that you leave the slit uncovered.
    4. Decorate the construction paper using the glitter, markers and crayons.
    5. Now drop in the pennies you intend to donate and start filling up your Tzedakah Box.

    Succot

    Waterproof paper chains

    What you need:

    • file dividers which are made from very thin plastic

    Instructions:

    Simply cut the plastic file dividers into strips and staple or sticky tape together into chains.

    Simchat Torah

    Origami Torahs

    What you’ll need:

    • assorted rectangular pieces of paper per person (lightweight wrapping paper or origami paper cut into rectangles work well)
    • glue sticks (optional)

    Instructions:

    1. Fold the paper in half long-ways (like a hot dog).
    2. Open it back up, and lay it flat on the table.
    3. Fold one long side of the paper to the middle line and crease the side. Then fold the other side to the middle and crease the fold. The two sides should touch in the centre.
    4. About 1/3 of the way in from the short edge, put an index finger on the spot where the paper comes together and fold the top flap up to form a triangle.
    5. Keep your finger on that spot and fold the bottom flap down to form a triangle.
    6. Repeat this with the opposite side of the paper.
    7. To create the Atzei Chaim or Torah rollers, flip the paper over and, holding the short edge of the paper, make a small fold in towards the middle.
    8. Crease the fold. Take the new edge and continue folding the ”roller” two more times.
    9. Repeat on the other side.

    Tu B'shvat

    A cress and mustard garden

    What you’ll need:

    • cress and/or mustard seeds from any gardening shop
    • a flat, waterproof container such as an ice cream container lid or takeaway container
    • kitchen towelling cotton wool, or any other absorbent material that you can keep damp

    Instructions:

    1. Place kitchen towelling/cotton wool on a waterproof container and wet with water.
    2. Sprinkle with seeds. The more the merrier! (You can plant the mustard seeds four days later than the cress seeds if you want to harvest your crop together.)
    3. Cover the seeds with a sheet of paper until they germinate. It’s OK to peek. You will need to spray your seeds with water or gently moisten the paper towelling without disturbing the seeds.
    4. Place the container in a warm, sunny location, and your seeds will germinate in warm weather in only a few days.
    5. When most of the seeds have germinated, take the paper cover away.
    6. Rotate the container if you find the seedlings lean to one side in their search for light. 
    7. Harvest your mature cress and mustard, and use it in salads and egg sandwiches. 

    Purim

    Easy homemade noisemakers

    What you’ll need:

    • plastic bottles (with lid)
    • rice
    • dry lentils
    • uncooked pasta
    • buttons
    • craft bells
    • strong tape
    • ribbon streamers
    • food colouring
    • Ziploc bag

    Instructions:

    1. Add two or three drops of food colouring in a small Ziploc bag of rice. Don't worry! The rice will soak up the moisture with the colour.
    2. If you want to colour the pasta, it helps to add a little white vinegar to the food colouring and the bag before you put in the pasta. Then let the pasta dry on a tray until the colour is absorbed.
    3. Add buttons, bells and any other noisy items. 
    4. Secure the lid with strong tape and then decorate the outside of your noisemaker with curly ribbon streamers, glitter or colour pens.

    Pesach

    A paper Seder plate

    What you’ll need:

    • paper plates
    • pictures of the ceremonial foods placed on the Seder plate

    Instructions:

    1. Decorate plate.
    2. Cut out food pictures.
    3. Stick to the paper plate.

    Tie-dye pillowcase (to recline in style at this year’s Pesach Seder!)

    What you’ll need:

    • white pillowcase (at least 60% cotton)
    • rubber bands
    • colour fabric dyes
    • rubber gloves

    Instructions:

    1. Clear plenty of space.
    2. Mix the dyes according to instructions.
    3. Bunch the pillowcase up in a ball.
    4. Add rubber bands around the pillowcase to help create an interesting pattern.
    5. Dip the pillowcase into the dyes, starting with the lighter colours.
    6. Untie the pillowcase.
    7. Let it dry completely.

    Yom Ha'atzmaut

    Patriotic planters for Israel’s Independence Day

    What you’ll need:

    • unglazed terracotta planter
    • blue and white acrylic paints
    • paint brushes

    Instructions:

    1. Paint the rim of the flowerpot blue and the lower part of the pot white. Let the paint dry.
    2. Add a blue Star of David onto the white section of the planter.
    3. Plant seeds of your choice. (We recommend choosing some blue or white perennials.)

    Shavuot

    Paper flowers for Shavuot (option #1)

    What you’ll need:

    • coloured lightweight cardboard or stiff paper (or paint some white card/paper)
    • pipe cleaners
    • small beads (but large enough for the pipe cleaners to thread through)
    • bendable drinking straws

    Instructions:

    1. Cut out concentric circles from the cardboard. For the best effect, use different colours of paper and cut the edges with different types of scissors (like pinking shears). You can also scallop or fringe the edges of the circles.
    2. Stack the circles and pierce the centres.
    3. Cut the pipe cleaners into quarter lengths.
    4. Thread a bead into the middle of each length, then twist ends together. Poke this through the stacked circles.
    5. Cut the short end of the bendy straw so it is just long enough for the twisted bit of pipe cleaner to fit.  (Use the cut-off bits for straw bead necklace!)

    Cupcake liner flowers for Shavuot (option #2)

    What you’ll need:

    • cupcake liners in two sizes and various colours
    • paper doily (optional)
    • coloured dot stickers (optional)
    • straws

    Instructions:

    1. Flatten the wrappers and reverse them so that the coloured side is on the inside.
    2. Glue the smaller one to the centre of the larger one and draw a spot in the centre (or use a coloured dot sticker).
    3. Use sticky tape to attach to a straw.
    4. For an elegant variation, use a small paper doily as the back of the flower.

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