Chanukah Art

This year I had a goal of making all new Chanukah decorations for the house.  It’s now December 29th and Chanukah is over for the year and I can honestly say I somewhat met my goal. 

Growing up Christmas was my FAVORITE holiday!  I knew it wasn’t MY holiday, being Jewish and all, but my family celebrated a very secular form of Christmas… One tree, pretty lights, lots of ornaments, no Jesus, and a side of presents.  What’s not to like about that? We had our menorah upstairs (that we may or may not have forgotten to light) and our tree downstairs.  It was the best time of year. 

But I’m all grown up now with children of my own, and my husband and I do not celebrate Christmas.  So I’m left depressed this time of year as in the South, EVERYONE celebrates Christmas. No matter which way you look you see pretty Christmas decorations, and lots of happy people wishing you a Merry Christmas. 
To make matters worse, the makers of Chanukah decorations must think all Jews like the crappy classroom like paper decorations or the cheap window cling vinyl when getting ready to celebrate the Festival of Lights. Why do I think that? Well that is all that is in the store!!  It’s horrible!  Whole stores are dedicated to Christmas… Hobby Lobby starts their Christmas decoration display in July (I kid you not, JULY) and yet us Jews get one end cap of Publix, our local grocery store filled with candles and matzoh ball soup (when last I checked, the miracle of lights has NOTHING to do with matzoh ball soup).
Anyway…. so this year I decided to make (or buy) all new decorations for Chanukah.  I did take some creative license with decorations (that I will show at a later date) but for the most part we did ok.
I also wanted the kids to have a hand in our decorations.  So they will feel pride each year when the look at our pretty house, and so that in 20 years I can torment them in front of their future spouses when I talk about how cute they were painting in the nude (or something like that).
These are the two paintings that Avi (age 5) and Talia (age 2.5) created:
Chanukah Art by alreillygator
I really like these as they are something that was created by the kids with a little help from me, but yet we can see exactly what they are (rather than just another glob of paint on a piece of paper…. not that I don’t love those globs but we were going for a look here).
To create one of your own you need:
8″ x 8″ Stretched Canvas (found at your local craft store)
Acrylic Paint (I stuck with mainly several shades of blue, along with white, one pink and one purple)
Paint Brushes
Water and Towel (to clean off the paint brush between colors)
and if you are doing this with kids you need something to cover your work space (I use an old tablecloth) and something to cover them (I use a smock)
You will also need something to create the “mask.”  I used a Silhouette Cameo machine and Cricut Vinyl.
I am a proud owner of a Silhouette Cameo Machine.  I found two Chankuah designs (the menorah and the dreidel) in the Silhouette online store and cut them out of vinyl (I happened to have the Cricut brand on hand, but you can use clear contact paper and an exacto knife if you don’t have a Silhouette machine).For an 8 x 8 canvas I cut the designs out to be about 5″ x 5″
I the weeded the extra away so all I was left with was the design.  Using transfer paper I put the design in the middle of the canvas and pressed down super hard to get the vinyl to stay.
I then handed my kids each a canvas and some paint and told them to make sure they paint the entire canvas.  Once it was dry we peeled away the vinyl and the picture above is what we were left with.
The kids were thrilled at their paintings and I think they make a great decoration!  Let me know if you decide to make one – I’d love to see what you make!

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