Make a beautiful dreidel garland
This crafty string of lights is a wonderful way to get kids involved with decorating for the Holiday of Light. This project requires time and patience, as it is quite detailed—nimble hands make easier work of it—but the results are well worth it! It should take you around two hours.
Material for a ten-dreidel garland
• Dreidel garland and Hebrew letter template (print here)
• 10 pieces cardstock in blues and silver or white
• Scissors or X-Acto knife
• 1/4-in/6-mm hole punch
• 1/8-in/3-mm hole punch
• Marking pen in metallic blue, silver or black (for Lettering Option 1)
• Glue pen (for Lettering Option 2)
• Paper plate
• Glitter (for Lettering Option 2)
• Clean, fine paintbrush
• Clear-drying glue
• String of clear lights, preferably in white, shorter length preferred, as making each dreidel takes time (a 10- to 20-light strand works best)
Cut out the dreidels
1 Copy the dreidel template and trace it onto cardstock. Using scissors or the X-Acto knife, cut out a dreidel from the cardstock. Fold along the lines to create the shape, folding the tabs as well.
2 Repeat this process to make ten dreidels.
Tip: To save time, you may want to cut out multiple copies of the dreidel at once. Stack a few pieces of cardstock together, paperclip the template on top, and cut, leaving extra allowance around the template. Fine-tune the shape of each dreidel one at a time.
3 Using the larger hole punch, align the template on top of the dreidel and make a hole in the center of the top panel.
4 Use the smaller hole punch to create a pattern of lines on the dreidel. Make four holes.
Make the Hebrew Letters (Options 1 and 2)
Option 1: Using your marking pen of choice and referring to the lettering template, write Hebrew letters across the sides of the dreidel.
Option 2: Follow the instructions for option 1 but use the glue pen. While the glue is still wet, hold the dreidel over the paper plate and sprinkle glitter on top. Shake the excess off, then let dry. Use the fine paintbrush to brush off any loose glitter that remains.
Tip: You may want to practice writing the letters on scraps of paper and, if you are using glitter, to test it with the glue pen before working on the dreidels.
Assemble the dreidels and garland
1 If you used glitter, discard any that remains on the paper plate and remove it from the paintbrush. Pour a small amount of glue on the plate. Using the brush, dab glue on the three tabs of the top edge piece, as well as the far left tab.
2 Start folding with the inside edge tab and work your way out, stopping when you have folded and glued the sides and top. You will have created a box, or dreidel with an open bottom. Set it aside to dry. Repeat with all the dreidels.
Tip: Be delicate when applying the glue; you don’t need a lot, just enough to hold the dreidel together. Using your thumb and index finger to apply momentary pressure to the tabs after gluing helps.
3 Use a similar process to close the bottom of the dreidel: Brush glue on the four remaining tabs. Fold, starting at the side with two tabs. When you have folded the last tab in and glued them all down to create a point, set the dreidel aside to dry. Repeat for all dreidels.
4 Using scissors or the X-Acto, make four small notches around the hole at the top of each dreidel. Hold the dreidel upside down at the corner and push the lightbulb stem halfway through, being very careful to not crack the dreidel open.
Tip: You want to see the bulb through the small holes punched at the top of the dreidel.
5 Continue along the strand of lights, skipping one or two lights, depending on the length of the strand. After attaching all the dreidels, hang the garland carefully and plug it in. The light should shine out from the holes in the sides, and the letters should sparkle, if glittered.
Caution: Be careful to not leave these lights on too long at one time.
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Excerpted from Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids, Copyright © 2011 by Jessica Strand. Photography by Aimee Herring. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.