I’m pretty stoked that Chanukah collides with Christmas this year. That fact that Chanukah arrives so late means that we can enjoy a “Chanukah Season,” and put up festive decorations for the entire month. I recently bought a beautiful, authentic mid-century sideboard for the entryway at the Raleigh Flea Market. The sideboard is the perfect setting for a Chanukah display. One problem: we have a toddler, and he can reach the top of it. I needed to figure out some toddler-proof holiday decorations, stat!
There were a few things I knew I could do without too much worry. I kept the menorahs in place with wood-safe tacky clay, and locked in bowls of gelt and our Ahavah wedding gift behind them so Sticky-Fingers couldn’t reach.
I also felt some greenery was important. I bought a cute metal rustic-looking planter at Costplus World Market. This area doesn’t get much light, but I read that snake plants do great in low-light areas. I know, I have one that I’ve managed to keep alive! I went to Home Depot to get a few and the only ones there were huge. I quickly pulled up “low light houseplants” on my phone and came across ferns. Of course! And the ones at Home Depot were small and cheap. Perfect! I slid the ferns straight to the back of the sideboard.
I got some twigs from the backyard and tied them together with twine in the same of a Star of David. Total cost? $0. I hung it from our mirror that we bought at a local antiques shop.
A paper vendor that works with my company gave us a Christmas gift of wrapping paper. Clever, right? I thought the paper would be super-Christmasy, but turns out it was all black, silver and gold. I loved it! Very chic. I made a dreidel garland according to this tutorial. If your family celebrates Christmas, this garland could also sub in as ornaments. Total cost: $0.
You can see in the photo below how we used the tacky clay to hold down the menorah. This menorah was a gift from my parents. They bought it on a trip to Utah, and it’s made by a famous artist. I think his last name is Rothschild, but I could be wrong. The Chanukah candles are from Target, and I love the stripes!
While I was at Costplus World Market I looked for Chanukah stuff. In Los Angeles, they always had a good selection. I looked and looked – even asked one of the employees. No Chanukah stuff in Raleigh. Then I went to check out and there were these bags of gelt, all of them featuring different currencies. I went for the Chinese coins and Euro coins.
On the lower shelf we placed some children’s books that are A-Okay for my son to pull down and read. His favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear.
So, do you want to know how to make those illustrious winter trees (or, Christmas trees for those who celebrate Christmas)? First, let me say that we don’t do Chanukah bushes in this house, and I in no way intended for these trees to look like Christmas trees, but I needed something that was sturdy, that the toddler could pull down, chew on and it wouldn’t hurt him. So, like I mentioned, toddler-proof holiday decorations. Better yet, I needed to make something out of materials I already had, so that if the bebe did ruin something, it wouldn’t be a big deal.
What you’ll need:
- Large card stock, or a sturdy-ish paper. Color doesn’t matter
- Scotch Tape
- Toilet paper rolls or Paper Towel Rolls
- Hot Glue Gun + Hot Glue
- Quilt Batting and/or Fabric of Your Choice (I have a big stock of fabric)
- Ribbon, Yarn, or whatever you want to use to decorate the outside of your tree.
Take your card stock and for it into a tight cone. Hole in place with scotch tape. With your paper tube, put hot glue around the edge at one end.
Put the paper tube inside the cone you made, glue side first, and press until it’s stuck in there. Cut the remaining card stock to be flush with the paper tube so that when you set it down the tree form is level.
Take the fabric you chose and glue one edge down the side of your tree form. Wrap around the form until completely covered. Cut the fabric and secure in place with your hot glue. Cut the fabric to be flush with the bottom of the tree form. Wrap in the ribbon or decorations you chose and secure in place with hot glue.
This craft cost me $0, looks great, and my kiddo can knock them down to his heart’s content. Not bad, eh? Keep this craft around and pin the pic below!