Making a  Needle Point Driedal

Purchase a pre-printed pattern of Hebrew letters, then stencil on graph paper.

Color the printed pattern with colored pencils, crayons or markers to determine the design. Make solid colored panels, blocks of color, stripes it's limited only by your imagination.


Stitch as designed using your favorite needlepoint stitches. This design features a simple counted cross-stitch technique, working on one row at a time.


Continue to stitch until the design is filled in on the canvas as indicated by the pattern.



Cut around the perimeter of the stitched design, being careful not to cut the needlepoint then thread a loop of decorative braid, cord or ribbon into the center of the indicated square (the one without a letter design) to fashion a handle for the dreidel.

Fold the needlepoint cutout into dreidel shape and stitch the sides together using a blanket stitch to secure . If you stitched separate panels, line them up and place the bottom square with the loop handle in the center, then position the one of other four squares on each side of it. Secure with blanket-stitching. Stitch the four triangles together to form the top of the dreidel then connect the squares and triangles together.


There are a variety of needlepoint canvases and threads on the market. This dreidel was made using five-count plastic canvas, acrylic needlepoint yarn and metallic cord. It was stitched as a single unit, then folded and sewn together. The plastic canvas makes this dreidel functional, but the performance could be improved by stitching each panel seperately then sewing all the components together without using the folding technique.


Homemade Hanukkah Menorah

Families use a special, nine-pronged candelabra, called a menorah or hanukkiah, to light candles every night for the eight nights of Hanukkah. The ninth candle, which stands higher than the others, is the shammash or servant candle. It is used to light the other candles (so, technically, you light two candles on the first night, three on the second night and so on). It is customary for the candles to be placed in the menorah from right to left and lit from left to right. Making a menorah from self-hardening clay is an easy, fun project for kids to try. When it is complete, set the menorah on a windowsill for all to admire.

Self-hardening clay, about 1 1/2 lbs.
Butter knife
Hanukkah candles
Sheet of sturdy cardboard
Acrylic paint in assorted colors

On a clean work surface, roll the clay into a long cylinder with an even diameter of a little over an inch. Then, measure the cylinder and mark off 10 even lengths (about 1 1/2 inches each). Cut eight of these lengths, and leave the last two uncut (these will be the taller shammash). Cylinders may flatten when cut; gently reshape them if necessary. Using a Hanukkah candle, make a hole in one end of each cylinder, deep enough to hold a lighted candle. Again, reshape gently.

On the cardboard base, line up the cylinders side by side with the one for the shammash in the center. Gently press the sides of the cylinders together, using water to make them stick (some separation may occur when the menorah dries).

To decorate your menorah, roll out a thin coil of clay to twine around the bottom or sides. Alternatively, you can try adding stars or other clay shapes. To help clay decorations adhere to the menorah, brush both surfaces with water before attaching. Let the finished menorah dry for two or three days, then paint it in bright colors.