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Birch-Log Menorah

The original Hanukkah menorah, with its gracefully branching arms and almond-blossom-shaped cups, is often said to have resembled a tree. Our birch version, made even woodsier with ruffly dried shelf mushrooms, hearkens back to the beginning.

birch log menorah

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2020

Introduction

To illuminate it, tap in pressed-tin candleholder picks, which are similar to the clips used to light trees in the days before electricity. They're one of Living style editor at large Naomi deMañana's favorite holiday accessories (her godmother placed them on her fir each year)—and in this flickering formation, they'll be seen in a whole new light.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Hanukkah crafts and decorations.

materials

  • Hammer and nails

  • Hot glue gun and sticks

  • Advent wreath candleholders (32º North Advent Wreath Candleholders, in Silver, $12 for 10, vintage-ornaments.com)

  • Taper candles (Patrician Hand-Dipped Skinny Taper Candles, 10", in White, $13 for 12, amazon.com)

steps

  1. Start with a sturdy log, about 15 inches long, that lies flat and evenly. Using a hammer and nail, tap a small hole at the middle of the top.

  2. Hammer 4 more holes on each side of the center hole, spaced evenly.

  3. Push a candleholder's spike halfway down into the center hole (to ensure that the shamash is taller than the other candles). Hot-glue dried shelf mushrooms around the exposed spike to cover it. Push a holder into each of the remaining holes so they're flush with the log.

  4. Hot-glue more dried shelf mushrooms, dried moss, or both on the sides and bottom of the log, to cushion it and lend extra stability.

  5. Drip a little melted candle wax inside each holder, to help hold the candles upright, then insert the candles.

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