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Celebrate Hanukkah with a Beautiful DIY Olive Oil Menorah

Rita Milos Brownstein, author of Jewish Holiday Style (Simon & Schuster, 1999), created this DIY menorah project to highlight what the menorah symbolizes: the ancient story of the oil that was said to burn for eight days when it was only supposed to last for one.

Children will love making this menorah, which consists mostly of items you may already have.

Here's what you'll need:

    • glass votives

    • watercolor paints or food coloring

    • olive oil

    • floating wicks (find at a local Judaica store) or order online, here.


  1. The first step is to pour water in each of the glass cups so they all have equal amounts of water.
  2. Next, add a few drops of paint to each one.
  3. After each cup has colored water, add the olive oil. Don't buy special candle oil—olive oil from your kitchen is perfect.
  4. Pour about 1/2 of an inch in each to burn for thirty minutes. The oil will rise to the top.
  5. The floating wicks float right on top of the oil. Make sure the cork side is facing down.

The shamash, or helper candle, is a regular Hanukkah candle sitting in a shot glass filled with kosher salt.

So, let there be light!