by Laurie Bellet
I tend to consider my Sukkah decorating plans twice a year. Once is, of course, several weeks prior to Sukkot and then again just after Sukkot, making notes for an even lovelier Sukkah the next time the holiday comes around. Either way, this seems a good opportunity to share a variety of materials that are weather resistant and certain to dazzle your Sukkot guests:
Computer Disks: all those CD’s you get in the mail or that can’t be written can become beautiful, reflective decorations. Use Tacky Glue to decorate them with sparkling beads and gems. Add some shiny stickers. Thread your string through the hole to hang. If you glue two of them together, you can have a decorated, shiny side facing out no matter which way the wind blows.
Waterproof Origami Paper: Sold in most craft catalogs, this paper folds just like ordinary origami paper yet, it is waterproof!
Pie Plates: Punch holes in the rim of disposable foil pie plates. Thread beads and bells and hang in the Sukkah! You can also decorate the pie plate with Sharpie markers and stickers.
Craft Tooling Foil: This is a heavy duty foil available from craft catalogs. You can cut it with a heavy duty scissors. It is best to put colorful masking tape along the edges which can be sharp. Use a pointed dowel or a pencil to engrave designs into the foil (put a few layers of newspaper underneath so you can make a deep imprint). You can hang beads and decorate just like with the pie plates! If you cannot get tooling foil, you can buy disposable foil cookie sheets at the market to use in the same way.
Wire: Wire comes in all widths and colors. You can purchase it at hardware stores and from craft catalogs. Cut it with a heavy duty scissors and bend it into all sorts of designs. For extra fun, thread it with beads. To create a spiral, wrap the wire around your index finger and slide it off.
Craft Sticks: Glue ordinary craft sticks together with Carpenter’s Glue. Add tiles, shells and beads.
Strawberry Baskets: Hang these upside down. Cut the tooling foil or disposable cookie sheets into small shapes; punch holes and string them from the strawberry baskets. Consider stringing bells, nuts, bolts and washers instead of more traditional beads. When the wind blows they will make noise. You can also twist wire around the basket for a truly unique look.
Giant Pipe Stems: Available in a class pack from Lakeshore, these giant puffy pipe stems are an exciting alternative to the paper chain. It appears that age is no limitation to the enjoyment of twisting these into the longest chain possible.
Wood Discs: Available from many craft catalogs, wood discs resemble a large branch cut into thin tree rounds. They come with a hole ready for stringing and can be decorated with all manner of collage materials. (Remember to use the Carpenter’s Glue for these!)
Sun-catchers: Plastic sun-catchers, sold in catalogs and craft stores can be painted with glass stain, acrylic paint or colored with Sharpie markers.
Fun Foam: You can cut fun-foam sheets into any shape you like. Decorate using self-stick fun foam shapes or by gluing other fun foam shapes (Carpenter’s Glue). Fun foam strips can be made into chains by stapling or stitching them together.