This is a busy time of the year with several Jewish holidays so close together. But it is also a fun time of the year. One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating the sukkah. Over the years I have seen various ideas for sukkah decorations. I thought I would share a few of those ideas with you.
1) Children’s artwork: Throughout the year, I save my children’s artwork in a box or bag for that grade level. Then around the holidays, we pick our favorites from the year. I take those to OfficeMax and get them laminated. I prefer sheet lamination because it is sturdier. (If I am really on the ball, I also make a color copy of anything I laminate.) We add these new pieces to the artwork laminated from previous years. As we hang them, we weed out any pieces that we don’t have room for or are similar. We have found that 3M mounting strips work best to hang the laminated work. (Push pins often break and nails don’t always stay and are easy to bump into.)
For other three-dimensional artwork, you may need to wrap them in a plastic bag to protect them from the elements.
2) Rosh Hashanah cards: Some of our friends put up their holiday cards from the current year (ones you have received and your own) . I have seen some people make a collage and laminate that collage. Others use page protectors (however, this does not keep rain out very well).
3) Family photos: Another idea we have thought of doing and have seen in other friend’s sukkahs is decorating with family pictures. Some people choose to hang a current family portrait, while others make collages of various photos from throughout the year. I would recommend mounting these on scrapbook paper and laminating them as well.
4) Family handprints: Our wonderful next-door neighbors have the tradition of painting handprints on the walls of their sukkah. Every year each child adds their paint handprint with the date written next to it. It is neat to see the kids’ hands grow with the years (and the number of kids grow, too)!
5) Fall decorations: Another popular type of decoration is fall foliage and produce. Contrary to storybooks that mention using real produce, I recommend using fake plastic ones and hang them from the walls of your sukkah and your ceiling support beams. You can find them at dollar stores and craft stores at this time of year. Michael’s often has great coupons in their weekly sales fliers. Garden Ridge is also a great place to check. Check out the sales toward the end of the season.
A few other helpful tips for saving money and storing your decorations:
* Savings note for laminating: Roll lamination is cheaper than sheet lamination, but is not as thick. Price shop and see who is cheaper, your local teacher supply store or OfficeMax. If you use your MaxPerks card and a coupon from OfficeMax, they will most likely be your best bet on price.
* Storage tip: After the holiday, I wipe down all the artwork and put it in a plastic storage tub in our basement. Larger posters get rolled up or stored flat in the garage with the sukkah.
Please feel free to reply with any ideas of your own as well!