Seasonal origami projects are a great way to celebrate special occasions throughout the year, including Hanukkah. Whether you're looking for projects to make with your child during the Festival of Lights or want to create unique Hanukkah greeting cards to send to your Jewish friends, this article will give you a few inspirational ideas to consider.
Making an Origami Dreidel
An origami top can be used as a dreidel because it has four sides to use for the nun, gimel, hei, and shin symbols. Review our How to Make an Origami Top article to learn how to fold this paper toy.
You can also make a more traditional looking origami dreidel by folding the model designed by Joshua Koppel that is featured on page 4 of the December 1, 2001 edition of Scaffold, a newsletter for origami enthusiasts.
If you want to make a flat origami dreidel to use as a decoration for a card, you can find complete instructions on the Camp Hanukkah PDF guidebook from the Jewish Camp website. Our Easy Origami Envelope Pattern shows you how to make an envelope from 12 inch scrapbook paper, if you want to have Hanukkah themed envelopes as well.
Making an Origami Star of David
An origami Star of David is a lovely topper for an exploding box card. Origami Instructions has a tutorial for an easy star that you can make. This model requires a few cuts, however, so check out the Origami Resource Center website if you'd prefer a "pure" origami version of the project.
If you're an advanced paper folder looking for a challenge, YouTube user barbabellaatje has an excellent video tutorial for a Star of David with a center that has a woven look. The design was featured in a book by Japanese origami artist Kunihiko Kasahara.
If you're not Jewish and you're trying to make a gift for a friend who celebrates Hanukkah, it's a good idea to avoid any money origami projects. The yellow star patches that Jewish men, women, and children were forced to wear in Nazi Europe came about in part because of the stereotype that Jewish people were unethical and immoral in their pursuit of financial gain. Bible Belt Balabusta has an interesting personal commentary that explains in greater detail why money origami is best left for another time of the year.
General Hanukkah Crafts
Activity Village has a lovely printable booklet that you can use to help children learn more about the history of Hanukkah. Visit our How to Make an Origami Booklet tutorial to learn more about how to fold an origami booklet.
If you are going to pass out wrapped chocolates, decorated cookies, or other sweet treats, it's easy to have children fold a tiny gift box from a square of blue wrapping paper with a Hanukkah print. Free Kids Crafts has instructions for a simple traditional masu box that you can use during the Festival of Lights.
Books with Jewish Origami
Popular origami author Florence Temko wrote two books detailing origami projects that reflect the Jewish faith. Jewish Origami 1 was published in April 2000. The sequel, Jewish Origami 2, was published in September 2008. These books are no longer being sold as new copies, but you may be able to find used versions online.
Jewish Holiday Origami by Joel Stern is another worthy addition to your reference library if you're looking for creative projects to make in honor of Hanukkah. This guidebook for beginners was first published in May 2006. It shows you how to make 24 different models appropriate for various Jewish holidays, including dreidels, a menorah with candles, and Passover pyramids. When packaged with an assortment of blue, white, and silver origami paper, this would be a lovely Hanukkah gift for any origami enthusiast.