Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Giving Gelt Gifts

Giving gelt for Chanukah? Presentation is everything so don't just put it in an envelope! Here are some fun, creative solutions...
1. Matchbox money gift
2. Origami money (I love how it's folded into a Star of David!)
3. Coins packaged in cellophane to look like candy rolls.
4. A "chocolate" sampler filled with money.
5. Candy bars tied up with dollars.
 
And...............after many years of blogging at designmegillah, the time has come to put it to rest. I'd like to thank the many readers who have been faithful followers as well as the other wonderful bloggers who have become virtual friends. Even though you won't find me here I'll still be posting on Instagram, Facebook, and selling on Etsy.  I'll keep this site up for all the holiday and DIY posts that many people still visit.
Thank you for four and a half wonderful years!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Chanukah Banner: Free Printable!

Banners are all the rage this year and here's one for Chanukah! It's a great way to bring the light of the holiday into your home and it's a free printable and easy to put together.
First, copy and paste the image at the end of this post and save it on your computer. Next,  e-mail it (as an attachment) to Staples or Kinkos and request a wide format, ink jet color print in a matte finish Mine is 13 inches wide.
Carefully cut out the banner and tape it onto a wood dowel. Add wood beads on the ends of the dowel and tie some twine to hang it from a hook or nail. 
In Judaism, light serves as the symbol of the good and the beautiful, of all that is positive.  The festival of Chanukah is expressed by the ceremonial lighting of candles, which increase daily in number – to symbolize how “light exceeds darkness” in the festival of victory, purification and historic upheaval. So...spread the light!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Matchbox Gift Boxes

Since our nieces and nephews are young adults, I usually give them gift cards for Chanukahbut that doesn't mean the cards just get stuck into a card and envelope.  This year I bought matchboxes from the supermarket and transformed them into pretty gift boxes. The size is perfect!
Here's how:
1. I found these basic kitchen Strike-on-Boxes at my supermarket and removed the matches.
2. After choosing my favorite patterned paper from the craft store, each one was cut to wrap around the box.
3. Next the backs were sprayed with spray mount adhesive.
4. Fill each box with shredded paper and chocolate gelt coins before placing the gift card on top.

These glitter foam shapes are designed for children's craft projects but work perfectly on my gift boxes.
Matchboxes are also the perfect size for small gifts like jewelry or to hold favors at your Chanukah celebration.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles are an easy roll-your-own treat that are so simple to make children can get into the act and have instant success! You'll need beeswax sheets from the craft stores or online, and a spool of wicking.

You'll need a total of forty-four candles to light your menorah every night. Beeswax candles are more adaptable to different sorts of menorahs since they're easy to pinch and shape at the bottom, unlike the boxed Chanukah candles that are sold everywhere.

Here's how:
1. Using an X-Acto knife and straight-edge ruler, cut wax sheets into 2 x 4-inch rectangles.
2. Cut wick into 5 1/2-inch lengths.
3. Warm wax with a hairdryer, until just a little soft.
4. Place the wick about 1/2 inch from one edge of the wax. Roll gently but firmly, sealing the final edge smooth.

Beeswax candles in the stores can be pricey but yours will cost a fraction of the price!
PHOTOGRAPH: SHAFFER/SMITH,  ILLUSTRATION: SUSAN BLUBAUGH

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Half Bath Makeover

We moved in to this house three years ago and FINALLY the half bath is done!  Most of the other rooms were done in less than a year, but I just couldn't make a decision for the walls in here. 
Then, I saw this wallpaper from Schumacher: Chenonceau  and knew that it was the one.  A powder room is an opportunity to do something more daring than you might do for the rest of the house and for me, this is daring!  I only covered one feature wall to save money since the paper was pretty pricey.

Here's a peak of the room when we first moved in...
A new vanity, toilet, mirror and lighting instantly updated the 1970's decor.  I found the mirror at Home Goods and the light is actually an outdoor fixture from Lowe's. Much less expensive than an interior light would be.

I painted everything white a few months ago to cover the raw plaster walls, after the old wallpaper came down, but now it was time for the wow factor.
 Just in time for the Thanksgiving crowd!  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Jewish Holiday Shop

Chanukah is just around the corner and I added some new items to my Etsy shop just in time to celebrate in style!

The first is this Star of David garland...
 the brown kraft paper adds an understated, natural touch to your holiday decor.
Also in the shop is the gelt garland I created for Houzz a few years ago. 
Many people told me they just don't have the time to create and they would rather purchase so here you go! 
Three styles of gift tags from last year are still in the shop...
as well as the best selling MIRACLES...
And how cute are these personalized tzedakah boxes as a Chanukah gift for your favorite little one?
Head over to the jewishholidayshop soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kosher Animal Menorah

There's a cute song our grandchildren sing about eating meat from only kosher animals. That song, inspired this fun menorah.
A trip to the toy store and hardware store was all it took to put this together...
Yes, the giraffe is a kosher animal!
As with any menorah, keep a close watch on this while burning—especially since these toy animals are not really designed to hold candles.
The kids will love this!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Etsy Shops from Israel

Did you know the design scene in Israel is bursting with talented artisans? (Check out this recent article in Vogue.)  With Chanukah right around the corner now is the perfect time to visit these talented Etsy shops and support the Israel economy. Here is a round up of just a few of my favorites. 

Anat Stein from StudioArmadillo studied industrial design and creates modern contemporary looks inspired by origami for Jewish iconic objects.
Orit Grader from GraderDesigns in Haifa makes beautiful mosaic like items like this brass menorah.
 This colorful Hamsa is made from Polymer clay from Mira Krispilat at Mirakris.
Sharon Carmi from meshup in Tel Aviv creates wonderful Hebrew typography items for the home like these pillow cases.
 Einat Garbar of Einadesign, also in Tel Aviv, makes charming Laser cut housewares.
 Yael Shoham from Kartiv in Baẖan, Israel creates beautiful jewelry influenced from Israel. 
David Fisher from DavidFisherArt in Jerusalem produces amazing paper-cut art like this Tree of Life.

Happy Shopping! 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chanukah Door Decor

This Chanukah, greet your visitors with a festive dreidel bouquet, right at the front door.
If you've been reading my blog for a while you've seen these paper dreidels time and time again. I've used them from everything to garlands, favor boxes, hanging in a doorway and heaped in a basket.  Click on this post on paper dreidels (and find the template, too.)
I used five different shades of blue scrapbook paper and a gold paint pen to color in the Hebrew letters. Since they are made of paper, this works best with a door protected from the rain and snow.  Command strips work well to hang this and afterwards you can remove without damaging the paint. 
 Tie them together with a silky ribbon and you're done!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The New/Old House: The Master Bedroom

The children's rooms have been done since the summer (you can see the girl's room here and the boy's room here) but the master bedroom has been untouched since they moved in over a year ago.  Our plan is to finish this room over the next few months. We've done a bit so far and here is the game plan.
 1. This Craig's list dresser is in great shape. It will get a fresh coat of white paint and corner hardware to transform it into a campaign dresser.
2. The walls will get a coat of light gray paint...still trying to find the best color.
3. West Elm's Organic Stamped Duvet cover. 
4. We'll DIY a tufted headboard like this one and use an inexpensive Ikea bed frame.
5. This herringbone cotton rug is a great look at a great price! 

That's step 1 —step 2 will be adding color with accessories and pillows. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The New/Old House: The Foyer "Wallpaper"

Although the foyer of this house is mostly wood wainscoting, there was enough wall above it to do something dramatic. This Osborne and Little Coronata Star wallpaper was our first choice but we had to come up with a way to get that look for a fraction of the price.
We painted the walls and ceiling Benjamin Moore's Nimbus Gray--it's a beautiful blue/gray. (The original plan was to carry the stars onto the ceiling but I'm not sure my neck could take all that craning so for now it's just covering the walls.)
We found gold vinyl stars from this Etsy shop and stuck them on the walls in a pattern so it looks like wallpaper.

The stars would look great continuing up on the ceiling, but....we'll see!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Bar Stool Makeover

Although I've painted and upholstered countless pieces of furniture over the years, I'm always amazed at the results after a little paint and some new fabric.
I've been wanting new bar stools for a while. After we finished remodeling the kitchen two years ago I bought some inexpensive stools online. They were okay, but not very comfortable and when our grand children came to visit I was always nervous having them sit on backless stools. Here's a peek of the old stools...
This summer our local Habitat Restore opened and while looking around I spotted these stools for $40 a piece!
They were in perfect shape and super comfortable compared to what I already had. I brought them home in June and last week I finally got around to painting and recovering the seats.
They really changed the look of the kitchen too!
I found one yard of fabric on the clearance table at Calico Corners which was just enough to cover all three stools.
So much better!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The New/Old House: A First Floor Bathroom

In case you missed the post back in August, I explained how we were transforming a coat closet into a much needed bathroom. It's just about done and here is the reveal.
(There is no window in this room which make it tricky to photograph.) 
A tiny sink fits perfectly in the small space and exposed copper plumbing not only saved time and money but fits perfectly with the vibe of this very old house.  The walls were given a two tone paint treatment and whimsical artwork covers most of it.

Here is a reminder of what it looked like when we started...

 Almost all the frames were Goodwill finds under $6.00

some filled with Etsy artwork,
while others are campus maps of the four schools Chabad Nation covers.  No more shelping up to the second floor!
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