Mug Makes! A Minimalist Menorah


Our family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. Since our first Hanukkah celebration when Mini Mug was just 5 months old, we’ve used a menorah that I made when I was just 3 years old. We fondly refer to it as the “Poo Menorah”…


I would never retire the Poo (much to Mr. Mug’s chagrin), but I thought a co-menorah might be fun, balance out his blobbiness (honestly, Poo menorah, I really do love you), with a sleek and modern design.


You can find the wood at Home Depot. They will cut the length you need. You’ll have to pay for the whole piece, but at $3.29, I think it’s OK. Save it for another project. Or make multiple menorahs and give them as gifts.

Below, I’ve included a PDF template that you can use for placement of the candle holes. It prints out on a standard letter-sized sheet and then you can trim using your scissors. It also has the measurements for the holes, if you’d rather use a ruler.

candle holes template.pdf

Tape the template onto your lightly sanded wood piece. I suggest a sanding just to ensure there are no rough edges or small splinters sticking out.


You’ll want to mark your drill points using the hammer and nail. This will help you get your drill started, and help avoid it slipping on the wood.


Once all 9 of your drilling spots have been marked, you are ready to drill. Remove the template but don’t discard yet. We’ll use it later to mark for our painting.


Because my drill bit is smaller than a candle, I had to rock it around to enlarge the hole.

One the left shows drilling straight down, on the right you can see it’s larger:


Continue until all your holes have been drilled.


Now you’ll want to lightly sand away any roughness to prepare for your paint.


In order to get into your holes, cut a small strip of sandpaper, roll it tight enough to fit, and rotate it back and forth inside your drill holes.

Smooth and ready for the final steps.


Now we will seal the wood so our paint doesn’t bleed, and so the melted wax is easier to remove from the menorah.

I used 2 coats Mod Podge but you could use any water-based (read, non-flammable) sealant for wood.


^^ Set up to dry.I knew those little red color cups from beer pong would come in handy.

Once your sealant has dried, your ready for our final step – adding a little Hanukkah bling.

Using the template again, you can mark the spot for our paint. I like the simplicity of the silver block at the end, but feel free to paint however you’d like.


Mark this on all for sides of your wooden piece, and then wrap a piece of the washi tape around, making sure it is firmly pressed at the edge you will be painting.


Using your silver paint marker (or paint and a brush would work just as well), starting on the tape and moving to the left, color in your masked area. This helps the paint to not seep under the tape.


Continue moving your pen in this one direction until you’ve covered your edge.


Let your paint dry for a few minutes and then you can slowly remove your tape.



When inserting your candles, you may need to quickly run a flame over the ends to help them settle into the holes. I had one or two that needed a little assistance.



Once your candles have burnt almost to the end, you’ll want to extinguish them before the reach the wood. You can also place a bit of aluminum foil under your candle as a safety precaution. You should easily be able to pop the melted wax off for your next night.

I just love the simple and modern look of the menorah. I hope you’ll make and enjoy your 8 nights of Hanukkah with a little help from Mug Makes!


Happy Hanukkah to you and yours!

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