How to Make a Birch Branch Menorah

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Although the lighting of the menorah candles has been a Hanukkah tradition for centuries, styles of actual menorahs vary wildly, and they are not necessarily so traditional. This DIY menorah made from a birch branch and copper tubing combines rustic charm with an industrial aesthetic that will be sure to light up your Hanukkah celebration.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Things You'll Need

  • 1/4-inch copper tube
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Tube cutter
  • Birch branch, about 16 inches
  • Two smaller birch branches, about 6 inches
  • Drill with 3/8-inch bit
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 5/16-inch washers
  • Hanukkah candles
(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 1: Mark the Copper Tube

The actual candle holders of the menorah will be created from 1/4-inch copper tubing, which you can find in the plumbing aisle of home improvement stores. Using a pen and a ruler, mark the copper tubing at 1-inch intervals so you have eight 1-inch sections and one 3-inch section.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 2: Cut the Copper Tubing

Using a tube cutter, which you can usually find in the same aisle as the copper tubing, cut the copper at the points that you marked so you have nine pieces — eight that are 1-inch and one that is 3 inches. If you've never used a tube cutter, it's fairly easy to maneuver. Place the copper tube in the cutter, tighten the screw and spin the cutter. The blade in the spinning cutter carves into the metal until the piece is loose enough for you to snap off.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 3: Drill Holes in the Large Branch

If you don't have birch branches in your yard, you can usually purchase them in bunches at crafts stores. At my local store, standard birch branches are 16 inches long, which is a good size for the menorah. Using a power drill with a 3/8-inch bit, drill nine holes spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. The 3/8-inch bit will create holes that are perfect for the 1/4-inch copper tube sections.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 4: Attach the Legs

The two smaller birch branches will be the legs of the menorah supporting the longer branch. Turn the longer branch upside down so the holes you drilled are on the bottom. Then nail the two smaller branches about 4 inches from the end of the longer branch at a perpendicular angle.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 5: Insert the Copper Sections

Place the nine copper sections you've cut into the nine holes you drilled, with the longer 3-inch copper piece in the middle position for the chamash candle. The copper pieces should fit snugly in the holes. If any are loose, use a hammer to gently lock them into place.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 6: Add Metal Washers

To prevent candle wax from dripping onto the branch, slide a metal washer through each copper piece. Look for metal washers with a 5/16" opening, which will slide easily through the 1/4-inch tubes. The washers will act as bobeches, also known as drip cup rings, that collect any drips from your candles.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

Step 7: Insert Candles on Appropriate Days

Place candles in the copper holders each day according to tradition. If your candles are thicker than the openings, shave off a little from the bottoms before inserting them.

(Image: Jonathan Fong)

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