Make a kid-friendly menorah that won’t burn anyone! This menorah is perfect for toddlers and small kids who want to “light” the menorah candles each night of Chanukkah, but aren’t quite old enough to man the real flame yet. Pipecleaner flames are easy to add to and remove from the candles, so even very small kids can participate with this menorah!

I love the old fashioned wooden clothespins you can find at the dollar store for candles. I have purchased the clothespins three or four times in the past (way before I started this site!) and have never done anything with them! When I looked at them again, I knew I had to use them to stand in for the candles in this simple menorah project made from household items.

I used a recycled macaroni box for the menorah base, aluminum foil for the shiny candle holders, and curly pipecleaners for the flames.

Time needed: About an hour

Project Materials:

  • Macaroni box (recycled) or use a tissue box (on hand)
  • 9 wooden clothespins $1
  • Aluminum foil (on hand)
  • Blue and gold craft paint (on hand)
  • 5 yellow or gold pipecleaners/chenille stems $1
  • Blue paper or gift wrap
  • Additional decorations, if desired

Total Cost: $2 (supplies purchased will make 3 menorahs)


  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Knife
  • Tape or glue gun


1. Paint clothespins with blue paint. I did a wood-staining effect by rubbing the paint into the clothespins. Allow clothespins to dry while you work on the menorah.

2. Tape up the macaroni box so it’s closed. Mark off nine X’s evenly. My macaroni box was seven inches long, so I marked the first X half an inch from the edge and then marked each additional X every 3/4 of an inch.

3. Cut X’s with knife. Poke clothespin into each X to make holes. (I poked a pen into the X’s before I did the clothespins).

4. Cover macaroni box with paper. Poke clothespin into paper where each hole is in the macaroni box.

5. Decorate box as desired. I used gold paint and stamped a Star of David (carved out of an apple) on the front, but you could glue ribbon, buttons, or other ornaments. This is also a great step to let the kids help with – let them loose with paint, markers, stickers, etc.

6. Cut nine six inch long strips of aluminum foil (about half an inch to an inch wide). Roll each strip on one clothespin, leaving about half an inch of the bottom of the clothespin exposed. Glue these onto the clothespins if desired. I left my rolls unglued, but I secured them inside the clothespin when I started the roll. Also, I left my foil rolls somewhat loose to give a candleholder effect.

7. Push each clothespin into a hole in the menorah base.

8. Cut pipecleaners in half. Roll each pipecleaner half on a clothespin to make a curly flame.

Each night of Hannukah, put one curly flame on a clothespin to “light” the menorah!