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Oct 18, 2012 / Gallery / Web Design

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Oct 18, 2012 / Facebook / Gallery

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Oct 18, 2012 / Gallery

A Sukkah Decorating Story

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot was always a favorite of mine growing up. I distinctively remember my Mom draping the four Sukkah walls with white sheets and covering every conceivable surface with tinsley decor in greens and reds and gold. These were disposable and no doubt  intended for Christmas, especially the bright flashing lights we hung throughout the ceiling. By the time we were done I felt our sukkah was the brightest, shiniest and most adorned on the block.

Fast forward 20 years later, I am exposed to my in-laws more refined version of Sukkah decorating. The colors are autumn…rich oranges, reds and dark leafy greens. Think thanksgiving with dried corn and grapes hanging from every corner. There is no tinsel. Their decor is meant to last and to be carefully packed away every year.

I was lucky enough to inherit their decor (It can get pricey) so year in and out my Sukkah theme became an autumn harvest copy of my in-laws with a few additions every year.

Then one day I spotted online a picture of a Sukkah that blew me away. It woke me up to the realization that I don’t need to do the same thing year in and year out. That I can decorate this temporary space to my liking and there are no rules that say it must be autumny or shiny. So I was on a mission.


Problem was it was the Thursday before Yom Tov. I had 4 days (one of which was Shabbat) to pull this together. In addition I still had to cook…
What does a determined girl, bored with my old decor and ready for a change do?

My canvas Sukkah’s biggest issue was the walls. Blue …traditional… but not jiving with my theme. So I called up the owner of the Sukkah that originally inspired me Sharon Langert (AKA. Fashion-Isha) to find out where she got her fabulous black and white fabric. To make a long story short, she graciously offered to lend it to me and since we had plans to meet at Jezebel Thursday night for drinks, she schleped the fabric with her from Lakewood.

The next morning (Friday) I showed it to my husband who didn’t seem so enthusiastic about this sukkah redo project. His only request was that I not destroy our Sukkah by punching holes in the walls and that I have some Jewishness in the theme and not just try and turn it into a copy of the W hotel. So I racked my brain on how to hang heavy canvas without destroying the walls and my creative friend Breezy of Breezy’s suggested Fishing Wire and bendable wires.

Since I have poles going across the tops of my Sukkah walls I made tiny holes in the fabric with the wire and wrapped it around the poles like shower curtains. It worked great!

I spent an hour at the Party Store looking for chandelier art and paper balls and at Michaels purchasing other things that works with my theme.   Saturday night I went out again to Michaels and purchased inexpensive wood frames and gold spray paint, checkered duct tape and foam balls, glitter and glue. I envisioned hanging glittery balls throughout, but when I went next door to TJ Max I spotted gold glitter pears for a fraction of the cost without me having to work…I got as many as they had. I found some gold snowflakes in the x-mas section and a clip board I thought would look cute and that I can reuse in the house. I found an old gold mirror in my house that worked perfectly along with a checkered clock.

my supplies.

Saturday night I began to decorate until the wee hours and Sunday my kids joined in and within a few hours we were done! My vision complete.

I even held up to my side of the bargain and put up all my jewish posters (with checkered duct tape frames) and my kids art (displayed in the spray painted gold frames and the clipboard.)


I must admit that going to Jezebel Thursday night inspired me as well. Their decor is so eclectic and tongue in cheek.  My favorite was there shofar chandelier made of… you guessed it…shofars.

And so I made a black leaf chandelier made of the fake leaves I purchaseed originally for my vase.

My friend Rachel loaned me her Missoni by Target black and white dish collection and hand towel and my Sukkah was complete.

The only bummer was that it rained the day I actually was going to use it and my company ate in my dining room.

But I proved to myself that I can do it, and I can do it quickly at minimal cost (with the help of my generous friends). I also proved to myself that my Sukkah can change with my taste and I look forward to many years ahead of expressing mine and my children’s creativity through this beautiful Mitzvah. Hopefully next time the weather will hold, but regardless it was fun!

So if you get in the mood one year to shake things up…go for it! Think of a color theme or style and have fun! Visit your local craft stores for inspiration, search the web, borrow or search your home for things you already have and work around it. Most of all enjoy this incredible holiday month to it’s fullest!

Happy Sukkot everyone!

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Oct 5, 2012 / Musings