Want to wow your relatives with your DIY skills this holiday season? Start a new tradition by updating a classic decoration. That’s just what we did with this menorah, which we made with copper pipes to give it an ultra-modern feel. Not only will lighting the nine-branched centerpiece be more special since you made it, but it’ll be so cool to see the entire fam gathered around a brand new holiday heirloom. Feeling warm and fuzzy yet? Forty dollars, some elbow grease and a healthy amount of super glue will get you there and leave your mantle a-glowing… and your Bubbe in awe, especially if you go the extra mile and dip dye your candles.
– 5 ft of 1/2-in copper pipe (type M, if you want to get technical) that you will cut into:
three 4-in pieces
two 3 1/2-in pieces
eight 3-in pieces
nine 2-in pieces
– nine 1/2-in copper tees
– one 1/2-in copper coupling
– nine candles
– pipe cutter
– super glue
1. Starting at one end of the copper pipe, measure and mark each length you need to cut. These are:
-three 4-in pieces
-two 3 1/2-in pieces
-eight 3-in pieces
-nine 2-in pieces
You will use every piece of the 5-ft pipe, so measure carefully!
2. Now cut the pipe along each marking. Follow the instructions found on your pipe cutter packaging to operate, or have the pipe pre-cut at your local hardware store.
3. Once all of your pieces are cut and organized by length, set them to the side and gather your nine copper tees, nine 2-in pipe pieces and two 3 1/2-in pipe pieces.
4. Sort six pieces of 2-in pipe and five tees. Apply super glue to one end of a 2-in piece and insert it into the side of a tee. Continue this assembly until you run out of parts, applying glue to every pipe end that will be inserted into a tee. Make sure that the top openings of your tees all point in the same direction, or your candles will point out in all different directions! The finished piece should look like this:
2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe
5. Sort both 3 1/2-in pipe pieces, three 2-in pipe pieces and four tees. Apply super glue to one end of a 3 1/2-in piece and insert it into the side of a tee. Then apply super glue to one end of a 2-in piece of pipe and connect it to the piece you just built. Add glue to this open end and add on a tee. Continue this assembly order with the remaining pieces of 2-in pipe, then finish the build by putting super glue on one end of the last 3 1/2-in piece and inserting it into the open tee. Make sure that the top openings of your tees all point in the same direction, or your candles will point out in all different directions! The finished piece should look like this:
3 1/2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 2-in pipe | tee | 3 1/2-in pipe
6. Position both rows of pipe so that they’re lined up horizontally (the two pieces should end up being the same lengths). Then attach a 90 degree elbow to each end with super glue. Make sure the ends point inward.
7. Connect the pieces by attaching two 4-in pieces of pipe between the elbows with super glue.
8. Press the base down onto the table in order to make sure it’s flat.
9. Gather your eight 3-in pipe pieces. Add super glue to one end and place one in every opening on the side of the base with four tees, and in the two outer openings on the side with five tees.
10. Grab your remaining 4-in pipe piece, add super glue to one end, and place it in the center opening for the Shamash (the middle candle in the back row).
11. Gather all of your copper couplings. Attach all of the 3/4-in couplings to the 3-in pipes with super glue. Finally, attach the 1/2-in copper coupling to the center 4-in pipe. Let completely dry.
12. Once dry, insert your candles.
Start by grabbing a ruler and measuring the various cuts listed above. Make a noticeable mark where each cut needs to be.
Now cut each piece along the marking. Follow the instructions on the packaging of your pipe cutter, or if you have a mini tubing cutter like ours, here’s how to use it: line up the cutting disk with the Sharpie mark. Tighten the cutter around the pipe using the knob on the bottom. Rotate the pipe cutter around the pipe one full turn. Tighten the knob a bit and rotate again. Continue tightening and turning until the pipe cuts all the way through. Keep repeating this process for the remainder of all other lengths you need. We recommend organizing them by length as you go.
Now build the base of your menorah using your nine copper tees, nine 2-in pipe pieces and two 3 1/2-in pipe pieces. Start off with the easy row of six 2-in pipe pieces and five tees: just superglue one end of the 2-in pipe into the side of a tee and continue until you’ve used up all of those pieces. Then move on to assembling the second row of two 3 1/2-in pipe pieces, three 2-in pipe pieces and three tees. Start by glueing the longer pipe to a tee, then adding on a 2-in pipe to the other side of the tee. Use up all your 2-in pieces and tees, then finish the row with the last 3 1/2-in pipe. The two pieces should end up being the same lengths.
Line up the rows and then attach 90 degree elbows onto each end, making sure they point toward each other. Now connect the two pieces by adding two 4-in pipe pieces into the elbows. At this point, make sure the base of your menorah is flat by pressing it down on a level table.
Now that you’ve made your base, add the pipes that will act as the branches. Glue the remaining eight 3-in pieces inside every tee except for the center tee. That’s reserved for the final 4-in pipe.
Now glue on your copper couplings so that the candles will fit in each branch. Use the bigger coupling on the bigger center pipe. Insert your candles and mazel! You’ve made your own menorah. Just add the candles and set it out on display.
We love the idea of sparking your own traditions around the holidays, especially for those far away from your families or even those starting families of their own! We love the unmistakably modern look of this menorah — copper is so chic. To be even more festive, you can spray paint plain old pipe gold and fill each branch with a blue dipped candle. *We’d* even go the extra mile and create an ombre of blues on every candle. Already something to look forward to next year!
Happy Hanukkah folks!
Do you have a creative menorah? Share a pic with us on Twitter or in the comments below.