With the holiday of Sukkot right around the corner, designer, decorative artist, and local Jewish community member Donna Rubin shares six great tips for first timers or those updating their Sukkah decor.
1. Even if your sukkah is an aluminum-frame pre-fab kit, it's nice to decorate with a warm natural harvest look. Sort through all of the seasonal decorations that are available in stores now.
Hay bales stacked around the perimeter are great for extra seating. Gourds, dried corn, dried leaves, pine cones, corn stalks...etc can be tied in bundles from the ceiling.
2.Shop Christmas merchandise, also already available in stores. You can use fake pine boughs and garlands draped across the ceiling and corners of the sukkah. You won't have to worry about needles drying up and falling, and you can pack them up again for next year! You can also find tree ornaments in fruit, vegetable, or other natural themes, ready to be clustered and hung from the ceiling. Christmas string lights, plain, colorful or decorative, look beautiful along the perimeter of the sukkah frame, and add a festive glow at night For next year, go to the end-of-season holiday clearance sales and stock up on things for next year's sukkah!
3.Craft stores and floral supply stores (and sometimes dollar stores) have fake plastic fruit. It's much better than anything real that can start growing mold by the 3rd day outside! Rather than hang each piece sporadically along the ceiling, tie bountiful clusters of fruit together and hang them.
4. If you want to get a little more involved, collect acorns, buckeye chestnuts and pinecones in the parks and woods. Make a garland by drilling small holes in the acorns and buckeyes and string them along with the pinecones on heavy string, and drape them from the ceiling.
5. Children's art projects are always the best decorations! To make a changing display, you can hang them by clothespins to a heavy string or garland tied from the corners of the sukkah.
6. Donna's favorite--Craft stores carry flat unfinished wood cut-out shapes. Buy a large quantity of apples, pears, stars, or whatever you can find. Drill a tiny hole in each for the string and put them all into a big bowl with markers or paints. Invite your guests to take one, decorate it, sign it, and hang it up! You will have a beautiful collection of mementos of this sukkot surrounding you, which you can add to year after year!