I’ve made these as gifts for friends, and sold them to people who’ve asked for them…these make great baby gifts for Chanukah — and if you don’t celebrate Chanukah, you just put the letters together for a nice new-baby present that can be displayed on a shelf. From making so many of these, here are some tips…
Gorilla wood glue
Candle cups (if you’re making a menorah)
Hot glue, hot glue gun
You can get alphabet blocks at any general merchandise shop (Target, etc)…and I used those early on — but the nicest blocks are made by Lindenwood / Uncle Goose brand, and they are made entirely in Michigan using American ink. Lindenwood makes different language blocks, and when I do a menorah using the baby’s Hebrew name, I use their Hebrew blocks. Look at how gorgeous those Chinese blocks are, too!
Now, you can even purchase the individual blocks from them if you want just enough to make a particular name, etc. And how fantastic are the braille blocks!? And since I’m not obviously not done extolling the virtues of these fantastic blocks, the Presidential blocks, the heiroglyphic blocks, and the elemental blocks are all pretty wonderful too.
Gorilla glue can be gotten at any hardware store.
If you’re making a menorah, the DIY/crafty version is to use hardware bolts. The nice way is to use candle cups like these.
There’s really no trick — Gorilla glue sets of three candles together, and clamp overnight, then the next day glue more on until you have the complete set done. Remember if you’re making a menorah to glue an extra block on top of either the middle or the last block so that you have a shamash. Then hot-glue on your nine candle cups (if you are putting the shamash on an end, put an extra block that will not have a candle cup on it *before* your shamash so there’s not one of the eight candles with flames so close to the base of your shamash candle — see the pic above).
If you decide to put the shamash in the middle of your menorah, think about gluing on a glass pebble so that middle candle will be higher.