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Sukkot is (almost) here…
We sit in the Sukkah for 7 days – just like our Jewish ancestors did in the desert after they left Egypt.
Or is it…?
Well, that depends:
- … Is your Sukkah so boring and dull that you can’t imagine spending 7 minutes inside, let alone 7 days?
- … Or is it so fun, beautiful and appealing that you could easily stay there all day, every day? (and forget all about your cozy little bed?)
If you like the sound of the second one – then you’re in the right place!
In this guide – not only will you learn how to decorate a Sukkah… but you’ll also discover the best Sukkah decorations that’ll convince your friends & family to flock over to your Sukkah (and not run off to your neighbor’s Sukkah instead).
Pssst: I might even show you how to make the kids do most of the work while you’re chilling on the beach drinking Mojitos (just kidding… or am I? 😈).
Table of Contents
Quick & Easy Sukkah Decorations
Let’s start off with the best (and easiest) Sukkah decorations that’ll bring any Sukkah to life. These decorations can turn your Sukkah from an “oy vey” Sukkah into an “oh WOW” Sukkah (that’s not really Yiddish, I just made that up) in a matter of minutes.
Plus, they’re cheap! AND you can re-use them next year (and the year after that, and the year after that)… now that’s what I call a great investment!
Tip: I included a bunch of Sukkah decoration ideas in this section. You don’t have to get every single one of them. In fact, you shouldn’t. Cheap as they are, your bill will grow quickly if you keep stacking up more and more decorations. Remember: everything in moderation (including moderation).
You’d probably want to decorate your Sukkah with Sukkot-themed chains and garlands.
Now, you can either make those chains yourself (and by that – I mean let the kids do it…which I’ll talk about later) or buy ready-made garlands, or have a combination of both.
Bottom line is: you wouldn’t believe how much “life” these lovely garlands add to the Sukkah.
Here’s a list of my favorite ones:
- Etrog garland
- Bag of hanging Pomegranates
- Mixed fruit garland (apples, lemons, oranges, pears, and even pineapples)
Chandeliers? Are we moving into a castle or something?
Relax, it’s not that kind of chandelier (although you probably can hang those too).
I’m talking about smaller, decorative chandeliers for a Sukkah.
As you may guessed – these chandeliers don’t exactly emit light. They’re purely decorative.
What’s that? You want lights in your Sukkah?
Then you didn’t you say so…
Grapes! Grapes everywhere!
The sweetest member of the Seven species gets a premium seat in every Sukkah. So it only makes sense to give it a premium seat on our list, too.
Hang a few of these plastic grape clusters (each cluster has 56 grapes) for a sweet atmosphere.
Just don’t try to bite them, m’kay?
Too many birds flying above (or inside) the Sukkah is normally a cause for concern. The last thing you need is birds “dropping souvenirs” during your meal.
Not these (decorative) birdies though. They’re disciplined! They just sit still and look all cute and pretty!
Light up the Sukkah!
If you’re planning on inviting guests over for dinner, your Sukkah needs to be “lit” (pun intended).
Not so fun to sit in the Sukkah in the dark, now is it? (and scary too!)
There are plenty of cool ways to light up your Sukkah and decorate it at the same time:
- You can hang these cute Sukkah grape lights
- Alternatively, enter full-on “Christmas mode” with these cool Jewish decoration lights.
- Or hang a bunch of decorative foil lanterns like these Star of David lanterns and Ushpizin lanterns (they’re not a replacement for real light though).
Sukkah Table Decorations
We’ve decorated the Sukkah all nice and well.
But what about the table? Doesn’t it deserve a few “tweaks” too?
Let’s have a seat and see what we can do…
First things first.
Before you even begin setting the table, first cover it with this beautifully designed Sukkot table runner. It’s small enough to fit smaller tables. And if you have a larger Sukkah? Well, use multiple table runners 🙂
Now that’s how you make your Sukkah table stand out… and we haven’t begun decorating the table yet.
If you’re setting the dinner table in the Sukkah – you might as well set it in style with these Emanuel’s pomegranates bowls.
Why not draw creative inspiration from Israel’s most popular Judaica designer? I bet he knows a thing or two about designing and decorating a beautiful Sukkah.
And this time it’s not just with pomegranates… there are birdies, too!
Tip: It’s also an excellent Sukkot gift in case you’re invited to someone else’s Sukkah.
After all, pomegranates aren’t exclusive to Rosh Hashanah. The Pomegranate is also a key member of the seven species of Israel, and therefore a common Sukkah decoration.
You can use it on Sabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot and any Jewish holiday throughout the year.
Who knew Challah could look this good!
Tip: You don’t have to use a Sukkah-themed Challah board. Any Challah board will do.
Salads are abundant in every Sukkah table. Pomegranate salad servers, however? You won’t find these in many Sukkahs.
Here’s your chance to stand out: make your guests serve their food the “Sukkot way”. Sure, salads aren’t as yummy as burgers (or insert favorite junk food here), but with the right salad servers – they sure can be entertaining!
Your guests arrive at the Sukkah…
They look around… they notice your beautiful Sukkah decorations:
Guest: “Oh Wow! So cool!”
You: “OK, time for dinner!”
Guest: [while sitting down at the dinner table] “Oh Wow! Lulav and Etrog napkin rings!”
You: “You haven’t seen anything yet! Wait till you see the really cool stuff!” (from the cool Sukkah decorations section)
“Attention to detail”.
Normally that’s something you’d read in a CV. In our case, we’re acting it out!
We’re leaving no stone unturned, or in our case – no straw undecorated!
These decorative straws feature a bunch of Sukkot-themed symbols – so that every drink turns into a sip of adventure!
Sukkah Wall Decorations: Banners, Posters & Tapestries
Setting up a Kosher Sukkah is only step one. Unfortunately, many Jewish families get stuck there and don’t bother moving to step two: decorating the Sukkah.
The strategy of “set it and forget it” might work with your phone bill, but it makes no sense whatsoever when decorating your Sukkah (particularly your Sukkah walls).
Why make your Sukkah bland, boring and depressing? When you’re just a few Sukkah wall decoration ideas away from making “staring at the wall” the most fun Sukkot activity?
Shalom! Welcome! “Bruchim Habayim!” “Baruch Ata B’voecha!”.
Greet your guests with this printable “welcome” Sukkah poster – just like you would if they were entering your home… because guess what? They are entering your home! It might be a temporary home, but it’s still a home!
You can take it a step further, and welcome your guests with Dorit’s cute wall hanging.
Dorit is a master when it comes to designing fabulous wall hangings, so why not borrow one of her cutest artworks and use it in our Sukkah?
And unlike the other decorations on this list – this one isn’t specific to Sukkot. The moment Sukkot is over, you don’t have to shove it somewhere in the closet till next Sukkot comes. You can hang it inside your own home! (Plus, no other wall decoration has such cute doves standing on top of it!)
When you welcome your guests to your Sukkah – you’re fulfilling one of the most important Mitzvot of Sukkot: the Mitzvah of Ushpizin – honoring your guests.
Speaking of Ushpizin…
There’s a deeper, mystical meaning behind the Mitzvah of Ushpizin.
According to Kabbalists, each day of the seven days of Sukkot is associated with one of the founding fathers of Judaism (also known as the shepherds of Israel):
- Day One: Abraham
- Day Two: Isaac
- Day Three: Jacob
- Day Four: Moses
- Day Five: Aaron
- Day Six: Joseph
- Day Seven: David
And on each day of Sukkot, the corresponding shepherd of Israel honors us with his divine presence.
Now, you can try and explain this to your guests yourself… or you can let this beautiful laminated Ushpizin poster do the job for you, in a more artistic way 🙂
Finally, we arrived at one of my favorite Sukkah posters.
Don’t get me wrong, I love every poster I mentioned here (otherwise, I wouldn’t let them into my
Sukkah website). But there’s love, and then there’s LOVE. And I absolutely LOVE this Shivat Haminim poster.
It makes you really crave for the seven species (and some wine), doesn’t it?
If I had to pick just one poster for my Sukkah – no doubt, this would be it.
Let’s do a little math exercise (some of you are going “Yay!”, others are going “Yuck!”):
7 days of Sukkot X 3 meals per day = 21 meals
That’s a lot of meals inside the Sukkah, isn’t it?
That’s also quite a lot of Birkat Hamazon prayers. Don’t you think it would be helpful to hang a Birkat Hamazon poster for your guests? You know, instead of handing out a gazillion benchers to each and every one of them? You’ll be doing them a favor (and you’ll save some money in the process)…
Wish you could’ve spent this Sukkot in the Kotel?
Oh well, “next year in Jerusalem” 🙂
This year, you can settle for being there in spirit thanks to this Kotel in Sukkot poster.
If there’s something even more exciting than a poster of Sukkot at the Kotel, it’s a poster of Israeli soldiers praying at the Kotel.
Not only do you have the western wall in your Sukkah, but you’re also “hosting” Israeli soldiers in your Sukkah 🙂
Jerusalem has never felt closer!
Banners & posters are one thing. But nothing decorates your Sukkah quite as much as these Sukkah paintings & tapestries. The Jewish temple above was just a preview…
Take this Birkat Hacohanim tapestry for example… it gives me the chills just by staring at it through the screen. Imagine what it feels like in real life.
And this is coming from someone who’s been to the Kotel on Sukkot SO many times I can hardly count.
I don’t know if you had the chance to visit the Kotel on Sukkot? It’s incredibly powerful… I can tell you that (even if you’re not religious). I highly, highly recommend it.
Till then, you can settle for this tapestry.
This tapestry of Migdal David is also quite remarkable.
The image of a grandfather, his son and his grandson walking together towards the holy city in Jerusalem, wearing a Tallit. It speaks so much without saying a single word.
DIY Sukkah Decorations: Sukkah Arts & Crafts
One of the fun parts of Sukkot is to come up with your own Sukkot craft ideas.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few easy Sukkot crafts to get you started…
Sukkot Paper Decorations
Remember I said you can let your kids make the chains?
Now, don’t expect your kids to start stapling Etrogs together and create a complicated Etrog chain like the one you saw earlier.
You can start small and create adorable paper chains!
Tip: This is a terrific preschool activity.
- A printable Sukkah template (or a colorable decoration)
- A printer (obviously)
- Scissors (or a paper trimmer)
- Glue or stapler
- Print the printable (choose any paper color you like)
- Cut the flower strips from the paper with scissors or a craft paper trimmer
- Connect the two far ends of a strip with glue or a stapler to form a ring
- Create the first “link”
- Hang the paper chains in the Sukkah
- Put a smile on your kid’s face
These 3D paper Stars of David are also a cute Sukkah decoration.
- Print the printable
- Cut the Star of David shapes
- Fold & pinch each of the Star of David triangles in the middle
- Fold the white tabs
- Glue the tabs to the other template
- Hang It up in the Sukkah
- Put another smile on your kid’s face
Decorative Sukkah Lanterns
Did you know you can make a lantern out of pretty much anything?
- Bottled lanterns
- Paper lanterns
- Star of David lanterns
Speaking of creative…
Cool & Creative Sukkah Decorations
“HA HA! You don’t see that every day!”
Is that the response you want your guests to have the moment they step in your Sukkah?
No problemo! These cool Sukkah decoration ideas will do the trick 😀
Ushpizin? How about Ushpizot?
We’ve had some iconic Jewish female figures over the years: Eve, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Lea, Golda Meir, Naomi Shemer, Shoshana Damari, Ofra Haza… just to name a few.
Don’t you want to invite them over to your Sukkah too?
Tell the male Ushpizin to scooch over and make some room for the female Ushpizot!
How do people normally invite their friends to their Sukkah?
The answer: They either call them or send them a WhatsApp/Facebook/Email message to invite them over.
Well, what if you sent them this cute invitation to invite them over to your Sukkah?
Who the heck does that? (hint: nobody)
Now let me ask you: who’s Sukkah do you think they’ll want to attend? The other 10 who sent them a text message, or that one (crazy) person who went out of their way and sent out an invitation?
What do you do with the leftover invitations? You use them to decorate your Sukkah of course!
What’s the matter? Too proud to decorate yourself for Sukkot? Well, shake it off just as you shake a Lulav!
The Torah says: “You shall rejoice in your festivals” (Positive Commandment 54).
I always found that commandment baffling. How can you command someone to be happy?
Well, at least for Sukkot, the answer is easy: wear an Etrog tie.
Or… wear Etrog socks. Why? Because it’s cool, unique, and kinda weird.
Even better – if you’re the host – give away a bunch of these Etrog socks as a Sukkot favor. Do that – and nobody will forget this year’s Sukkot, guaranteed.
Traditional Sukkah Decorations
Decorating your Sukkah is more than just making it look beautiful. It’s actually a Jewish requirement.
Did You Know? The Chofetz Chaim even mentioned the importance of decorating your Sukkah in Mishnah Berurah
Don’t forget that before you start decorating your Sukkah, you need to make sure it has the “Sukkot essentials”.
Not a Sukkah decoration per se, but you can’t really have a Sukkah without an Etrog & Lulav. It’s like throwing a rock concert without a rock band (bad idea).
This Kosher Lulav & Etrog set Is a nice and affordable set you can have sitting in your Sukkah at all times. That way – your friends & family can fulfill the Mitzvah of waving the Lulav and Etrog in your very own Sukkah. Lovely!
The Etrog is the “richest” of all four species. And just as rich people like Bill Gates hire security to protect them – we “hire” an Etrog box to protect our Etrog.
Now, many Etrog boxes are considered a luxury item that can cost hundreds, If not thousands (!) of bucks.
But that’s overkill if you ask me…you don’t need that a fancy Etrog box for your Sukkah. A cheap, wooden Etrog box like this one would do just fine.
It’s no wonder why Sukkot is the favorite Jewish holiday among many kids (and adults). Especially with “tough” holidays contenders like Hanukkah or Purim.
But it’s not really surprising if you think about it. In Sukkot, kids get to:
- Live in a tent outside (camping. yay!)
- Decorate their Sukkah and watch their decorations go up on display for the entire week!
- Play games and engage in fun Sukkot activities
With just a few Sukkah decoration ideas and a pinch of creativity – you’ll turn your Sukkah into the biggest “hit” in your neighborhood.
Now go and decorate your Sukkah, or let the kids do it while you rest (*cough* sweatshop! *cough*).