I have heard from a number of readers who are looking to build their first sukkah this year and can’t afford to lay out several hundreds of dollars for a sukkah kit. Worry not! You can actually have just as nice of a sukkah (or nicer!) by doing it yourself on a budget.
Building a Sukkah on a Budget
- Use bed sheets or tapestries for the walls. There’s no reason to run out and by special tarps for your sukkah – just grab some double-size or larger flat sheets from your linen closet. These will likely get pretty dirty over the course of the week, so be prepared for a bit of laundering at the end of the week. Or you can stop by a thrift shop and pick up a few sets of sheets as designated sukkah walls – then no worries about food stains in your bed. You shouldn’t have to pay more than a dollar or two per set.
- You can also use canvas drop cloths to make your walls. The 9×12-ft ones sell for around $7 each at home improvement stores. I’ve seen tutorial all over the blogosphere for using these to make no-sew curtains, so I think they’d be perfect for your sukkah walls.
- Here’s a handy tutorial for building your sukkah structure out of galvanized pipes – which are dirt cheap at home improvement stores (you will need eight feet worth).
- Remember you only need 2 1/2 walls for your sukkah, so take advantage of those allowances, too!
- Fall is the perfect time for trimming back your trees and making instant schach. Just remember that any flowering branches will attract bees and wasps. One solution is to pick up this chemical-free bee & wasp trap for just $8. Or, thanks to Sara for sharing this link to a homemade wasp trap, you can make your own for free at home with an empty two-liter soda bottle.
Inexpensive Sukkah Decorations
Decorations don’t have to be store-bought. In fact, you don’t even need to buy any special supplies – just look to your recycling bin for inspiration.
- Take some cheap plastic cups and turn them into these pretty little flowers to hang from your schach (or attach to your bed sheet walls). And while you’re working with cups, you can give this fabulous and frugal chandelier a go.
- You can make hanging apple decorations from a recycled bottle, a bit of green felt and a little bit of red celophane.
- Paper chains are always popular, but if you don’t have any construction paper on hand, you can recycle the pages of your magazines. Although no paper chain is waterproof, these are actually less likely to fade due to the glossy paper.
- We love our store-bought paper lanters, but you can get the same colorful effect with these yarn “eggs” from Family Fun– in fact I think I like them better!
- We use fabric paints every year to paint a section on our cloth walls. Each year, the kids add a new illustration, which typically reflects whatever they are “in to” that year (one year it was horses, last year, it was baseball). It’s like a growth chart of their personality, which we get to enjoy every Sukkot.
- If you do decide to purchase decorations, don’t forget your coupons. Check JoAnn’s, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby for lengths of “silk” flowers and greenery, as well as dangling fruit — and the components for the beautiful bead and mirror chains I shared with you the other day. Be sure to check your newspaper or online, as there are always coupons for these stores.
For more frugal sukkah building and decorating ideas, check out my Sukkot Pinterest board.
And don’t forget about these fantastic FREE sukkah banner printables.
Have you built and decorated your sukkah on a budget? I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!