Building & Decorating Your Sukkah on a Budget

Photo Credit

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.
  • 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. 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.

Photo Credit

  • 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!


  1. Love the yarn balls! We Made a sukkah a few years ago using some homemade wood frames and stapled burlap to them(bought online for $1 a yard). We love the look of it and for those years we have a hot sukkot the burlap allows a nice breeze. The whole thing, including nails was just over $100!

  2. One of hubby’s cousins used pvc pipe instead of galvanized and had no problem with the connector pieces. He tied it down to cement blocks in each corner to prevent a breeze from depositing it into the next backyard.
    Also as a tip: each end of the pvc pipe is marked with the same letter as the connector it went into. Because by next year no one remembers what went into which.

  3. has some interesting options. You buy the brackets and directions from them. Then you go to your local lumber store to get the wood. It’s a lower cost option than some other kits. You don’t have to buy the walls, you can use sheets, etc. This is not the cheapest option, just cheaper than traditional kits.

  4. ploni almoni says

    Building a Sukkah can be a great experience, and one that I have fond memories of growing up with and my kids now have fond memories of. For those interested in some info how to make sure there sukkah is kosher i highly recommend this article

  5. Thank you for taking the time to share all of your great finds with us. A fun and relatively cheap sukkah decoration I did this year is instead of a paper chain, I made a ribbon chain. Tons of color/pattern options and will last through rain. Use fabric glue to seal the loops. I also bought lightweight fabric canvas, painted with fabric paint, glued hems down, and hung with wooden dowels and rope. Here are some pics:

  6. Larry Lennhoff says

    Consult your Rabbi about the suitability of canvas walls – you may be well advised to make the ‘real’ walls out of string and then put the canvas around outside the ‘real’ walls.

  7. We bought tarp at the dollar store for $3 per panel.

  8. My kids have been hooked on Perler beads for months, so we made stars of David and Israeli flags to hang in the Sukkah. They even made it through the torrential downpour this Shabbat.

    Moadim L’Simcha!

  9. If it is your first sukkah, take notes and pictures as you build it. When you take it down label the pieces with Sharpie or tape, (you can be very specific ie ” vertical near the garage” or general “to hold schach”) and take more pictures. Then write your directions, notes and pictures up for a holiday notebook or file. This saves me hours each year. Also put a note in the calendar to shop for directions in late December, all kinds of interesting outdoor lights and decorations are on sale then.

  10. Hi Mara! Can you please update the galvanized pipe link? I’m so curious about it and I keep on getting an error code. TIA!

  11. I went to the site for building materials. It added up to
    $600!!!! A bargain?

Leave a Comment