We built a beautiful sukkah out of bamboo this year but did not manage to get an official lulav and etrog which were apparently in short supply. I went googling around for a solution and I found this inspiring piece from Tikkun Knits about a lovely felted wool etrog. It sounded like a great child friendly and affordable idea, veering from tradition but still in keeping with the holiday. So I decided to make something similar.
I used a scrap of yellow fleece material that was left over from another project and stuffed it with fill from an old pillow. I worked with my son who is always happy to sit on my lap, watch the sewing machine in action and press the reverse stitch button at the beginning and end of a seam.
When we were done, my son insisted on making another — this time with dinosaur fabric and a pink tail made from fold over elastic. I tried to talk him out of it, how will anyone recognize a stuffed etrog when it is made from dinosaur fabric?
But he was insistent and it was one of those parenting moments when I needed to put aside my ideas of how things should go. I mean we were already imitating a rare citrus fruit with yellow fleece fabric, so why shouldn’t go one step further into imaginary fruit land and make one with the dinosaur flannel. So we did and I can’t say it resembles an etrog, but he was happy to carry it out to the sukkah and toss it around with his sister when she woke up from nap.
So here they are, not nearly as perfect as the real fruit — or the felted wool version, but they worked for my family. And at 4 and almost 2, my children thought they were perfect. We did use them to shake in our sukkah along with some locally sourced lulav like branches that a friend gathered for us from local plants. If you are interested in more Jewish crafting ideas, I suggest a visit to Creative Jewish Mom where there are lots of great ideas.