The holiday of “Sukkot” is an ancient harvest festival. Much of the imagery and ritual of the holiday revolves around rejoicing and thanking God for the completed harvest. Sukkot also commemorates the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert after the revelation at Mount Sinai, with the huts representing the temporary shelters that the Israelites lived in during those 40 years.

Today we celebrate this week-long holiday by building and decorating our own Sukkah (hut). We enjoy meals in the Sukkah and welcome guests – “Ushpizim” – to join  us.  The Sukkah is a temporary structure with a roof that enables us to see the stars.

On Sukkot we also shake the  lulav and etrog; symbols of harvest time. The lulav is a combination of date palm, willow and myrtle branches, held together by a woven palm branch. The etrog, or citron, is a lemon-like fruit with a wonderful citrus smell.

In honor of the “harvest”, we will be making our own harvest baskets using something that we all have at home; brown paper shopping/grocery bags and weaving them into baskets!


  • Brown paper grocery/shopping bags
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Scotch Tape
  • Clear Packing tape
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • “Bling” (sequins, beads, feathers, etc)  to glue onto ribbon if desired

How To

  • Remove the base of the bag and any handles. Flatten the remaining paper.
  • Cut the bag into strips that are 1.5 inches wide. (Use your ruler or tape to measure those out!) If you’re using grocery bags like us, the strips should be about 17-18 inches in length. Keep cutting until you’ve run through a whole bag, which should be roughly 22 strips.
  • You will also want to cut 4-5 longer strips, measuring about 30 inches, for the sides of the basket. So break out another bag for those. Cut a slit down one side of the grocery bag and unfurl the entire thing for added height.
  • Lay out eight strips horizontally. Now, start weaving eight strips into them vertically. This will form the base of your basket. If you want to make your basket bigger, simply add your extra strips.
  • Secure the corners with tape. Then fold up the ends of the strips, so they stand at a 90 degree angle from the base.
  • Weave the longer strips around the sides.
  • Fold the top edges of the basket into the inside and secure them with tape.
  • Then secure the entire top part with clear packing tape so it all holds.
  • Take ribbon and glue around the top edge of the basket. This hides all the tape you used.
  • You can add some extra “bling”to your basket by gluing sequins, beads, etc. to the ribbon.


  • Wait for the glue to set and dry.
  • Now your basket is ready for your harvest fruit!