Fabric Matzo Tash
Note: This requires the use of a sewing machine. Adult supervision when using any kind of machinery (including sewing machines), as well as needles, scissors, etc. is always advisable.
What You need:
- 8 Pieces of Tightly woven fabric cut into 12″ x 12″ squares (your choice of color, –choose machine washable and pre-shrunk material)
- Fabric paint pens or markers
- 2 skeins of embroidery floss in complementary colors for your fabric
- Needle suitable for embroidery floss
- Tracing paper for creating the design
- Dressmakers carbon paper for transferring the design to the cloth
- Straight pins for pinning
- Optional: embroidery hoop
What You Do:
- Sketch the decoration for the front of the matzo tash on a piece of paper roughly the size of the fabric squares. You can find ideas for specific designs related to Passover in Jewish Holiday books or Jewish art books. Tracing paper works well for copying the original design. If the design you like is too small, you can enlarge the motif by using a copy machine, till you get the size you desire. Keep the design simple — especially if you chose to embroider it.
- Transfer the design to the center of one of the right sides of a fabric square. Use either fabric paint pens, or fabric markers to color your design. If you would prefer, you may use an embroidery hoop, floss and thread to decorate your fabric.
- Pair up your fabric square with the RIGHT sides together and pin them in place. The wrong (or unfinished) side of the fabric should be facing you.
- Use your sewing machine to sew a 1/2 inch seam all the way around but leave a 2 inch gap. Make sure that when you reach the corners, you turn the fabric so that you get a “true” square corner. Stitch around twice.
- Trim the seams and clip the corners. Turn the piece right side out and press, tucking in the part that was not machine sewn. Slip stitch that part closed using an invisible stitch. Repeat this with all the squares. You will have four closed squares when you are done.
- Make a stack of the pieces, and fasten with pins with the decorated square on the top.
- Use embroidery floss to whip stitch the layers together around three sides, leaving the bottom side free. This creates the pockets for your matzo tash. To care for this after the Seders are over: Machine wash this in the gentle cycle of your washer and dry it on low. A little touch up with an iron is all you’ll need.
Final note — If you do not have access to a sewing machine or you want to simplify the project and avoid machine sewing and cutting fabric, you may purchase 4 identical square shaped solid color woven cloth napkins (damask if you want to be fancy). Create your design and execute it on the top of one napkin first, then pin the napkins together and whip stitch them together as directed, leaving one edge free for the pockets.
Paper Matzo Tash (for younger children)
What you need:
- Four 12×12 pieces of heavy weight paper or 4 ready made placemats
- Hole punch
- Non-toxic markers, crayons, or various construction paper to cut-out
- A glue stick
- A piece of yarn about 4 feet long in a coordinating color
What you do:
- Draw and decorate a suitable Passover design for your matzo tash, onto the top piece of paper. Use the scissors to cut out various pieces of colored construction paper to enhance your design, if desired. Use the glue stick to attach them to the paper.
- With a pencil, make dots on 3 of the 4 sides of the top paper about an inch apart, and about an inch from the edge of the paper.
- Use the hole punch to punch out the holes all the way around on each of the four papers. Make sure that they match properly (the holes are in the same places respectively on each of the 4 pieces.
- Use the yarn to weave the pieces together.
- This creates the three pockets needed — put a piece of matzo in each and celebrate together!
This matzo tash is only good for one or two uses as it is made out of paper, — but using a matzo tash that your child has made himself/herself adds something special to the celebration, as it enables your child to make a significant contribution to making Passover, something they will never forget!