By Rajashree Nedungadi
India, with its cultural and festive diversities, has much to offer. Every festival and the preparation of everything from sweets, decorations, puja to gifts is an enjoyable ceremony and we take great pride in the upkeep of these traditions.
Diwali in 2010 is on November 5th, and is a lavish festival which is celebrated to the maximum. The excitement is double for your kids if they can help in making reusable rangolis and torans, and in decorating the diyas.
• Acrylic colours
• Paint brushes
• Readymade stencils
• Mount board
• Glitter and glitter powder
• Golden thread
• Lamination glue and gloss
• Palette for mixing colours
Making The Rangoli
Traditional powder-based rangolis have always added grace and charm to a home’s entrance, but why not get your kids to make reusable rangolis?
1. Take a good quality mount board (available at any stationer’s shop). These are available in standard sizes and can be cut into half with a sturdy scissor
3. Get your child to choose a square, hexagon, or a simple circle for the base of the rangoli. We have a chosen a circle. Draw the maximum possible circle on half of the mount board. Cut the circle with a scissor.
4. Take a small quarter plate and place it inside the big circle cut out of the mount board. Draw the inner circle lightly using a pencil.
5. Take some yellow color in a palette or steel plate. Add two three drops of water. Take a sponge and dip it into the yellow color. Now dab the same in the small circle on the mount board.
6. Take some orange color in the palette and add some drops of water to this. After the small circle is filled with yellow color start dabbing orange color over the rest of the mount board.
7. You have a beautiful shaded effect of yellow and orange on the mount board. Leave it for ten minutes so the colors dries completely. Take red color in the palette. Place the ready made stencil in a desired pattern on this shaded mount board.
8. Hold the stencil in place tightly and using a fresh sponge apply the red color on the design cut out on the stencil. Dab it neatly. Do not add water to the color while using the stencil. Once the entire design has been filled with color then lift the stencil gently. Wait for it to dry and place the stencil in a different direction to repeat the design.
9. Continue the same procedure until you have the desired number of arms on the circular mount board.
10. In case readymade stencils are not available, then we can make our own stencil. Take an A4 size paper and draw the desired design. Place an OHP sheet over this design and cut out the design using a sharp paper cutter. Take care to see that all parts of the design have to be independent and should not be touching or joined to each other. If you are making a flower for example, all five petals should have some gap from each other and there should be a gap between the center and the petals also.
11. Once the stencil design has been completed on the basic shaded mount board, outline the design using golden , silver or rainbow color glitter. This will take an hour to dry. Apply a solution of glue and gloss or lamination glue and water in equal proportion to the entire mount board. Apply three coats and wait for fifteen minutes for each coat to dry. While applying the last coat sprinkle gold or silver glitter powder as you apply the solution.
12. A beautiful rangoli in traditional colors is ready. You can make the same in various shapes and sizes and have more than one , that is a set of three or five sections for the rangoli.
Making The Toran
13. In the same way you can make a toran for the door.
14. Take small hexagon pieces of the mount board. You may need five to six pieces for the toran.
15. Shade the mount board in the same way as on the rangoli and then make the stencil design. You can outline with glitter or golden thread. You can also stick sequins, beads and other decorations.
16. Religious symbols like Om, Swastik, Kalash, Laxmi’s feet can also be made on the toran instead of using the stencil.
17. Take a thick golden string about four and a half feet in length.The normal width of a door is four feet, take extra on both sides so that we can wind it on the nails to which the toran has to be fixed.
18. Stick the six pieces of the design on the golden thread leaving equal gap between each. You can even hang bells at the end of the strings, use beads between each of the pieces to make it look more festive.
19. Once the pieces are stuck leave them for an hour to dry and your traditional and festive toran is ready.
20. Take any terracotta diya that is available in the market and paint it using acrylic colors. The colors will dry in half an hour. Stick kundans, sequins or other decorations on the diya. Alternately decorate them with glitter.
21. Hang up the toran on your door. Place the rangoli outside your door. Make numerous diyas and place them around the hand made rangoli.
22. Remember not to place the diyas on the rangoli as this could be dangerous. Also keep adequate an distance between the rangoli and the diyas so that the mountboard does not catch fire.
These simple and easy to make Diwali decorations will light up your child’s face when s/he hears the appreciation that they get for their creativity. Ask your child to create innovative shapes and designs for the rangoli and toran.
Decorate the diyas with shells, mirrors, and beads. Alternate the toran with a number of strings of colourful beads. You can even stick small mirrors on transparent wire and hang a couple of them after every mount board cutout of the toran.
Make this Diwali an eco-friendly one by making the decorations on used mount board, old decorations taken out from rakhis, friendship bands, and wedding cards and greeting cards.
You and your child can spread the message of creativity and color by conserving and re-using the old and throw away items. So go ahead and in your unique way light up this new concept and make a difference to one and all.
© Rajashree Nedungadi
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Time Lapse Rangoli on Diwali
Photo source siddhu2020 & jyupangco