How to Make Diwali Decorations

by Alana Armstrong

Diwali is the Hindu, Jain and Sikh festival of lights, which occurs between mid-October and mid-November. The idea of light, both spiritual and physical, can serve as a central theme for the DIY projects inspired by Diwali. Those hosting a Diwali celebration can make homemade decorations that display their own creativity and capture the spirit of the festival.

Items you will need

  • Votive candles
  • Mirrored plate
  • Flowers
  • Mason jars
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paper bags
  • Utility knife
  • Large plate or tray
  • Tikka powder/colored sand
Step 1

Place a large tray and a few bowls of colorful tikka powder out on a table. Tikka powder is made of ashes, finely ground clay, or sandalwood paste that has been dyed in vibrant colors. Guests can use the tikka powder to collaborate on building a Rangoli, which is like a painting made by sprinkling the powder on a flat surface to create an intricate symmetrical pattern.

Step 2

Make an arrangement of votive candles on top of a mirrored plate. Add a splash of color by placing flowers on the same mirror, between the candles. The mirror will reflect the light and color to make the flowers look more plentiful.

Step 3

Use acrylic paints to decorate the outside of the Mason jars with colorful patterns influenced by Rangoli designs. Place a tea light candle in the bottom of each Mason jar and light the candle. The light will splash the colors from the paint around the room.

Step 4

Draw a pattern onto a paper bag -- something influenced by the elaborate patterns used in Rangoli or an image of the goddess Laxmi (goddess of wealth). Use a utility knife to carefully cut out the pattern. Place a candle inside the bag and light it. Line up bags along the edges of the patio or use them to like the way along the driveway or footpath.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the color red when possible because it's thought to be the favorite color of the gods and goddesses.
  • The paper bag lanterns are highly flammable. Make sure that no part of the paper bag is touching the sides of the candle when lit, and keep a water source nearby in case a flame needs to be doused.

About the Author

Alana Armstrong started her writing career in 2005, covering street art and graffiti. She currently works as a freelance writer, photographer and artist in Toronto. Armstrong has a diploma in photojournalism from Sheridan College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photo media from the University of New South Wales.