100th Post! I didn't think I would hit a century in the blog space. I had dreamed of writing a blog for years - but my random musings would go just as far as my girlfriend next door. After moving to San Diego, I was in a new town with not many friends to hang out with, and a personal guinea pig to experiment on ;) - a perfect formula to finally sit down pen my recipes. I'm no writer, not at all! However, I enjoy blogging because there's no pressure to write a certain way. I can put my thoughts in my words without worrying about who reads it; because honestly, I doubted anyone would ever read my blog. And yet it's overwhelming to see all those 'Likes' on Facebook :). So here's a big "Thank You" to all those who give me a few minutes of their time in reading my ramblings.
Moving on to today's topic - Diwali decorations! Anyone who knows me knows that I love celebrating every festival with a bang. And that doesn't necessarily involve splurging - in fact, DIY is the way I always go. Remember the Ganesh idol? This year, I'll be juggling an exam, a conference, work deadlines and house duties all around diwali. So I'm getting a head start on my favorite part - the decorations!
Diwali is a festival of lights - about triumph of good over evil or dark. And lamps and lanterns are an important part of the celebration. Every house in India is lit up with oil lamps and glimmering with lanterns during this festival. So why not make it special by doing it yourself? I make these simple paper lanterns every year to hang up at the main entrance. This is something I enjoyed doing with my grandpa as a kid. I'm sure you'll love crafting them with your kids too. Getting your kids involved in making the decorations is a great way to get them interested in our festivals and culture. These lanterns are easy to make and look very traditional and authentic. If you make one big lantern, you can hang a light bulb inside. But I usually make smaller ones and hang them in a row. Nothing says 'Diwali' like these lanterns adorning the front of the house. And yes, they come with lots of compliments ;).
**The long list of instructions may scare you at first, but just read on and you'll realize how easy it is to make these lanterns.
Diwali Paper Lanterns
What you need:
Thick craft paper (8.5 x 11) - use white or beige
Thin craft papers (8.5 x 11) - your favorite colors
Golden paper/ribbon for the trims
A thick needle
- Cut the white paper in 3 pieces width wise so each one has two 8.5" sides. Take the short sides and glue them together to create a cylinder (As shown in picture 2 above).
- Cut one colored paper in half - again width wise so each one has two 8.5" sides. One half will be used for the top and one to create the dangling strips at the bottom.
- Fold one of the colored halves into half lengthwise and make about 2/3" strips from the folded side. Don't cut the paper all the way. Leave about 1/2" on the top (Picture 3 in the collage above). When you open the paper, you will have slits in the center all attached on both the sides. This will be the top of the lantern. (As shown in picture 4).
- Take the other half of the colored paper and fold it 4 times from the short sides and cut small strips. Again, don't cut all the way so that these strips are attached at the top. Once you open the paper, you'll have the strips needed for the bottom (Picture 6 above)
- Put glue on the top and bottom edges of the cylinder and glue the top colored paper all the way around. (As shown in the left corner picture below).
- Glue the bottom strips to one side of the cylinder. Decorate both sides of the cylinder with some golden ribbon or golden paper strips. You can get creative and add glitter, stones or whatever else you like.
- With a sharp, thick needle, make two holes across from each other on top of the cylinder and create a handle to hang them using ribbon or thread.
Make these lanterns in different colors and hang them in a row.
How are you preparing for Diwali??