Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Diwali Rangoli

An Om made with Burning Bush leaves

One of my favorite childhood memories of Diwali is making rangoli, colorful patterns, with my family members.  Since it isn’t always easy to get access to the vibrant colored powders that are used to make rangoli, and they can be messy and you don't always know what is in them, we like using different materials for our rangoli.

1.)    Nature – Find colorful leaves, sticks and stones to use.  Depending on when Diwali is, it can be difficult to find leaves if it is already winter but make do with what you can find.

2.)    Colored rice.  I dye my rice with India Tree Natural Food Coloring, which is 100% plant based and free of petrochemicals, (available in stores like Whole Foods or online at Amazon and other retailers), or pressure cooker/steamer water from vegetables like carrots and beets.  Just mix a couple drops of the dye into a bowl of uncooked rice until you get the desired tint.

3.)    Lentils.  Lentils already come in a vast array of colors and the best part is, you can wash, soak and eat them when Diwali is over.  This is a zero-waste craft.
Ganpati made from lentils
 4.)    Bangles.  Mix and match bangles with other bangles or lentils, rice, sequins, etc. to make the pattern of your choice.

5.)    Glass beads.  Those decorative beads sitting in vases are great for rangoli as well.
Note: Always put choking hazards high up, out of the reach of pets and children.

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