So I’ve already got a whole lot of Christmas stuff lined up to share with you – boxes, gifts to make, printables, ornaments, and of course, Christ – but I was thinking this year that I could put together something for Diwali as well.
I’m rather fond of the light side of Diwali. As in the illuminations, and the diyas, and the silent fireworks – the chakris (Catherine wheels) and the sparklers. I am crafty, not creative, so I looked to my old friend – the Net – for inspiration, and came upon these paper lanterns on the Dream Home Decorating site, where Renate shares a tutorial and three gorgeous paper lantern craft patterns to download. I obviously did not read the whole thing properly, but, hit by inspiration, went to Chimanlals (a famous ethnic paper goods store in Mumbai), picked up some paper and did my own thing.
Do try both variations – Renate’s and mine.
You may need to anyway, because Renate’s uses electric tea lights, which I was not able to find. So I had to work with real tea lights, which then needed glass holders. I got square glass vases – thick, clumsy ones, all the better to not crack with the heat of the tea lights – in two sizes (Rs 80 and Rs 240) from Crawford Market, and writing paper from Chimanlal's. Of course, you can use Renate’s paper downloads or any paper with a design that you like.
So here goes:
You will need
· Tea lights
· Glass votive holders or other glass receptacles capable of taking the heat of the tea lights
· Decorated paper – I used Chimanlal’s Vriksh note paper and envelope set (Rs 48 for 10)
To make the small luminaria:
Open out the envelope and lay it flat. Place your glass receptacle on it sideways to take a measurement.
Mark out in pencil and cut out.
Wrap the cut piece of paper carefully and firmly around the glass. Adjust the motif to your liking and tape securely (with tape that is cleaner than mine!)
Pop in a tea light.
To make the big luminaria:
Fold a sheet of the writing paper in half and cut it into two.
Again, lay your glass receptacle on the paper and mark. Cut out.
First, tape the plain rectangle to what will be the back of your luminaria.
Then carefully adjust and tape down your front of luminaria. Neatly.
Pop in a tea light.
Make 10 more. Only kidding!
Caution and disclaimer: Fire is fire: you need to be as vigilant around these luminarias, as you would be around lit diyas. Keep water handy, and do check that the glass of your holders is not too thin, and that it has not cracked with the heat. If you hope to build a centrepiece around these luminarias, perhaps you could place them in a large platter of sand strewn with glass pebbles to contain potential damage.