Monday, November 12, 2012

Painted Rangoli

During Diwali, Rangoli is used to decorate entrance ways and patios in India. Traditionally Rangoli is made with natural materials-- sand, powdered rice, flowers and sometimes even lentils and colored beans.
Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade


Unfortunately, it's difficult to keep little hands and feet from touching colorful things on the floor. Last year's Rangoli was a bit of a mess. This year I thought for a long time about how enjoy the festivities with less frustration. I considered putting the Rangoli up on a table, or out of sight, but I wanted my kids to enjoy it too.   After about a week of noodling, I realized we could use paint!

Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade
I picked up this crayola washable paint from the grocery store, and used the kid's paintbrushes to draw out the Rangoli while they were asleep. I'm happy to say, the kids have been stomping on it all day with no ill effects and no mess. 
  Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Here are a few tips:
  • Test a small area of your flooring before painting your entire design. If you are wary of painted directly on the floor, you can also use a tray or plate or smooth cutting board-- anything that can be washed. 
  • I was careful to keep the paint out of the grout which stains pretty easily. 
  • For the orange flower below, I used a template for the leaf shape cut out of construction paper. The purple flower was done freehand. 
  • Since the paint is water soluable; it shows a lot of brush strokes. I had the best luck getting a solid color by letting the paint dry and doing a second coat. 

Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Here is a more 'impressionistic' version where I didn't do a second coat.
Painted Rangoli for Diwali Tutorial by Make It Handmade
I have to admit that one of the things that makes traditional Rangoli so beautiful is the fact that it is temporary. Even though they take hours and hours to plan and create-- they are by definition meant to be enjoyed and not saved. Hopefully in a few years we will be able to have those in the home. For right now, I'll enjoy my kids enjoying these painted flowers.


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