As the festival season looms closer, most of us are getting ready to celebrate at home. But celebrating at home does not mean we should not make it beautiful and colourful. Adorning the puja room, decorating Lord Ganesh’s pedestal, making Pujo as attractive as possible, opting for maybe a colour rangoli than a floral one for Onam and so much more could be done to make these festivities some of the most memorable, even while staying indoors. This could be a beautiful way to be thankful and celebrate life and spirit.
Nothing brings families closer together than a festival. And if you have to work together to do some do-it-yourself decorations for the festivities, that’s even better. So here are some exciting ideas to make your in-home celebrations look magnificent.
A rangoli is a design drawn in front or inside an Indian household for any festivities. It is a staple in most households though the ingredients used to draw a rangoli differ from state to state. However, nothing amps up a festive home like a beautifully illustrated rangoli.
While our elders have a perfect hand with freestyle drawn rangoli, we seem to be needing a little help. This is where stencils and patterns come into the picture.
If you are looking for intricate designs, a perfect way to go about getting a suitable stencil is with Styrofoam plates. These are readily available in any shops. Pick out your favourite design and draw it on the Styrofoam plate. Poke holes along the line of the design and remove any excess Styrofoam bits from underneath the plate. Simply place the plate where you want the design and fill it with colour. Carefully lift the plate, without shaking it too much. You have a perfect design ready.
There are various other things like spoons, forks, combs and earbuds, which can be used to draw patterns for rangoli. Another way to stencil is to take print outs of designs and then cut out patterns from it. You can also use Styrofoam cups to draw patterns by cutting shapes on its edges. Moulds used to make cookies shaped like stars, flower etc. can also be used for this.
Decorative aarti thali
Another common feature in any festivity is an aarti. You have placed your Gods respectfully and beautifully on their seats. You have decorated their puja rooms, temples and mandaps. Now you are all set for the traditional aarti, which is incomplete without an aarti thali.
Decorating an aarti thali is an easy and satisfying endeavour. Once you have designed an aarti thali, it can be used over and over again, and it is a feeling of accomplishment to see what you so beautifully worked upon, year after year.
For aarti thali decorations, you need a few things from your arts and craft stash. Most importantly, you need acrylic colours. For simple thalis, you can just colour your thali and draw designs on it. If you feel like going an extra bit, you can use items like glitter and lace. You can also use buttons, beautiful bindis, even different types of dals and pulses, strategically pasted to form a beautiful design.
If your children share their clay, it is another item that can be moulded into floral petals to be stuck on to an aarti thali to form a beautiful pattern. You can also colour and decorate diyas used for Diwali and stick them on the plate to be used for lighting the lamp. You can design small containers for the various items that go in the aarti thali and stick them in their correct places. All this can make a simple thali look wonderfully festive and gorgeous.
During Vinayaka Chaturthi, Durga Pujo and Diwali, households place their respective Gods in small pandals/mandaps for a certain number of days. Even otherwise, during festivals, the puja room is especially cleaned and decorated to welcome prosperity and peace. Generally, people go out to shop for various decorations to beautify their pandals and puja rooms as shops get flooded with beautiful items that can be used for decorations. But if you wish to refrain from stepping out, it might be the right time to check out your craft hand. A pandal or a puja room can be gorgeously decorated with the help of some simple household items. All you need is a few good ideas and a good craft hand.
Making fans out of newspapers is an effortless yet amazing way to ensure a stunning background to your puja room and pandal. Cut the newspaper into big or medium squares and alternately fold them like a spring. Then fold them in the middle and tie it off. Stick glue on one open end and stick both the open ends together to form a circular fan-like structure. You can make multiples of these fans in various sizes and colours and stick it on a cardboard or fabric strategically to create a beautiful background.
Origami and floral cut-outs from coloured paper are another way to go. There are many videos on how to fold and cut various flowers and designs that can go a long way in giving you a fantastic floral garden in your puja room and pandal. You can also use newspapers and colourful paper to cut out stars, diyas, kites and lanterns that can be hung from the ceiling. Paper ribbons can be cut and hung in the background or from the ceilings to make a beautiful space.
Strategically wrapped fabric can also look pretty in a puja room or pandal. Bring out your colourful dupattas and stoles and use them to drape the table for the deities or stick them like bows from the ceiling or simply hang them with fairy lights to form a gorgeous background. A combination of right colours and floral designs should give you an aesthetically pleasing decor.
Styrofoam plates and cups are a great source of decor. They can be coloured, cut or stuck with decorative pins, crystals or fabric and then used as background decor or even placed around the room to bring about a beautiful look.
If you want a more organic way to go about decorating your pandal or puja room, you can use mud pots. These can be coloured, designed with well-drawn patterns, sticking fabric pieces or faux crystals, glitter etc. They can be arranged around the puja room or placed filled with flowers or beautiful leaves and decorated with fairy lights. These pots can be moved around, with different contents in them every day, kept on top of each other or hung from the ceiling. They, of course, can be used later for non-decorative purposes too.
Old plastic bottles are a great way to spruce up a pandal. You can simply clean them, colour them, draw designs on them and hang them together like a drape.
If you are a gardening enthusiast, a few flourishing plants can be used to adorn your puja room or pandal as well. You can go completely natural by using only flowers and beautiful leaves to decorate your puja room. The upside of this idea is that you can keep changing the decor every day.
If you can get your hands on some thermocol, especially those which come inside an electronic item’s packaging, you can churn out some stunning designs. It is very easy to draw and cut out floral patterns, stars as well as other models from thermocol. Depending on how you cut it and use it, it can give a gorgeous vibe to your pandal and puja room.
You would be lighting diyas for your puja rooms and pandals. However, lights can also be used to decorate your puja room and pandal very creatively. Bring out those fairy lights that you hang during Diwali and stick them together for a beautiful background. You can also cover the background with some lovely fabric to bring out the lights if you wish to place them into glass jars.
Battery-operated tea lights can instantly light up a pandal or puja room. Place them in coloured glasses or coloured paper folded into cones to give a colourful aura in your puja room and pandal. Candles placed in coloured glasses filled with water too can provide a stunning view to your puja room and pandal. Finally, if you are willing to go all the way, bring out the mud diyas and get set to colour and design them. These can be used around the pandal which can perk up any room instantly.
These ideas are simply a guide on how to design your puja room and pandal. You can pick up any item and explore further to figure out something that may be creatively satisfying. The whole point is to enjoy the festivities with our family inside the safety of your home and pray together for a healthy tomorrow surrounded by a beautiful today.