Crafty baby, DIY

Melting Crayon Art – Phases of Life

After our first attempt (see here) at the crayon melting art, darling daughter and I were pretty excited about trying our next melting crayon project. My Sil’s 25th anniversary was approaching and we wanted to make a keepsake for her special occasion. We decided to make a set of 3 paintings showing 3 stages of her and her husband’s life – as newly-weds, raising 2 kids and life as empty-nesters. 

What we needed:

  • 3 Canvas (we used 11 inches x 14 inches)
  • 6 packs of Crayola crayons (24 pieces)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Hot air gun
  • Printouts of shadow figures

What we did:

  • First of all we segregated the crayons from all 6 boxes into 4 piles – colors we needed for each of the 3 paintings and colors we didn’t need at all. We had selected greens and blues for painting 1, pinks and purples for painting 2 and yellows and oranges for painting 3. 
  • We decided the order for the colors to give uniformity to the painting, and glued the crayons to the top of the canvas in the chosen order using hot glue gun. This was slightly time consuming and required quite a few glue sticks.
  • After sticking the crayons on the canvas, we made a sort of canopy with a masking tape above the place we wanted to place the shadow figure. The masking tape acts as an umbrella and doesn’t let color drip down, leaving clean white space to highlight the shadow figure. 
  • We placed the canvas vertically on the floor and spread old newspapers under it to catch any stray color from getting on the floor. Using a hot air gun we blew air on the crayons. Within moments the crayons started melting and colors started dripping on the canvas. Blow air depending on how long you would like the drops. We moved the hot air gun from one side of the canvas to the other until we were satisfied with the painting, and then we let it cool. 
  • We repeated the same process for the other 2 paintings.
  • For shadow figures we looked on google images and took printout of the ones we liked. Then we cut the silhouette and stuck them on the canvas using glue. 

This is the final result of our hand work:

We were so in love with our paintings that we made 4 more, one each for darling daughter’s older cousins, one for her class teacher’s birthday gift and one for my best friend’s baby girl. 

These make great gifts and are easy to make. Do try them with your child or by yourself. They are a fun craft project for all ages.


Crafty baby, DIY, Festivals

DIY Diwali Toran

Every year I make a Diwali Bandanvar or Toran. This time I have already made a wreath (see details here) and to compliment it I wanted to make something classy yet traditional, something not too flashy but yet rich looking.

I have been making paper marigolds since last few days but hadn’t quite figured out where to use them until today morning. The paper marigolds are absolutely beautiful crafts and look almost like the real deal. Since finding marigolds in the US can be challenging I usually make these every year to use for Diwali decoration. Here I have only stuck 2 hemispherical flowers to make a flower ball and added petals for some green color. They look great and are easy to make.

What you need:

  • Paper napkins in yellow and orange color (Available at Walmart in party section)
  • 1/2 inch wide ribbon in yellow or orange (I used the shimmery ones from Dollar store)
  • White Fabric petals (Available at Dollar Store) 
  • Acrylic green color for dyeing the petals
  • A strong glue/hot glue gun 
  • Stapler and pins

What to do:

  • First of all you need to get your marigolds ready. They are easy but time consuming. To make a marigold take a paper napkin (with color on both sides) and fold it twice to get a small square. The napkins are already folded twice but you need to fold them 2 more times. 
  • Now secure the small square by putting 2 stapler pins in the centre making a + sign.
  • Cut the square from the sides into a circle, and make small cuts throughout the peripheri. 
  • Now pick up the top layer of paper and crinkle it in the centre. Do it for each layer until there are only 5-6 left. Follow the picture collage to give you a better idea. I usually leave the last few layers straight. It saves precious time and doesn’t compromise on the look of the flower.

  • Dye the white flower petals in green color. The fastest way of doing it is to add some color and water in a big bowl and dump the petals inside. The petals that you get at Dollar Store are of stiff synthetic material and don’t stick to each other or crumple. Mix the contents of the bowl so the color gets on all the petals. Then spread them out on a newspaper and let them air dry. They should start drying off in 5-10 minutes only. 
  • Take a marigold and put some glue at its back. Stick 3 green petals one by one, arranging them in a circle. Using more glue stick one end of the ribbon along with the petals and finish by sticking the back of another marigold of the same color to get a ball like the picture below. 
  • Repeat the above step and make these flower balls throughout the length of your toran maintaining a distance of about 12 inches between 2 balls. 
  • To highlight the ball that falls in the centre of the door, stick 2 marigolds flowers closely on both sides. You don’t need to use the flower balls for this. 
  • Fix the toran on your doorway using small nails and a strong double tape. I needed 3 nails – 1 on each side and one at the top center. 

This is the final look:

It does go well with the wreath, don’t you agree? We love it, hope you do too. 

Happy Diwali 


Crafty baby, DIY

Melting Crayon Art on Canvas 

Darling daughter loves doing arts and crafts so I’m always on the lookout for fun projects that we can do together. Few months ago I saw a picture of melting crayon art and it looked very interesting. I did some research and found its easy to do, doesn’t require a whole paraphernalia of supplies and is something that looks more prettier than the effort it takes to make them! 

I couldn’t wait to try my hands at it and got an opportunity in August when we were visiting my husband’s uncle. He loves photography and many times is seen capturing beautiful memories with his camera. Darling Daughter adores her Grandfather. She wanted to make a card but then I thought why not a crayon art instead. So this is what we made for him –

The idea is to create art to show how he captures all colors of the light spectrum into his camera. 

If  you would like to make this, you’ll need:

  • A canvas (we used size 8 x 10 inches)
  • Good quality crayon colors (Crayola works best)*
  • A hot air gun/a hair dryer
  • A paper/cardboard cut out**
  • Black color to paint the camera cutout 
  • A steel fork to hold the crayon while melting 

What to do:

  • Spread old newspaper on the floor under the canvas to protect it from any stray crayon drops, and lay the canvas horizontally on it.
  • Choose the placement for the camera and stick it temporarily using a masking tape so there is no sticky spot after peeling it off.
  • Consider the color placement for all 7 crayons so the spectrum comes in the center of the canvas.
  • While holding the crayon with a fork blow hot air from the camera to the other side so the color flies out of the camera. 
  • Use hot air to evenly spread the melted Crayon by moving the hot air gun/hair dryer over it from the camera to the outer side. You may want to lift the canvas a little from the camera side so the color flows to the other side, away from the camera.
  • Repeat the melting process for the rest 6 colors. 
  • Blow some air on the right end to merge the colors. If you want a thin layer of lighter hues then use small pieces of crayons and use more hot air  to spread it out. 
  • Once the colors have cooled down, take out the masking tape from the camera cutout and paint it black. I also added some silver glitter to give it a metallic look. After drying stick it on the canvas using a strong glue or a hot glue gun.
  • Enjoy your lovely painting. 


  • * I used some old broken crayons without considering the quality. The good ones melt evenly and give a good even spread. The cheap ones melt in a thick paste that doesn’t spread or merge well and gives a patchy look like you can see in green, blue and red areas of our art.
  • ** I used the cardboard cut out for the camera to give a 3-D effect. You can use a normal paper cutout as well.

This is a very interesting project and I am sure you will have great fun doing it. I have made a whole bunch of these in different themes that I will be sharing in another blog post very soon.

Happy crafting!


Crafty baby, DIY, Festivals

DIY – Diwali Wreath Decoration

Living in a foreign country comes with its own pros and cons. While I do enjoy the various perks , a part of me misses family and friends I left behind. Talking on phone or video calls is great but it doesn’t really cut it some times, especially during the festive season when nostalgia hits hard.

While I can not recreate my childhood memories for my kids, I do want them to know about our major festivals and traditions. Diwali is the biggest and most special festival for us so I have started a tradition of making our own decorations. This way I can engage the kids in a constructive activity, prepare for the festival and teach them about India and our culture along the way. Darling daughter loves crafting and looks forward to Diwali all year. Now that she’s older (5.5 years) she and I scroll through Pinterest and pick what we want to make, then go shopping together and craft away! 

In the past years we have made Kandil and Diwali Toran/Bandanvar. You can see detailed instructions on those here. We have also made beautiful paper marigolds here.

This year I wanted to make something different. I noticed people decorating their houses with Fall wreaths and wanted to make one for Diwali. They look rich and elegant and can be as simple or as complex you want them to be. I gathered some supplies and this is what I came up with. 

I have kept orange as the main color to celebrate fall and added traditional motif and decorations to give it an Indian look. This took me less than 30 minutes to finish.

Things you will need:

  • 1 Styrofoam wreath (14 inches diameter)*
  • 1 roll of Orange Burlap ribbon (5.5 inches wide)*
  • Thin red ribbon (I used 1/4 inch wide)
  • Red fabric flowers and traditional decorations**
  • Big red stones/embellishments
  • Hot glue gun/transparent tape
Processed with MOLDIV
Processed with MOLDIV

What to do:

  • Stick one end of the burlap ribbon to the wreath using hot glue gun/tape to hold it in place. Roll the ribbon tightly and cover the wreath. One roll of 15 ft was enough to cover a 14″ wreath. Secure the loose end of the ribbon discreetly using glue/tape.
  • Roll the thin red ribbon across the wreath, maintaining a gap of about 2 inches . 
  • Stick the decorations on the wreath in any pattern you like. If you are a beginner like me stick to symmetrical patterns.
  • At the end stick stones on both side of the fabric decorations.
  • Use a ribbon to hang the wreath on a the wall or door. 

*  All decorations are easily available at Walmart or any craft store. There is a variety of wreaths and burlap available (different sizes and colors) so be mindful of the size you need before buying. and the color scheme you are going for.

** I used an elaborate Rakhi lumba as the traditional decoration. This may not be available at any American store. 

Hope you love your finished wreath as much we do ours. 

Wish you and your families a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali.


Crafty baby, DIY, Festivals

Make Your Own Rakhi – 2017

If you have been following the blog for some time you would probably know that every year darling daughter and I make hand made Rakhis. The festival of Raksha bandhan holds a special significance in our close knit family and making our own Rakhis makes it sweeter for us. Staying outside India this is one more way of keeping my kids closer to our culture and traditions. 

When VMJ was younger I would choose the kind of Rakhis we made and did majority of the work. Now that she’s a big girl of 5 she insists on choosing the design and shopping for supplies on her own. These days she is into reading and writing so alphabets were heavily on her mind while picking a rakhi pattern. She decided to make name bracelets for her brothers and picked up colorful letter beads from the craft store. Since heart is her favorite shape and she loves colors, she also picked up a box of colorful heart beads and string in bright colors. I would have preferred regular cord over the elastic one but the elastic one had more colors and glitter so was darling daughter’s obvious choice.

The rest was easy. We threaded beads in the string – full names for the younger brothers and only initials for grown up brothers, added heart beads on both ends.

VMJ’S eldest brother got married last winter so this year we were excited to make our first lumba rakhi for her new Bhabhi. In case you are not familiar – lumba is a special, more decorative rakhi for brother’s wife. Instead of the typical rakhi thread a lumba had a loop of string that is knotted around the bangle. For lumba we had bought special charms that dangle from the main loop. A smaller charm from the set was added to our rakhi to make it into a set for VMJ’s Bhaiya Bhabhi. This is how our rakhi and lumba set looks.

The best part about these rakhis was that darling daughter was able to make them on her own, I did help with tying the knots and making the lumba but that was it. 

I love how they have turned out, hope you like them as much as we do. 

Hurry now! Get your supplies and make some pretty ones for your Bhaiyas and Bhabhis.

Happy crafting!

– A

    Crafty baby, Disciplining your child, DIY, Parenting

    DIY Calming Bottle/Glitter Jar

    As darling daughter is getting older she’s growing more sensitive to the idea of time out. If I ask her to go in a corner she sulks and pouts and outrightly refuses to do that. But there are times when I do need her to calm down for both her and my sake. In order to make time out fun for her I considered making a calming bottle. Of course there was added advantage of doing a craft together which is darling daughter’s most favorite thing to do!

    Things we used :

    • Empty glass bottle (I used glass bottle that came with Starbucks frapuccino)
    • Glitter glue 
    • Extra glitter 
    • Confetti and assorted beads/tid bits
    • Hot glue gun (to seal the cap close)

    How we made it :

    • We squeezed out one part glitter glue in a bowl and added 2 parts hot water. 
    • Whisk it together until there are no glue lumps in the mixture. 
    • Pour it in the clean bottle and add confetti, beads and more glitter as per your liking. 
    • Let the mixture cool down. Once cooled, close the lid and seal it with hot glue gun. 

    Now give it a good shake and enjoy the glitter floating in the liquid. Your glitter jar is ready!


    • It would be advisable to use a plastic bottle when making it for young kids.
    • If the mixture is not completely cooled before you close the lid, the plastic bottle may shrivel and ruin your efforts when it does cool down. 
    • Adding too much glitter glue would make the mixture too thick and glitter won’t settle down.
    • Closing with hot glue gun is important so the child doesn’t spill the contents while playing. 
    • This glitter jar is not perfect because the glitter does take a little long to settle down. I’ll experiment with other mediums and keep sharing my experience. 

    Darling daughter enjoyed making the jar, she carefully chose stars and snowflakes from the confetti mix I got from Walmart. We used her favorite Frozen themed acolors and she was thrilled with the results. It’s another thing that we haven’t needed to give her a time out since we have made the calming bottle so I can’t really comment on its effectiveness… 😃

    Do try this fun and easy project with your little one and share your experience with us!

    Happy crafting!


    Crafty baby, Parenting

    DIY Diwali Craft – Paper Marigolds 

    Every year we make Diwali decorations at home. This gives me an opportunity to get darling daughter excited for the festival and spend some more time with her. A decorated house is a bonus that we all enjoy 🙂

    Marigold Flowers: 

    When I think of Diwali marigold flowers are one of the first things to come in mind – bright yellow, orange and my favorite maroon ones. I do see marigold flowers in farmers market sometimes but their availability on Diwali is highly doubtful so I usually make paper marigolds to use for decoration. Last year I made these. They came out pretty well and looked real. This time I wanted to make marigolds another way just for the sake of trying a new technique. 

    Method: Take a paper napkin (already folded in square) and fold it in smaller square. Put 2 staples in the centre in the shape of a plus + sign. Now cut the corners to get a nice round circle. Just do a freestyle cutting rather than drawing a circle and cutting. Make small incisions about 2-3 mm apart on the outside periphery of the circle. Now take each sheet of the tissue and crumble lightly in the center. Continued to do one by one until you finish all. Your lovely fluffy marigold is ready. 

    I have used combinations of napkins to make more colorful flowers. You can do that by layering them before folding.

    These are very simple and quick to make. I did until step 4 myself and asked my 4.5 year old daughter to crumple them as per step 5. These marigold are flat at the base so can be stuck on a ribbon or used as a rangoli on the floor or table. I have tried with different color combinations. Make whichever color you like best. Stores are flooded with red, orange and yellow colored paper napkins to celebrate fall so you’ll not have any trouble finding the supplies. 

    Happy crafting!!


    Crafty baby, DIY, Festivals

    Celebrate Rakshabandhan 2016 with Handmade Rakhis

    It’s Rakhi time again. In our family Rakshabandhan is a big occasion, we tie rakhis to cousins and second cousins as well. This is the second time we are not able to celebrate this festival with family and the least I can do is help my daughter make rakhis for all her brothers so she is involved and stays in touch with the traditions.

    Every year I try to choose a design that is easy for her to make with minimal help from my side. These are the rakhis we have made in previous years. This year I chose rakhis made out of felt and stones. They look pretty and are fairly easy to make.

    Felt is an easy material to work with. It is readily available in a variety of bright colors. Is fairly inexpensive and easy to cut. The only challenge with felt is sticking it together. It doesn’t hold well with fevicol or other easy crafting glues but hot glue works like a charm on felt. In one of my trips to the craft store last year I had over-enthusiastically bought a hot glue gun*. Finally I was able to put it to good use while making these rakhis.

    What you need:

    • Felt sheets (Any 2 colors of your choice)
    • Decorative stones/buttons/glitter glue/pom-poms
    • Thin ribbon 
    • Hot glue gun

    The method is pretty simple.Cut circles from the felt sheets and stick them on each other. Top it with the decorative item of your choice. I have used stone but you can use anything you have available. Stick the ribbon at the back or in between the 2 rakhi layers. And Voila! Your lovely rakhis are ready.

    *Caution – Please be very careful while using hot glue gun if its your first time using it. DO NOT give it in the hands of young children and while using yourself, ask children to keep safe distance from the gun. Follow all instructions properly. Its safe to use but the glue and tip of the gun get extremely hot. Despite being careful I got a nasty burn which was very painful for a few days and I have the mark even after a whole month. 

    Now that your beautiful rakhi is ready, spare a minute to pack it equally well. Take a small rectangular card. I used the blank note cards from market (5″ x 3.5″), you can cut your own from card stock paper. Write your Rakhi message on the card and tie the rakhi on the side. Not only does it look way more presentable than putting rakhis in an envelope, it helps keeping them in good shape till they reach their destination.

    Hope you enjoy making these beauties as much as we did.

    Happy crafting!




    You might also want to read Rakhi & The Changing Paradigms.

    Crafty baby, DIY

    Father’s Day Craft

    Every year I think what can we do to celebrate Father’s Day. In the past years we have done a father-daughter picture enlarged and framed, senti father-child poem with hand print and a hand made card with hand print tulips. You can read more about how we made these here.

    Last year we made a house craft with birds to show Papa and his 2 munchkins.

    Last year was a big year for our family as we had our second child and had moved to US from India. During the move my husband had moved earlier, me and the kids had joined him about 10 weeks later. The baby didn’t care but VMJ took it hard and missed Daddy dearest too much. So on Father’s Day we made a craft to signify home is where Daddy is!

    I and VMJ chose a small wooden house from our local craft store and then VMJ picked 2 colors to paint the house with. We also bought 1 big Papa bird and 2 small baby birds. 

    Back home, we painted the house. VMJ did most of the paint job and I finished the edges. We then left it for a day to dry. Once dried completely we fixed the fake birds on the house. VMJ said since the baby is small and can’t move, he’ll stay in the house and since she is big she will be out with Papa. So, the bird on the roof with Papa bird is mademoiselle while the bird in the house is her baby brother. She wanted to do more to the house so we used alphabet stickers to write “Love You Papa” on one side of the house. 

    My husband  was traveling on Father’s Day weekend so we made a photo collage of his pics with both the kids and shared a soft copy on phone. The day he was to come back VMJ wanted to make another special craft for him, so we did a rainbow with fruit loops. It also helped me keep her busy as she waited for Papa’s flight to land. 

    Papa was so happy to see his gifts and took the house to work the next day to keep at his desk 🙂

    We are still thinking about what to do this year. Inspire us by sharing what you are doing this Father’s day!


    Crafty baby, Festivals

    DIY Christmas Ornaments

    It is that time of the year again – the time when you hit snooze button on your phone alarm every morning, when your tea is generously flavored with ginger, when the air is cold and crisp, when everyone looks forward to sunny afternoons after a hazy morning and one wonders how fast the last few months have flown by.

    Onset of winter also brings Christmas cheer, especially if you are in the western world. Even if its not part of your culture Christmas is usually a favorite with kids – the idea of a chubby jolly fellow bringing them candy and gifts is exciting.

    I bought a small Christmas tree on VMJ’s first Christmas to expose her to this festival. When she got older we started having Christmas party for her friends and made Christmas crafts. This is what we made last year:  Learn how to make it here

    This year we are in the US and VMJ is having the time of her life with the plethora of holiday activities and  with the decorated trees and streets everythere. While thinking about Christmas gifts for her teacher it struck me that I should include a hand made card from Vaanya. The idea evolved into a hand made Christmas ornament when I realized that it will be something new and more fun.

    Attempt 1:

    We started off with making ornaments with white clay. It was easy but somehow didn’t appeal to me. Moreover curiosity got better of VMJ and she poked and played with the beads until they fell off. Idea rejected for now!!  

     Attempt 2:

    Next attempt was with ice cream sticks. We painted them, glued them together and decorated them. It was fairly easy, quick and I liked that it involved a few different skills from start to finish. We loved the end result. This is how it looks: 


    You will need:

    For Christmas Tree ornaments:

    • Ice cream sticks
    • Green Acrylic Paint & brush (I didn’t have green so we mixed blue and yellow)
    • Fevicol/ All purpose glue
    • Decorative items – Pipe cleaners, glitter glue, small beads, stickers, ribbons… let your imagination take control

    For Raindeer ornaments:

    • Ice cream sticks
    • Brown paint & brush
    • Googly eyes
    • Thin red ribbon

    For Snowflake ornaments:

    • Ice cream sticks
    • Blue and white paint & brush
    • Decorative items – Glitter glue, sparkly stones
    You will need a string or thin ribbon to attach a loop for hanging and you are done. Hang them on your tree, gift to teachers or send with the holiday card to family and friends – no matter what you do these are going to be a hit!
    Hope you and your child enjoys making them as much we did!
    Happy crafting!