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

    Festivals, Mundane musings

    Why I celebrate Karvachauth?

    One of my fondest memories as a child is to see my mother get dressed for Karvachauth. She rarely wears a sari and Karvachauth was one day when even if she didn’t want to I begged and pleaded for her to wear one. I remember going to a neighbor’s house to see other aunties all decked up and then watching the pooja. Even as a child I loved the karwa song. In the evening my grandmother used to share the goodies and money my mom gave her as gift  with me. The festival was celebrated simply and there wasn’t much hoopla around fasting and gift giving as it is these days.

    As I grew older I looked forward to fasting myself when I got married. So when post marriage I was told that my in laws side doesn’t celebrate Karvachauth I was a tad disappointed but decided to still keep it because not fasting on Karvachauth somehow felt wrong. 

    My celebrating this day and fasting is not a compulsion, not a tradition I am expected to follow and certainly not an image I have to live by. I fast as a way to thank God for giving me a husband who loves and respects me, who may have his flaws but has a heart of gold. As much as I fight with him, I do know he’s the best thing that happened to me and in the very cheesy Karvachauth style I want him as my husband for all 7 births or more. 

    Since I fast mainly for myself I maintain the flexibility and trade early morning sargi for a couple extra hours of sleep. I wear a sari or a suit as I find convenient. I cook an elaborate meal or go out for dinner depending on my mood. I have kept very lenient fasts during both my pregnancies and I sure will do it again if I feel myself physically incapable of staying thirsty or hungry all day. If we don’t have any sweets at home I break the fast with chocolates. Since I define the way I celebrate this festival I enjoy it more. 

    I do get mehandi, dress up, do pooja and wait for the moon. It feels nice to celebrate my husband and our marriage in a traditional way. Though we don’t do the channi thing, it still makes me warm and fuzzy to do the aarti and break the fast after moonrise. 

    I don’t expect a gift, my husband is oblivious to this newer custom and I never saw this during my childhood so it has never been part of the celebration for me. If he gets something it makes me happy, if he doesn’t I’m still happy because it’s Karvachauth 🙂 

    Wish you all a very Happy Karvachauth. May everyone finds happiness and peace in their married lives and may all husbands and wives have a happy and healthy life. 

    Dress up, glam up and sing a happy song. Don’t follow the rituals if you don’t feel they belong. 

    Haha… Sorry for the silly rhyme.


    “Veero Kudiye Karwada,

    Sarv Suhagan Karwada,

    Ae Katti Na Ateri Na,

    Kumbh Chrakhra Feri Na,

    Aar Pair Payi Na,

    Sui Ch Dhaga Payi Na,

    Ruthda Manayi Na,

    Suthda Jagayi Na,

    Behen Pyari Veera,

    Chan Chade Te Pani Peena,

    Ve Veero Kudiye Karwada,

    Ve Sarv Suhagan Karwada …….”

    Happy fasting,