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How to make a rangoli craft

A finished rangoli piece in a Diya lamp pattern
A finished rangoli piece in a Diya lamp pattern | © National Trust

Rangoli is a work of art made up of geometric shapes, often inspired by nature. Many people create rangoli to symbolise prosperity as part of Diwali celebrations, which is an annual Hindu festival of light. This guide will help you create your own rangoli in the shape of a Diya lamp, which signifies good health. Follow our step-by-step guide or the video tutorial.

What you’ll need

  • Red, yellow and green lentils
  • Dried red kidney beans
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • A piece of chalk
  • A ruler
  • PVA glue
  • Acrylic paint in the colour of your choice

Method

Cut your card
With the help of an adult, cut a piece of card into a square.
Divide the card into quarters
Using a piece of chalk and a ruler, mark a central line vertically and horizontally to split the cardboard into quarters.
Draw the base of the Diya
On the bottom half of the cardboard, draw a semi-circle with the rounded edge at the bottom of the card – this is the base of the Diya candle.
Draw the Diya flame
On the top half of the cardboard, draw a flame shape for the Diya pattern, keeping it symmetrical.
Outline the shape with glue
Cover the outline of the design with PVA glue. Stick red kidney beans where you’ve put the glue, making sure there are no gaps between the beans. Wait an hour for the glue to dry.
Glue the shape
Fill in the centre of the shape with PVA glue.
Fill your design
Take a pinch of the lentils and slowly drop these onto the PVA glue. Keep doing so until the design is filled with the lentils. Be careful to not move the rangoli pattern or the board to avoid smudging the design.
Paint the outside
Once you’ve finished these steps, paint the outside spaces of your rangoli with colourful paint. Leave this to dry for an hour or so.
Finishing touches
Gently shake off the excess lentils into a bag or onto some kitchen roll. You can now display your rangoli.

Light up your design

When you're ready to display your final rangoli artwork, you could place an LED Diya lamp in front of it to add a welcoming glow.

Video
Video

How to make a rangoli craft

Brought to you by Surtal Arts from Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, this video guide will help you create a colourful rangoli to celebrate Diwali. You can try out any symmetrical pattern you like.

Family activity in the indoor craft room at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire

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Discover more fun craft activities to keep you occupied all through the year.

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