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Water Lamp

Ethnic Indian Home

This post is about how you can make a lamp out of a glass bowl and a few things that you may have lying around the house.

Diwali Decor Ideas

Things you will need to make water Lamp:-

  • A Transparent Glass bowl
  • Pebbles (colored or natural)
  • Water
  • Cotton wicks
  • Plastic sheet (can be cut from a restaurant take out container – transparent)
  • Oil that is used in lamps

DIY Water Lamp

Here is how you make it:-

  • Take the plastic sheet and cut it into rectangle shape of 1cm in length and 2cm in width.
  • Make a small hole ( so as to fit the wick) in the middle of the rectangle sheet with the help of a pin.
  • Insert the wick in the sheet. Size of the wick shouldn’t be too long, approximately 2 to 3 cm is what you will need.
  • Take a glass bowl, gently place the pebbles of your choice and pour the water to fill half of the bowl.Glass bowl filled with pebbles
  • Let the air bubbles settle for a while.
  • Pour the lamp oil on top of the water. I have use gingelly (Sesame) oil because of its clear gold color and it looks good with the colored pebbles. You can use mustard oil or even vegetable oil. Make sure you pour the oil slowly into the water to ensure that you dont have too many air bubbles. If you still end up with bubbles, Burst them with the help of a stick or a toothpick.DIY Water Lamp
  • Gently place the wicks which is attached to the plastic sheet. Now this is the tricky part. Sometimes the wick does not stay upright and just leans into the oil. This means the weight of the wick is not balanced correctly. It may take a while for you to ensure the wick stays upright. This is also the reason why I have suggested the small wick length.
  • Carefully Light the wicks and enjoy the warm glow. DIY Water Lamp

When I experimented this first, I used a smaller bowl with a single wick and 3 spoons of oil. The lamp burnt for about two full hours and that is what prompted me to make a better version of it.

Also, this lamp needs to be made just before you light it, if you are making it in a transparent glass bowl. If you leave it for too long the chill from the water starts to solidify the oil and it turns translucent which does not look good at all. However it will continue to function as lamp, no changes in its performance there.

I hope you are liking our series on sustainable Diwali decor, where we are trying to bring you ideas which you can execute with things that are found in your home. Do let us know in the comments below.

DIY: Jam bottle Lantern with Glittery Sand

DIY Colored sand lantern

This post is about how you can make your own outdoor lantern using things you already have at home. This Jam bottle hanging lantern will look good during day and at night. 

DIY Jambottle lantern filled with colored sand

Things you will need for making colored sand:-

  • Sand
  • Sieve
  • Water colors
  • Empty Jam Bottles
  • Plastic sheet to dry the sand
  • Small bowl to mix
  • Glitter powder
  • T light candles
  • Jute thread to hang the Jam Bottle
  • Tassel (made out of colored thread) or colored beads

Jam bottle hanging lantern

Method :-

  • Spread a newspaper sheet on the floor to sieve the sand. Sieve the sand on the paper using the sieve to remove the large particles like pebbles and shells.
  • In a bowl, take the water colour of your choice, mix it with a little water. If you want dark color, use less water and if you want a lighter shade then use more water.
  • Mix this thinned down water color with the sieved sand.
  • Spread it on the plastic sheet to air dry it. The color of the sand will not be exactly the color you used, and it also dries a little lighter. (Be prepared to discover new colors)
  • Add the glitter powder (as much as you want) to the fully dried colored sand . Mix well until all the glitter powder is evenly distributed within the sand. I have mixed approximately 10 grams of glitter powder to the dried sand and got the effect that I was looking for.
  • Fill the glitter colored sand to almost a little more than half into the jam bottle.
  • Tie the Jute thread to the neck of the Jam bottle. What I have done here is to use 2 equal lengths of thread, took one end around the neck of the bottle and made a knot, took the other ends around the neck again and tied a knot at the opposite end from the first one, the result is a big loop to hang the lantern.
  • Attach  colored tassels or the colored beads of your choice to the ends of the Jute thread.
  • Place a tea light candle inside and hand it wherever you want.

How to make colored sand

This was also a fun project to make, coz we had everything available with us and we did not have to buy a thing.


DIY: Clay Lotus Candle Holder

DIY lotus candle holder

This post is about how you can make your own Lotus Candle holder using air dry clay. This the also the first post by Padma who is a part of Team Preethi Prabhu. 

Ma’am (Preethi Prabhu) is the inspiration for all my DIY’s. An idea that runs through my mind, I share it with her and almost immediately she says go-ahead, every time.  We try lots of DIY’s out of which a few turn out really nice, and touch our heart. This is one such DIY that touched all of our heart and made us happy. Whenever I look at it I feel proud that I made it.

DIY Lotus candle holder

So let me tell you how I did it.

Things you will need:

  • Air dry clay ( we had a 1kg packet, we used half a packet to make 2)
  • Paper Cutter
  • Rolling pin ( We did not have one in the studio so we used a water bottle)
  • cardboard (To cut a leaf template)
  • Jam bottle cap or any round shape (as big as you want your candle holder base)

To make a Card board petal shape template:

Take the cardboard, draw a petal/leaf shape by drawing cone in any edge of the circle. (size of your choice preferably not very big, i have used 1.5cm) Once you are satisfied with the shape, cut it out.

DIY Lotus candle holder

Step-wise tutorial to make clay lotus:-

  • Take air dry clay and knead it (dont add water if it is too dry, you end product will crack too easily) for a while to get a good consistency. Roll it using a rolling pin into a sheet, not too thin.
  • Mark with the round jam bottle cap cut a big round shape using the paper cutter for the lotus base. Place it on a plastic sheet, and it will stay on the plastic sheet till it is fully dry.
  • Roll some more clay, and then keep the cardboard petal shape on it for reference. Using the paper cutter again cut along the shape to make lotus petals.
  • The number of petals you make depends on how big is your candle base is and the number of layers you want.
  • Smooth the edges of the petals with your fingers dipped in water to remove the roughness.
  • You can count the number of petals you will need by roughly arranging them around the base.
  • Cut out as many petals as you need start fixing it to the base by pressing the petal into the base until you get a smooth surface. (Where the base meets the petal, score the base with your cutter to ensure it sticks better)
  • Work continuously till you complete all your petal layers.
  • Depending on the humidity in the air, dry your creation for a day or two. You can paint it with the color of your choice after it is completely dried. We liked the unfinished look, so we let it be.

Watch the slider for the step by step images

Note: This lotus looks absolutely gorgeous, but can be a little delicate. So handle it with care.

Ethnic Indian Home decor

P.s. This DIY will need to be done in one sitting as the clay starts to dry.


5 Ways to have a Safe and Sustainable Diwali

Safe and sustainable Diwali
This post is about how you can have a Safe and sustainable Diwali, have a ball without spending a lot of money. Also in the process you will be an Earth Warrior and save the planet from the comfort of your home. 
1. Switch to oil diyas.
Apart from being one of the safest ways to celebrate Diwali, they also have health benefits. Different oils have different health benefits when used to burn a diya. Earthen diyas are available everywhere and you will have to soak them overnight for them to be ready the next day to use. Else the oil will leak from the bottom. If you want a one time investment, invest in a set of brass diyas and you won’t have to buy diyas every year.
2. Ditch the plastic and paper decorations.
Rather than using paper lanterns and decorations that will go to the dustbin and eventually land up in the landfill, move to organic decorations and compost them instead. Do fresh flowers or even leaves . If you are doing garlands, a spray of water twice a day will keep them fresh for a couple of days. Just make sure you are not spraying around electrical points. Flowers also look more elegant and have festive cheer.
 Mother in laws tongue
3. Grow some fresh air inside your home.
Yes you can do it. No you don’t need big technology equipment. No it won’t break your bank. We have a line of deference for intruders, but there is no way of stopping polluted air from entering and circulating in your house. Also a lot of formaldehyde based gases are generated inside the house itself. You will be surprised that this monstrous problem has a very easy solution. A very simple way of dealing with that and it’s plants, and that too some very common plants. Money plant removes formaldehyde from the air.  I heard a TEDx talk that mentions that a research shows that six to eight waist height snake plant (mother in law’s tongue) can produce enough oxygen for one person. And not only that, the snake plant can stay in dark corners and still looks absolutely stunning. So yes, each and every person can grow their own fresh air in their homes.
4. Use what you have to decorate.
That unused dupatta can be used as a table runner. The saree that never sees the light of the day can be used to decorate the back of your sofa. I am not telling you to cut them up, just use them intelligently. Whiskey and wine glasses can be used to decorate the dining table. Look around and you will be surprised to see the things you have that you can use to decorate. Unless you are a crazy minimalist, even then you are sorted, light one lamp and a couple of leaves from the garden and you are sorted with your decor. If you must spend, go buy something from a small business or a livelyhood project. The money that you spend there puts food on their plate and brings more cheer to their Diwali and brightens yours even more.
 Wine glasses as T light holders
5. Dont do firecrackers.
Well, this is a very obvious one. I know they are a visual treat. but in the process we are trading off to much. The noise pollution, breathing problems, discomfort for pets, fire hazards and fog the next morning is just a few problems that fire crackers cause. Its not worth risking our lives for a few minutes of visual satisfaction. But there is something that can give you a multiplied version of that thrill. Leave some sky lanterns into the air, its beautiful and make you feel so good that you wont miss the fire crackers at all.
Diwali Decor Ideas
So there you go, have a safe and sustainable Diwali celebration my dear Earth Warriors.

The Science Behind Diwali

Diwali Decoded: The Science behind it

This post is on some of my findings about the non spiritual & non mythological reason behind the celebration of Diwali. While I am not claiming that it is one hundred percent accurate, it surely felt logical to me. Read on coz I am talking pure science here. 

I am a strong believer that our Ancient Indian scriptures and practices have scientific knowledge hidden as much as they are religious. While the whole world is looking at us for their well being, its only natural that we should seek answers in our own ancient practices. When I hear Westerners going gaga on Yoga, turmeric tea and spices used in Indian food being anti cancerous, I am like, “Dude! we have everything here and how are we still third world”.

Also, with this whole globalization and internet boom, the world is becoming a smaller place than what it used to be. While I am thrilled to get to know newer cultures and learn from them, somewhere I feel that we are ditching our old customs or re-inventing them for the sake of convenience. This is what got me motivated to dig deeper into the reason behind Diwali tradition and practices.

We all know that Diwali is the festival of lights and Light in itself is worshiped as a lord. Also, it is the homecoming of Lord Rama after his victory over Raavana and hence he is welcomed with the grandeur of the shining lights. Now lets look at the science behind it.

The Science of Diwali

Diwali generally falls somewhere in October or November and it is much grander in North India that it is in the South. October/November is also the time when the season is changing, and its a weird kind of weather. Its raining, its humid and its cold at nights. Its also the time of the year, when you can get sick easily.

Diwali Decor ideas

So what about it?

Well, the mixed weather of the season supports the growth and spread of bacteria and germs. An ignited oil lamp, the chemicals emitted from the flame kills germs from the atmosphere around it. And the effect is multiplied when you light hundreds of them. Do you see where I am getting at? (also, when there is a death in the house, there is a lamp kept burning for several days. It all makes sense now.)  The light of a diya also meddles with the magnetic field around, the electro-magnetic waves produced linger on your skin. They activate your blood cells, increases your immunity and makes you feel good.  That is why during Diwali homes are cleaned and hundreds of lamps are lit to ensure the atmosphere around is all safe.

The science behind Diwali

So what, we have modern gadgets now, we are safe!

No we are not. In-fact, I am not sure how it in smaller towns, but the air quality in cities is beyond pathetic. Added to that working in air-conditioned spaces all day long spreads germs faster than ever.

So, this Diwali go bask in to glow of some warm lights and know that you are doing yourself good.