Tuesday 25 September 2012

Diwali craft - Making a Rangoli using dyed rice

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After making our salt dough divas for Diwali, we turned our attention to Diwali Rangoli. Rangoli are decorative patterns created on the floor during Hindu festivals such as Diwali. They can be geometric patterns or flower and petal shapes, and are traditionally created using coloured rice, sand or flower petals. At Diwali they are created to encourage the goddess Lakshmi to enter homes. I made our Rangoli using dyed rice.

Outlines for dyed rice rangoli

For the base I used some sturdy cardboard. I drew some freehand patterns using a thick black pen, taking some inspiration from pictures that I found online such as these simple Rangoli designs. To dye the rice I followed the very simple instructions from The Imagination Tree - you basically just mix a handful or so of cheap rice with about half a teaspoon of food colouring, and you can squirt in some alcohol hand gel to help it dry quicker. I found that yellow and red dye worked brilliantly, but the green not so well.

How to dye rice for rangoli

We painted our cardboard designs first with poster paint in bold colours. I thought this would give a good solid background, instead of having to cover the whole design in rice. Then we worked with one colour of rice at a time. I applied the glue thickly to the areas required, then we piled on the rice and pressed it down. I found that it dried quickly and we were able to shake of the excess before moving on to the next colour. A little bit of rice went a long way, I had lots left over!

How to make dyed rice rangoli

I was really pleased with how well our Rangoli turned out, and it wasn't nearly as messy or unpredictable a craft as I had worried it would be! We are looking forward to putting them on display when we celebrate Diwali.

How to make rangoli with dyed rice

If you are looking for some more Diwali crafts, then you might like these pages:

Diwali crafts round-up
How to make a salt dough diwa
Homemade Diwali cards
Large Hama bead Rangoli
Small Hama bead Rangoli
Simple Burfi sweets for Diwali

If you are teaching your young children about Diwali, here are some books that they might enjoy:

Diwali (Bright Baby Touch and Feel)- A wonderful very first Diwali book for babies with bright colours, textures to touch and simple Diwali images.

Lighting a Lamp: A Divali Story (Festival Time)- A first introduction to Diwali for very young children, following a family as they prepare for and celebrate Diwali.

Diwali (Holidays and Festivals (Heinemann Paperback)) - A more informative book about the Diwali festival, with more educational resources.

Diwali (Celebrations)Aimed at slightly older children, lots of photographs and ideas for Diwali activities.

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I've also collected together lots of fun Diwali crafts and activities on my Diwali Pinterest board:

Follow Jennifer Jain's board Diwali Crafts and Activities on Pinterest.
I'm linking up with Tuesday Tots at Rainy Day Mum and Kid's Get Crafty at Red Ted Art.


  1. Oh my, they look beautiful! What a clever idea to use dyed rice. Gorgeous Diwali craft!!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


    1. Thank you! Although I didn't come up with the idea for the dyed rice myself! It was a lot easier to do than I expected, so I think that our house will be decorated with lots of dyed rice from now on!

  2. I love these, going to have a go with my two over the next week or so! xx

  3. I came across your blog looking for Rangoli craft ideas for 2-3 year olds. This is going to be perfect.


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