Diwali Festival: 11 Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations

October 21, 2019

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While I am busy Fall (deep) cleaning and decorating our home for Fall and Halloween, and immersing myself in all the glorious Fall Festivities & Activities, Diwali quickly crept up on me. 

How is Diwali right around the corner already? 
Didn’t we all just ring in the New Year, 2019? 
It sure feels so to me, hmm!!

You know, decorating for Fall, Halloween or any other festival that I have started to celebrate after coming to the US (a decade ago) is something I do because of my love for decorating, because it is fun, and because I want to learn and embrace the good from different cultures. 

But decorating for Diwali (or any Indian festival for that matter) happens because there is deep-rooted love, attachment, sentiments and nostalgia associated with it. 

For folks who don’t really know much (or at all) about Diwali, here is a quick low down… 



Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes



WHAT IS DIWALI / DEEPAVALI? 



Diwali or Deepavali (as we South Indians call it) means “row of lights” in Sanskrit language. 

Deepavali is a five day “festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. The festival is celebrated for 5 days (though we all end up celebrating it for at least over a week, at least!). 

Each region in india has a different legend associated with the festival of lights and is celebrated (slightly) differently by people in every region, but the core spirit and theme of the festival across the country still remains the same - victory of good over evil.

While different gods are worshipped during Diwali the festival is especially associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. 

Diwali is also a time for vibrant and eye-popping colours, twinkling lights and delicious (spread of) food and sweets! It also marks the beginning of the new fiscal year in India. 

The dates of the festival changes every year and it is calculated based on the position of the moon and the Hindu Lunar calendar. This year the festival is celebrated from Oct 25th - Oct 29th and the actual day of Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the third day of the festival (which is on Oct 27th of this year).


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes



HOW IS DIWALI / DEEPAVALI CELEBRATED?


Diwali / Deepavali is celebrated by... 
  • Cleaning and decorating the house with diyas (oil lamps) lights, rangoli (colored patterns), and flowers
  • Shopping for and wearing new clothes
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Feasting on delicious food and sweets in each other’s company
  • Appreciating the light and joy in everyone’s life
  • And welcoming Hindu New Year together
'Clay lamps and oil lanterns are lit and placed throughout the home, in the streets, in areas of worship, and floated on lakes and rivers. Fireworks are also set off on the night of Diwali - said to ward off evil spirits.’


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes




WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 5 DAYS OF DIWALI / DEEPAVALI?



Day One: Dhan Teras (Day of fortune) / First Day of Diwali

People clean their homes and light lamps both inside and outside the home. They also shop for gold, silver, utensils and other valuables to help bring good fortune.


Day Two: Naraka Chaturdasi (Day of knowledge) / Also called Choti Diwali (day before Diwali) 

On this day, an early morning head-to-toe oil massage is followed by bath, puja and prayers to bring good luck and prosperity, and ward off any evil presence in life. People meet and greet each other and exchange sweets and gifts to celebrate the occasion. 


Day Three: Diwali or Deepavali (Day of light) / Lakshmi Puja

The actual day of Diwali / Deepavali when Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha are worshipped. 

Families gather together and celebrate by lighting diyas and lanterns in their homes and in the streets, and enjoy a meal in each other’s company. 


Day Four: Annakut (New Year) / Govardhan Puja / Bali Paadyami 

This is the first day of the Hindu New Year and family and friends visit each other to exchange sweets, gifts and wish each other well (notice a theme here!? ;)). 


Day Five: Bhai Dooj (Day of love between siblings)

This day celebrates the bond between siblings. Brothers visit their married sisters, and the sisters prepare sweets and lavish meals in honor of their brothers wishing them a long, happy and healthy life.


Now that I have shared my little knowledge about the festival of lights, let’s dive into what I originally intended to talk about in this post, shall we?



Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


SIMPLE & EASY DIY DEEPAVALI & DIWALI DECORATIONS


Since I have already decorated our home for Fall & Halloween, I don’t have to exclusively prep for Diwali Festival. I can simply build on what I have already been doing in terms of setting up and decorating our home for Fall (because Deepavali is all about colors and there is plenty of it already included in my Fall decor ;)). 

But if you are not one to decorate your home for Fall then I got you girlfriend, head over to this post to do a quick Fall Cleaning to prep for the festival. 

Once your house is clean it’s simple to decorate your home with these easy, simple and quick DIY Diwali decorations.


1. DIYAS - CLAY & OIL LAMPS 

Personally, this is my favorite way to decorate the house. You can easily buy diyas from the store (or if you are feeling crafty and have time on your hands then you can make some on your own). Light as many diyas in and around your house as you wish to. Just lighting the diyas and seeing them glow brings so much joy #soulsoothing


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes



2. RANGOLI - BEAUTIFUL PATTERNS MADE WITH RICE FLOUR & COLORFUL POWDERS + FLOWERS

Draw rangoli on the floor by the entrance of your home and even inside the house (as I do) and fill patterns with colors and flowers. This used to be my favorite activity both during the festival and otherwise too (drawing rangoli happens on the daily in South India, except, it isn’t as elaborate as it is during festivals). Ah, how I miss those days!


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


3. LANTERNS

Make paper lanterns and use them to decorate the house (hang them where possible even). This is a quick and easy project to take on. Or buy gold lanterns and use them to decorate inside the house. Better yet, use a combination of both. 


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


4. FLOWERS & GARLANDS

Bring lots of fresh flowers and place them around the house. Marigold garlands are popularly used during this festival, since we don’t get those here opt for faux marigold garlands (you can order them online). Again, if you are feeling crafty enough, make them yourself with craft tissue paper and some imagination. Once the garlands are ready hang them around the house. 

P.S. Trader Joe’s has marigold flower bouquets and pots now, I was so thrilled to see them! What a coincidence that they have these flowers here at this time of the year. If your TJ’s carries them, then take note, it makes for a good hostess gift to bring when you attend all the Diwali parties. The smell of marigold feels like home (as in India).


5. FLOATING DIYAS & FLOWERS IN WATER

Get a huge glass bowl, fill half of it with water and decorate it with floating diyas and flowers. It is such a beautiful sight and takes your decorations to the next level.


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


6. STRING LIGHTS

Hanging string lights inside and outside the house, duh, it’s called the festival of lights for a reason! Since the rest of the holidays (including Christmas) is right around the corner, buy starry string lights which can be used for all occasions. 


7. CANDLES & CANDLE VOTIVES

Lighting candles in candle votives is another great idea to decorate for Diwali that will double as your decoration for the upcoming holidays too. 


Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


8. ‘HAPPY DIWALI’ WALL HANGING

Either buy or make a ‘Happy Diwali’ wall hanging to add to the beauty of your Diwali decor. 


9. CRAFT PAPER ART WORK

Make diyas, wall hangings, door hangings etc with sparkling craft paper or stock card paper and use that as part of your decoration. For example, you can vertically string the diyas together and use them to decorate your walls or entrance. 

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes



10. SWEET THALIS

I mean, isn’t it just obvious? Given that food is such a big theme during our festivals! So use the beautifully decorated store-bought thalis or make one with colors, beads, stones, etc and incorporate it as a part of your Diwali decoration. 


11. PAINTED PUMPKINS

Since Diwali festival happens in the Fall season (in the US), painting a pumpkin and using that to decorate for Diwali kind of blends and brings it all together. You can even use paper cutouts, stickers, flash tattoos, or henna stickers on top of the pumpkins to achieve the look. 

I found these jewel toned pumpkins with a hint of gold (which screams Diwali) in the dollar aisle of Target and the idea immediately jumped at me. I had these flash tattoos which I placed on the pumpkins and they were ready in less than 5 mins. All those dozens of trips to Target in just the last 2 weeks (to decorate for Fall & Halloween) paid off. 

You can also incorporate the spirit of Halloween by using black pumpkins for this art project ;) 


 Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes

Easy & Quick DIY Diwali Decorations featured by top US lifestyle blog, Sveeteskapes


If you have no time to go out and shop for or make any of these Diwali decorations, then as always, Amazon Prime to the rescue. Below are some cute Amazon Diwali finds that brings back memories of celebrating the festival in India as a kid. 


PRO TIP: If you are buying Diwali decorations, then remember to buy stuff you can repurpose and use as part of your Fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

HAPPY CRAFTING AND HAPPY DECORATING!



P.S. Please be conscious of the environment and do not burst crackers but celebrate Diwali / Deepavali festival by lighting diyas and spreading joy! 

On that note, Shubha Deepavali or Shubh Diwali (whatever resonates with you) and have an extra badusha or kaju katli (Indian sweets) for me. 



SHOP OUR FAVORITE DIWALI / DEEPAVALI DECORATIONS 







“There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

xoxo,

Kusum

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