Diwali Lamps

Sometime between mid-October and mid-November each year, East Indians spend five days celebrating their most important holiday: Diwali. The popular festival has become known as a celebration of light in part because of small clay lamps that families light outside of their homes. The flames are believed to welcome good and send away evil. Although we live halfway across the globe, I love introducing my boys to other cultures and traditions. And I was excited to commemorate this beautiful holiday by creating our own version of the treasured Diwali lamps.

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Baby food jars can be turned into all sorts of unusual things so when my youngest son refused to eat green peas, I tucked the jars away for a craft project down the road. (I promise I'm not a hoarder!) Fast forward six months and I was relieved to find that the jars could finally be put to good use. I added them to our pile of materials along with strips of bright orange tissue paper. You could really use any color for this project.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    After cutting the strips of tissue paper into squares, my three-year-old son painted a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the outside surface of the jar. We worked together to lay the squares flat. His tiny fingers had a difficult time placing the paper side-by-side so it was helpful to go back and cover the holes with other tissue squares. That's one reason I love Mod Podge projects so much - they are incredibly forgiving.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Once the entire jar was covered, we added a second layer of Mod Podge on top. It looked white at first but dried to a clear gloss in about 30 minutes.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Done!

    That night, we enjoyed my son's favorite step of all. We wandered outside with our Diwali lamp. Inside it, we lit a votive candle and watched the dancing flames for a couple of minutes. Then we placed the jar on our doorstep to welcome the good and keep away evil. It was a perfect way to enjoy a small piece of East Indian tradition.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

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