Blog home
The Blog

Fresh Ideas and Inspiration for education

Diwali Art and Craft Ideas - Inspiration From India

This Diwali, we've partnered with Smita Pant from Inspiration School in Uttarakhand, India, to create some traditional art and craft activities. Follow her step by step instructions and make a diva, a Bandhanwar and a Rangoli Pattern.

Posted on Wednesday 03rd November 2021

How to decorate a Diya (Diva)

The traditional lamp of lighting in Indian culture is a Diya (Diva). It is lit for many occasions, festivals and celebrations. It comes in a variety of designs and can be decorated in different ways. Here is a traditional Indian design that you may wish to try.

What you will need:

 How to make yours:

  • Take a diya (diva) or a pot such as an old flowerpot or yoghurt pot. Colour or paint it. I have used green on the outside and pink on the inside, but you can use whichever colour you want.
  • Now take some decorative flowers or other decorative resources and glue them on to the bottom of the diya as shown. If you choose to use flowers, they can be artificial or made from paper.
  • Take a sheet of decorative card or coloured paper and cut out a few thin strips. Using a glue gun (with adult supervision) or PVA, stick the thin strips onto the outside of the diya.
  • Next, draw some small circles on to the coloured paper and cut them out neatly. Glue them towards the top of the inside of the Diya (Diva).


  • Put a small candle inside the diya. If your diya is made out of paper or a recycled yoghurt pot etc, remember to use an electric tea light for safety. You can also decorate the space by using paper flowers around the diya as shown in the picture below.

 How to make a Bandhanwar/Toran (Door hanging)

The traditional door hangings are used to decorate the gates or entrance to houses during Diwali. Indians make them using fresh flowers and leaves, paper craft, wool, cloth and other materials.

What you will need:

How to make yours:

  • Take two leaves (either real or paper ones) and join them together to form a ‘V’ shape.
  • Staple them (with adult supervision) or attach them using glue, cellotape etc on to the decorative lace or ribbon as shown in the picture below.
  • Next, take a coloured piece of paper and draw some small flowers on it.
  • Draw the flowers on two different sheets of paper and cut them our neatly.
  • Now draw some small circles on the different coloured paper and cut them out. Glue these circles on to the middle of the flowers.
  • Take a flower and glue it on the leaves as shown.
  • Repeat this method 6-7 times on the lace or ribbon. You can make the door hanging as long or as short as you wish.

  • Finally, the door hanging (Bandhanwar) is ready. Hang it above a door or entrance ready for Diwali celebrations.

How to make a Rangoli (Floor Pattern)

Rangoli patterns are beautiful patterns drawn and decorated on the floor using colours, flowers, paints, and other materials. They are created to decorate the entrance to the home, living room or the temple area where the deities are kept.

What you will need:

  • Real or artificial flowers (You may like to adapt your design by using other items such as dried pasta, lentils, leaves or pebbles – the choice is yours.
  • Small and big green leaves
  • Chalk /coloured pencil to draw the design on the floor.
  • Divas for decoration.

How to make yours:

  • Draw the design on the floor with chalk. You can draw circles like in the picture or may want to use other shapes and patterns.
  • Place the flowers neatly over the design (although I have used flowers, you can use anything you like. Why not try using pasta, lentils, leaves, or whatever else you fancy.
  • Finally, decorate it by placing some divas around it.

If you would like to watch a quick clip of Smita creating the Rangoli pattern, why not click on the video below:


Rangoli Pattern

This Rangoli was made on a table for demonstration purposes, but during Diwali it would be created on the floor.

With thanks to Smita Pant for sharing her ideas for these traditional Diwali arts and crafts.

About Smita Pant

Smita Pant has been a teacher for 21 years. She currently works at Inspiration Public School, Uttarakhand, India. Besides teaching, she is also: Activity Coordinator for classes 9 -12, International School Coordinator (ISA) under the flag of British Council, and Editor of the Annual School Magazine “Reflection”. Smita is enthusiastic to share her culture, celebrations and customs with other people from around the world.