All posts tagged: DIY

hand holding a sparkling sparkler stick against a black background

Celebrating the Festival of Lights: Diwali

Diwali is for India what Christmas is for most of the Western world. The lights, gifts, food, and the fun family times are the highlights of this festive season. Diwali gifts are usually in the form of food or something for the entire family, instead of individual gifts. Even if you don’t pray or celebrate the traditional way, it’s easy to be swept up in the fervour of the festival in your own style. Afterall, who can refuse a day filled with food and festivities with loved ones?
As a kid, I remember our whole joint family lending a hand to get ready for the festivities. In those simpler times, birthdays and Diwali would be the only times in the year we would get new clothes. Sweets and savouries would be made at home since there were limited choices in the stores. These would be gifted to friends and neighbours and the rest devoured by all of us at home.
How has the festival changed over the years? Also, things you can do to make your celebrations even more brighter.

DIY trinket trays with air dry clay embellished with beads

An Ode to Teachers and a Handmade Thank You Gift for Teachers

Teachers no doubt shape the lives of their students in a multitude of ways. With a word that’s thoughtful or sharp, they can make or break a student. A good teacher is a rare gift that not everyone is lucky to experience. They nurture, educate, and inspire beyond their own classrooms.
Thank you to all teachers who touch the lives of others every day. We don’t always notice teachers’ efforts or impact on our lives, but they do so in many ways, and we are forever grateful.
Here’s an easy and awesome gift idea for a teacher’s day gift or a thank you gift at the end of the school year.

DIY Christmas tree made with cardboard packaging, lit up with a string light and decorated with toys

DIY Christmas Trees that are Eco-friendly and Plastic-free

It’s that time of the year again when we see Christmas decorations start to fill the streets. Most of these decorations sold in your regular stores are made from materials that typically get thrown out and end up in landfills (like plastic). Everywhere you look, it stares back at you in the form of trees, decorations, gifts, and wrapping paper. Here are some ideas that allow you to lead a low-waste lifestyle and conform to the true meaning of Christmas.

rangoli design of a flower

How to Level Up your Rangoli Skills with Homemade Colours

I love looking at the colourful piles of rangoli colours on carts that line the streets around the time of Diwali. The bright, beautiful hues in a myriad of colours fill my heart with joy and get me in a festive mood. This year, I decided to make rangoli colours at home. It was easy but time-consuming, and I loved the results. I’ve only bought the commercial rangoli colours a few times in my life. I prefer to use chalk and flowers instead of struggling to make delicate patterns with powder.  Making rangoli colours at home couldn’t be simpler, and best of all, it’s natural and eco-friendly. All you need is rice, refined flour, and natural food colours or use stuff from the spice rack. I ground the rice into fine powder. The rice flour from the store is too fine, so I prefer the homemade one, which is slightly granular. It gives a nice texture and flows smoother. I added refined flour with a ratio of 1:1.  Next, I separated this mix into different …

collage of 4 hand-painted terracotta planters with plants

DIY Painted Planters

Once I figured that I could paint pretty much any surface, it was hard to control myself. In one of my previous posts, I’ve talked about painting some decor items. Next, I wanted to revamp my balcony garden. The boring old brown and black plastic pots are a thing of the past. Welcome to the terracotta age. These pots look gorgeous even if you don’t decorate them. They are also a much better option for growing healthy plants. The terracotta wicks away the extra water, and since it’s a breathable material, the plants stay happy. I got my set of pots from The Handcraftian. The set of four came wrapped in a newspaper without a single crack. No unnecessary plastic or thermocol. These are sturdy pots with a large drainage hole at the bottom so you can be sure your plant roots will not rot if you overwater them by accident. I had purchased some clay pots from local nurseries, but I found them to be thinner and developed cracks quickly.  I wanted to try …

collage of hand painted cotton bags and a child using them

DIY Hand-painted Cotton Bags

Have you gotten used to carrying your own bags for shopping? Be it groceries or clothes, most cashiers will check with you if you’re carrying your own bag. It’s a refreshing change from just handing you a plastic bag. Even paper bags need resources to make and a whole pile of unused ones generate a lot of waste. I have various cloth bags distributed all over the place – a few in my car, a foldable one in my purse, a few next to my main door, and a few ‘fancy totes’ to be used for the upscale flea markets. I had a few plain cotton cloth bags lying around and thought about giving them a makeover. I had never painted on fabric before and was sceptical if they’d last. After having used and washed them over the past year, I was pleasantly surprised. I even tried embellishing some of them with beads and parts of junk jewellery that weren’t getting used, and I was thrilled with the results. All you need are some fabric …

diy bookbinding sketchbook with house plants and fine liner pens

Easy DIY Bookbinding at Home Tutorial

I have scrolled through hours of arts and crafts tutorials over the last year and have been tempted to try each one of them. Some seemed easy enough; others were a distant dream.  Bookbinding was one such tutorial. The videos look so beautiful—the old-world charm of making something with your hands how people did it hundreds of years ago. I always felt you’d need special tools and skills even to try a basic version.  There are many different book binding types. Some of them need special book binding materials that you wouldn’t necessarily want to invest in. Thankfully, I came across some tutorials that a beginner like me could try with stuff you’d generally have at home. I had a bunch of loose papers from a tear-away sketchpad that was just getting tossed around in my drawer. It was the perfect time to make use of them and try bookbinding at home. Book binding supplies Loose sheets double the size of the book you want. We’ll be folding these sheets in half Sharp pin or …

Homemade shea butter body lotion in a glass jar

Best Remedy for Dry Skin: Homemade Shea Butter Lotion

I have struggled with dry skin for a long time. Apart from my laziness, the availability of good body creams in India has not been of any help. I’ve tried everything from store-bought creams to coconut oil, to no avail. Dealing with Dry Skin In the temperate climates of India, the weather is humid most of the year, but towards the end of the year, it gets dehydrated. Within an hour of slathering on lotion, my skin feels stretched and dry again.  We were in Vegas a few years ago during the winter months and had applied coconut oil every morning. Even then, I noticed my son’s skin had become very dry. On our return, our paediatrician said water-based lotions get absorbed by the skin, and the oil-based ones only protect the outer layer. So with our skin that’s predisposed to dryness, we need a combination of both. That’s a lot of effort for someone who hardly uses any cosmetics. Shea Butter Body Cream Last year during the lockdown, when our supply of body lotion …

Home Organising Tips: DIY Necklace Storage

It’s fairly easy to organise earrings and finger rings. But, if you’ve tried storing necklaces and chains in drawers without getting them all tangled up then you are made of magic. I am not, so I had to think of a makeshift arrangement I could use without any damage to the rental house we were in. Here’s what I needed: MDF Board Pushpins that can hold a necklace (I used wooden ones because they look awesome and you can colour them if you want) Decorative paper Hammer Glue 3M Command Strips How to: Cover the board with decorative paper. Hammer in the pushpins. You might have to flatten in the pins at the back of the board if they’re jutting out too much.  Use command strips to hang them wherever you want. Easy peasy! Note: Some of the links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you.