How do you create colorful Rangoli designs?


Quick Answer

To create Rangoli, the colorful patterns made in Hindu homes during Diwali and other festivals, draw a design on a flat surface, cover it lightly with oil, and sprinkle colored powders to fill in the motif. Use glitter, fresh flowers and small mirrors for decoration, or consider adding a flower garland or "diyas" (small oil lamps) around the pattern.

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Full Answer

Rangoli motifs are usually floral, geometric or in the shape of diyas. They traditionally decorate the floor during celebrations, but trays, plates and cardboard cake boards are other possible surfaces for a Rangoli. Draw a pattern on the surface with a pencil or piece of chalk, or use a special Rangoli stencil. To make a pattern with the traditional dot method, create a grid of evenly spaced dots, and link them together to form geometric shapes. Alternatively, print and cut out pattern templates from Hindu.About.com.

Spread a thin layer of cooking oil on the design surface so that the powder sticks. To fill in the pattern, use a white powder, such as semolina flower or sawdust, and a selection of colorful powders. Purchase ready-made colorful powders, or select herbs and spices such as turmeric, cumin, tea leaves and fennel. Rice mixed with food coloring is another homemade option. Use the white powder to outline the design, and then fill in the remaining spaces with the colorful powder, starting at the outer border and working inwards.

To sprinkle the powder, rub a small amount of it between your thumb and index finger, or create a cone with a piece of paper, fill it with powder, and pour the powder from the tapered end.

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