PAINTING EARTHEN LAMPS (DIYAS)
Continuing with the recycling theme for the Festival of Lights(Deepavali/ Diwali). Here is another very beautiful and very novel idea. Recycling old earthen lamps and making them look unique. There are many beautiful and colorful diyas available in the market but they are expensive. You can buy simple earthen diyas from the market which are still quite cheap and give it your own personal touch, a dash of creativity.
I was inspired to do this because I saw some beautiful earthen diyas painted by my friend who is immensely talented and creative. I decided that I am going to embark on this project as I had decided earlier on that I will go green and recycle as much as possible this Diwali.
People will still buy diyas in the market as it is a matter of convenience and availability. But what I want to suggest here is to reduce the buying and try to recycle old stuff and also let your creativity take wings.
Things to note while re-using and recycling are –
Earthen diyas sometimes can’t be re-used as there may be problems with oil leaking from the bottom or diyas not stored properly breaking or sometimes black burnt marks or oil stains making the diya look very old and not worth using.
- If you have diyas with oil leaking dispose them, they cannot be recycled.
- If they are broken they are not considered auspicious so you can dispose them.
Only the diyas that are working fine and not broken can be re-used
What can be easily re-used and given a new look are –
- Diyas which have burnt marks can be re-used
- Diyas which have oil stains can be re-used.
How to go about it -
Step 1 – Soak the earthen lamps in hot water with some lemon soap. This removes the oil. Wash them nicely. Scrub the black marks with Cif or some such strong cream cleaner with bleach. Rinse them through nicely. Wipe them dry. Sun-dry them for about 2-3 hours.
Step 2 – Now your diyas are ready for some action. Choose a base paint. You can use any acrylic paint. I used a brown-red ultra gloss paint for exteriors. This not only helped me paint my diyas, cover the burnt marks which couldn’t be washed off but also gave it a sleek and shiny look. This paint cost me $1.40 for a can and I have a lot left still.
Step 3 – Choose a place which is airy and lay newspapers or a plastic sheet on the ground or table lest you stain them. Start by painting the inside, let them be until they are dried.
Step 4 – The next day I painted the outside of the diya
Step 5 – Let it dry and on the third day you can start decorating the diyas, You can draw simple geometric shapes, deity impressions, a flower, petal shapes, dots or anything as per how your creativity takes you.
What I did with my Diyas
I used white, silver and gold as the 3 colors for my decoration. I drew kolam (South Indian Rangoli patterns) patterns, simple chakras, Swastik, dots etc as you can see from the picture with Permanent Marker Pens. These dry instantly. You can alternatively use Acrylic paints and a brush to do these as well. Let this dry for another day. Sun-dry or Air dry as per convenience and your diyas are ready to use.
What you can do with them -
- You can stick fabrics, glitter, sequences, beads, crystals, beautiful colored twines or anything as per your wish.
I’m sure people will be impressed with these diyas as they cannot see these anywhere in the market and they are one of a kind and unique and completely handmade by you.
I am sure the family will be proud of your art.
Try making these for this Deepavali. Go green, Recycle and re-use. Save the environment and Save your money too.