With Diwali just a week away and the markets busting with lanterns, diyas and other decoration the reminder to start stepping up to the plate and getting your festive plan into gear.
This year, I decided to keep the Diwali decoration expenses to a minimum. Frankly I am a bit annoyed with this mass consumerism that seem to make us all want to buy new decoration years after year. If they were at least not made of plastic and looking more and more Chinese with each passing years I would probably not mind as much.
The problem is that this year markets are a riot of super tacky neon coloured lanterns that are not only...well..ugly, but expensive, and environment unfriendly.
I got my share of paper and fabric lantern last year, all pink because it was Ishita's choice. We even went as far as leaving those lanterns on the balcony for the whole year. Needless to say they look faded, dirty and for most people would have gone straight to the bin.
I am not one of those people, this blog has shown more than once that I am all in favour of up-cycling and making new things out of scraps and waste.
This year I decided the main colour for our Diwali decor would be blue. Because we tend to leave our balcony decor intact for the whole year to come anyway, it might as well blend with my existing decor scheme. The blue tin can wind chime was just the beginning of my Diwali balcony makeover.
But back to the project at hand shall we?
The pretty flowing ribbon lantern in the picture above was made from the salvaged frame from this pink fabric last season lantern:
When we first got it last year, it was hot pink, appropriately girly and definitively festive. A year of harsh sun, rain and pollution left it looking rather sad looking.
The two metallic hoops are the only two parts that are still looking as good as new, not even a sign of rust on them.
So, a little "pinspiration" (that phase where you spend hours on Pinterest) and a shopping trip later I was ready to get my project going:
I raided my local arts and craft supplies shop buying all the shades of blue ribbons they had (as you can see 20 rupees a piece).And yes, I used it all, at one point I even thought I would run out of ribbon.
The first thing I did was cut the old pink fabric off the top hoop and cleaned said hoop. Then, I started cutting long length of ribbons and started tying them to the hoop.
The "knot" I used is done like this:
Now simply repeat the process with each length of ribbons covering the hoop as you go:
Do not worry if all the ribbons are not all exactly the same length, some can be a tad shorter. It took me a little over an hour to complete this project.
I used 3 shorter length of ribbons to tie to the 3 wires that connect to the center hoop in the picture above, then I tied those 3 ribbons together to make the part that will help hanging the lantern back on the same hook on my balcony.
This lantern will probably last another year, at which point I'll re-use the hoop for something else if the ribbons have gone beyond any possibility of salvation. Though there might be a chance they might last a bit longer than that flimsy pink fabric.
This project pretty much give me the satisfaction of not having the same old mass produced lantern everybody else will have this season.
If you want to infuse your home with a personal touch this Diwali, I encourage you to the same thing, all you'll need to pull it off is an hour of your time.
An hour you would otherwise spend in a crowded market and in traffic to buy a plastic neon coloured made in China lantern.
Stay tuned, there is at least one more up-cycling project involving faded lanterns coming up on the blog in the next couple of days...