Clever rangoli hacks to glam up your space this Tihar and make your festive game strong
Outline your design
No artist begins work on a blank canvas without an outline and neither should you. Making a rangoli without an outline is a risky affair. You’ll end up with a disproportionate design and most likely make a mess of your work. Trace an outline of a design of your choosing, with a piece of chalk or even an abandoned pencil. Leave a trail of rice flour along the length of the design to make the outline apparent and your rangoli cleaner. Filling in the colors should no longer be a cause of concern anymore.
Think geometric patterns
Not everyone is an artist but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a rangoli that’s the highlight of your Tihar decorations around the house. Select a design that you can draw by simply joining the dots. On a damp floor, draw the number of dots you need for your design using chalk, white powder, or rice flour. Now join these dots with the kinds of lines and curves you want to make an elaborate design. There is no need to stick to a pattern here, do what you want to and you will have a creative little rangoli ready in no time. Also, the damp floor will ensure that the design won’t budge or the light wind that’s typical at this time of the year won’t blow it away.
Use a paper cone
You may still worry if your outline will come off the way you envision. Our novice fingers may not have the dexterity of professional rangoli makers but we could still make do. Take a piece of paper and fashion it into a cone. Pour the rice flour in the funnel and cut the tip of the cone. The idea is to make it something like a mehendi cone. Run the tip along the pencil or chalk sketched lines of the rangoli and you will see that it falls evenly and neatly. You may also use this trick to fill in the colors. This nifty little trick will be of great help to make your rangoli look clean and neat upon completion.
Mix your colors with grains of rice
This is a challenge everyone faces, the colors don’t stick to the base as you would wish them to. There are thus very often than not cracks that appear in the spaces filled with colors. This is because the texture of the colors is too soft and not grainy enough so they don’t stick together. There’s an easy solution to this problem. Simply mix your color with grains of rice. This will lend your mix some heaviness and filling in the spaces won’t be a hassle anymore. Moreover, the colors are spread evenly and your rangoli will end up looking more exquisite than you can ever imagine. And no, if won’t look like you have made your rangoli with rice. (Not unless you look real close but the thing with rangoli is that it doesn’t often get that close inspection.)
Think out of the box
Remember, rangoli is as much about tapping into your inner artistry as it is about traditions. It need not always be colors or on the floor. You may substitute the colors for flowers and the floor for a large pot of water. Imagine the trouble you will be saving yourself later. Take a khadkulo (a large copper pot) and fill it with water to the brim. Place a large flower to serve as the centerpiece, and spread different colored flowers around it as you would colors around the center of a rangoli on the floor. Sneak in some floating candles if you wish to give your rangoli an extra oomph. However, if you want to make a rangoli at the entrance of your house but don’t want to spend a lot of time on elaborate designs, then think of simpler ideas like just making an ‘Om’ sign or a swastika. It brings in the religious vibe without you having to put in a lot of effort.
Make use of the things around you
You don’t always need a company-manufactured stencil to make a beautiful rangoli. You may not realize this but there are many things around you that you could make use of. CDs, bangles, paper cups and more can be used as molds to make proportionate designs and ensure even fillings of colors. CDs are an excellent component to include in your rangolis. The protective layer of CDs are made of plastic and lacquer which give them an excellent sheen, during the dark hours of the night they thus become spectacles of their own. Fill in some colors over the CDs, throw in some flower petals and voila you have a breathtaking rangoli before you. Like we said, Tihar is a festival where you get to tap into your creativity. So get thinking and make the best of what you have got.