Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indian Art - Rangoli Designs

We're still talking about India and we recently learned a little about a traditional form of Indian art, Rangoli. These designs are typically done on floors, but we needed something a bit more small scale! I opted for recycling a cereal box instead.

This project took a little more prep work than usual on my part, but it was worth all the trouble. I started out my searching for Rangoli designs on-line and found a couple of easy designs to copy. I drew the designs on our recycled cardboard with a Sharpie. Then, I dyed the salt. Each color took about 1/4 cup of salt and 3-4 drops of food coloring. If you want more vibrant colors, just add more food coloring. When dying the salt, you need to start stirring immediately after adding the food coloring, otherwise, it will start getting clumpy. We let the salt dry overnight before using it.

I set up our crafting area with our designs, bowls of colored salt, spoons, glue and pictures from a book about India for inspiration. I sat the designs on individual trays to help us pour excess salt back into the bowls. I would suggest not doing this project in a carpeted area! My floor was quite gritty with salt when we were done. (I think I'll be cleaning it up for days!)

To do the project, the girls applied glue to one area of the design and then spooned the colored salt over the area. We then shook the excess off, then added more glue to another area. The girls greatly enjoyed the process. Lizzie carefully considered each color and AJ's favorite part was spooning the salt.

We tried applying the salt with our fingers and at one point we (AJ) decided to just pour entire bowls of salt on our designs.

We also took a few breaks in our artwork to play with the excess salt on our trays!

In the end, we had a colossal mess, but also some very pretty artwork. I'm hoping that by doing some of our cultural projects, the girls are soaking in information about this big world of ours. My wish is to spark an interest and make them eager to see and learn about all the corners of the world.

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  1. I have done this project for years coloring the salt or sand with chalk.. I now know its origin.

  2. I recently got some of those trays and they are seriously the greatest investment. Looking forward to doing a similar project with my kids.

  3. They also do it with dyed rice by the way if it is any easier to clean up (I doubt it)?

  4. I love this! So beautiful to bring back to an original art form. Love the result :-)

    Thank you for linking to Kids Get Crafty :-)


  5. Loved the idea! Thanks for sharing the cultural significance of this art form :)

  6. That is beautiful. We use trays as well to minimise the disaster area. What is nice is how the children embraced and extended it and got a lot more out of it than expected.


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