How to make a diya

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to make a diya
Create a feeling of celebration with homemade diyas. (amlanmathur/iStock/Getty Images)

Families make lots of diyas -- or small clay candles -- to celebrate the Indian new year festival of Diwali. In India, the small clay pot is filled with clarified ghee which is similar to oil. Cotton wool is twisted to make a small wick and the lamps are arranged in rows as part of the celebration. You can make a similar small diya using polymer clay and tealight candles. Paint and decorate the pots or lamps to recognise the Indian holiday and celebration.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Polymer clay
  • Tea light
  • Oven
  • Aluminium foil
  • Baking tray
  • Acrylic paints

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  1. 1

    Soften polymer clay in your hand by warming it and kneading it with your fingers.

  2. 2

    Shape the clay around the tea or votive-sized candle. The clay should rise 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) above the top of the candle wax. Shape the clay in any design you like. The clay should be no more than 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) thick.

  3. 3

    Place the clay on aluminium foil on a baking tray. Preheat your oven to 135 degrees C (275F). Bake your clay for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the clay to cool completely before you touch it.

  4. 4

    Decorate your diya with acrylic paints using an artist paintbrush. Paint any festive designs you like.

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