Tuesday, October 9

Rangoli on a jewel box

How do you store your jewellery? For that matter anything precious that's tiny?

``Jewel box, silly!!!'' you'll exclaim.

I love to do that too. But when I travelled from Chennai to Newark, Delaware, it was simply not possible to load heavy jewel boxes into the heavy suitcases. Jewel boxes are the last thing that occupy your mind when all you want to make sure is, if the medicines you need got in. Still, I love those jewel boxes you get in India.

So intricate, earthy and inviting! This picture is only an example of the thousands of richly made jewellery boxes.

Imagine my excitement when I found at Hobby Lobby, that you can do some DIY! On a jewel box! One look at the $ 1 box and I grabbed it. Decoupage. Sequins or chamki work. Fabric wrap. So many ideas raced in my head on the `what to do with it' front!

I settled for painting it. After all, rangolis on bookmarks has been a fancy that I caught on like fish to water!

Now for the choice of colours. Instant memory flash: my mother spreading cow dung with a broom stick over road in front of our house, an rice powder with medium to make beautiful designs.

And why not? Why stick to sequins glory when earthy colours can make your jewel box look just as gorgeous!

In comes the olive green craft paint. And I get started.

Painting it was not as simple as I thought it would be. Dabbing the brush on the wood...I began with the insides as that would prevent smudging my hands. Working from outside to inside would make it look clumsy I decided.

One coat. And two coats. It did not look glossy enough. So I let it dry. Third coat...phew!

This is how the insides looked later on. Once done with at least three coats on all sides, I picked up a super thin brush for the white. When you begin with something so experimental, it is better to stick to simple designs among rangolis. That's what I did. Am pleased with the design yes. But wracking my brains how it could get a glossy look.

I love those folksy footprints designs. Footprints of God, in whatever form we imagine. The border design is basic. It was on the back side of this box that I thought I messed up the rangoli a bit. So I made do with neat outlining of the dotted design, and some mehndi touch to it.

Here it is, the front side. Reminds me of grandma trunks of yore. Still, it looks alright.

Here they are, pictures with the mini-bookmarks. As home (India I mean) gears up for Dasara and Diwali, am dreaming up the festivities as I make this. Painting your own Indian designs can make up for gifts to give to friends in the coming weeks, instead of having to spend a fortune on gift cards.

If you're getting ready instead for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, you could think of flowery designs, or some decoupage. Or simply go ahead and gift something like this!

Picture courtesy: Radhika M
Picture of wooden jewel box (second from top): Crafts in India

For permissions to use, mail radicreative@gmail.com


  1. Even I love making different Rangoli designs every year. This Diwali I am surely going to pick something from here. Lovely designs must say! Thanx for sharing.