Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Belated Diwali Tutorial (Decorative Door Hanging)

Hey Everyone, 
Alrite we both realise that Diwali and  the months of traditional festivities are long gone but who cares, a tutorial can always be useful for the year to come ;). So, here goes our tutorial for a very traditional door decoration which is a recycled by-product of some things.

Materials Needed:
Old Newspapers
Old Packing Box
Lot of White glue (we used Fevicol SH) bought from a hardware store
metallic paints (acrylic or poster) of your choice
Fevicol Decoration Glue for embellishments
Gold Cords
Beads in coordinating colours and shapes
Mirrors in various shapes (we had round and diamond shapes in different sizes)
Dimensional liners in colours of your choice
Paper Cutter
Brushes to apply paint and glue
Knitting needle
Scoring tool (a blunt tool to deepen the lines to ease the folding of papers)
Varnish (again ordinary one bought from a hardware store)

Step1: First of all decide upon the shape of paper base you wish to have for the door hangings. Its always good to measure the width of the place where you wish to hang it. Most of the doors have an average width of 3.5 -4 feet. Having a rough sketch of the pattern, design or arrangement of parts is also a good way to start your project. We had a diamond like shape in mind, but you can think of any shape you want, it is totally a matter of your choice. We decided upon 19 diamond like 3-D shapes and 9 parallelograms, though its always good to have few extra considering our tendency of spoiling things while doing such projects, we were proactive ;).
Since we don't have a picture of the work done before, we will try to explain it to you as meticulously as possible. 

Open the corrugated sheet cardboard box so that you have a straight sheet. Draw a guiding pattern for the 3-D shapes. For the diamond shape you can take help of the diagram below. Since we required 19 pieces of diamond like shapes, we drew the diagram below 38 times ... (whoa, we know!) and for the parellelograms, since we needed thickness in the shapes, we drew approximately 36 diagrams on the cardboard sheet. 

Step2: The parallelograms are very simple to assemble. Just cut the 36 pieces , stack 4 pieces together and stick them. The diamond shapes are however little tricky, since we dont have pictures for the same (apologies!). If you are good at geometry, trust us, its going to be simple for you to understand. After drawing the pattern given below on the cardboard sheet 38 times, cut it and then score each piece along the thicker lines shown in the diagram and fold the two flaps or the triangles together towards the centre triangle, so that the side edges come together, forming a pyramid. Stick the edges with glue. Remember! the pattern given below is just a guide, don't be a smart ass and print the pattern we have provided and trace it on your cardstock (then you would blame us for the imperfections and at this point in our career we can't have the blame game! :P ). The fault in this guide pattern is that the three triangles may or may not be equilateral (we did a quick diagram using windows paint without bothering about the dimensions). You have to ensure that the three triangles are equilateral and exactly of the same size, with the help of a ruler. Coming back to our project, you will have to join the two pyramids together, hollow surfaces facing each other and glue them. Hold them tight for some time, till the glue grips the two pieces, There! you have your 3-D shapes ready. :)

Guide for diamond like shapes.
 Step 3: You have the shapes ready, but we are so sure that corrugated sheets have rough edges since they are so thick and difficult to cut through. Hence in order to get a smooth shape and finish, we shall start with a very basic paper mache procedure. In bowl put a glass of water, pour white glue in the water, the ratio being 3 parts water to 1 part glue and stir well, till the solution is homogenous. Cut 1 cm wide and 5-10 cm long strips of the old newspaper or any other thin used paper (don't stick to the measurements strictly, this is just for your ease). You can have around 500 strips to start with. Soak these strips in the glue and water solution for around 10-15 minutes ( a word of warning guys, please don't soak the strips for more than this time, you may end up having a soggy paper mache paste :P ). Once you think the strips have absorbed the solution, take one strip at a time and hang it on the bowl's edge, so that any excess solution drips away in the bowl itself. Once the strip is pliable enough, start sticking it around the shapes in layers, such that no portion is left uncovered. The thickness of this layering can vary with your patience and your need to smoothen the edges. But we would suggest around 4-5 layers of strips on the shapes. Once the cardboard shapes are completely covered with paper, put them on a steel or glass surface to dry. We used our kitchen steel trays so that during the day we could leave the tray in the sun and during the night in the fan. The dry shapes would be stiff and solid like  plastic.
After layers of paper strips have been pasted onto the shapes
Step 4: Once the shapes are completely dry, use sandpaper to smoothen the surface and the edges that may be rough or thicker at some spot.

Step 5: Once you are satisfied with the smoothness, clean the shapes with a cloth piece and paint a base coat in the colour of your preferance. We chose metallic shades for the diamond shapes and maroon for the other shape.

You can notice slight texture on the shapes. Trust us, thats the beauty of handmade items. Its smooth but not marble like perfect :)

We painted the edges of the maroon shapes in the following pattern with the leftover golden paint because we had nothing better to do and it ended up looking like alligator jaws :P still we were happy with the result.

 Step 6: Now take the golden cord (we used two kinds, one for mirrors and the other for stringing the embellishments) and cut it in required length. Don't forget to keep some 2 inches extra for making the loops to hang the door hanging. Knot one end of the cord and start stringing the beads and diamond shapes as shown below. Use a long needle to string them. In order to string the diamond shapes, you just need to make small cuts on the two ends with a craft knife or scissors. Now string the shapes, the paper mache beads and others beads just the way you see in the pic below. You can learn the method of making paper mache beads from the paper mache bead tutorial. You can have your own preferred order, just make sure that the holes you make in the shape are not very big else the bead that is strung next to it may be swallowed by the big dark hollow hole :P.
Step 7: Now you need to prepare the shapes that will hang from the string. Stick two round mirrors together, wrong side in, with the decoration glue (follow the manufaturer's weird instructions).

Leave them to dry for around half an hour.

Step 8: Once the mirrors are stuck, take a golden cord and stick it around the round edge.
Step 9: With the help of a needle and thread attach beads to the mirror cord if you wish. Then attach it to the main decoration with a string. Use a knitting needle to make holes across bigger shapes and leave enough margin on the string to easily attach it to the main string assembled earlier.

Step 10: Finally with the dimensional liners make any design of your choice to adorn the mirror and shapes.

Step 11: Since we had some golden cord left to use, we attached it even to the diamond shapes but again it is a matter of your choice (we are not even saying you have to make the decoration after all ;))

Step 12: Ok, so for us hanging it with the help of two small nails on the wall was the most convenient way to check how it looked and to seal it with varnish but you can always leave it like that. We just feel that adding some permanence to objects ensures that we don't always follow the "use and throw" policy and in turn pile on garbage on our only planet! have a door decoration! :)
its time-taking but the results are really self-satisfying..


  1. This is awesome Kalindi1.. keep it coming :)

  2. Thank you ...we would definitely keep updating it :)


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