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Activity

Make a Salt-Dough Diya Lamp

Make your own salt-dough diya lamps for Diwali to bring light into your home.

During Diwali, or Festival of Lights, thousands of clay lights called dipas or diyas are made and lit to bring light during the darkest night of the year. Diwali signifies the celebration of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. Make your own salt-dough diya lamps to place on windowsills and entryways to bring light into your home.

Materials

Salt Dough 

  • 1 cup plain flour* 
  • ½ cup table salt 
  • ½ cup water 
  • Measuring cup 
  • Medium mixing bowl 
  • Whisk or spoon 
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat 
  • Baking tray 

Decorations 

  • Acrylic or nontoxic paint 
  • Paintbrushes 
  • Water 
  • Bowl or cup for water 
  • Plate or palette 
  • Cloth rag or paper towels
  • Tea light or flameless candle 

Optional Decorations 

  • Glue 
  • Glitter 
  • Sequins 

Directions

  1. Find a good working space where you can make a bit of a mess. Gather your materials. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. 
  3. Gradually add water while stirring flour and salt mixture until it is fully combined and smooth. 
  4. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead it for 5 minutes and let rest for 15 minutes. 
  5. Tip: add a little flour if the dough is too sticky or a few drops of water if it is too dry. 
  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Split your dough into 34 sections.
  7. Shape the dough into your diya lamps, leaving a space for your candle. 
  8. Place on parchment paper or silicone baking mat on a baking sheet. 
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours, until dry and hard. Allow to cool completely. 
  10. Optional: you can let your diyas air dry for a couple of days instead of baking them in an oven. 
  11. Paint your diyas. Let them completely dry.  
  12. Try painting designs onto your diyas using a fine detail paintbrush. 
  13. Optional: add sparkle by gluing glitter and sequins to your diyas. 
  14. Light your candle and place at windowsills or entryways to bring light into your home. 

*Note: Do not use self-rising flourit will cause the diyas to bubble or rise while baking.