Ganesh Chaturthi is almost here! We are sure you have already started planning your celebrations stretched out over a period of ten days, with family, friends, food, sweets, music, prayers and gifts.
While it truly is a wonderful time to revel in the festivities, one plaguing aspect of the festival cannot be ignored – the much-revered idol that ends up polluting our environment.
Toxic waste, chemicals, Plaster of Paris (POP) idols and non-biodegradable adornments that are discarded in the oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and even tiny canals – this is a common sight after the conclusion of Ganesh Utsav.
A festival that celebrates morals, virtuousness, prosperity, and righteousness often leads to destroying Mother Nature in irreparable ways. Why not consider an eco-friendly idol that satisfies your needs and does not disturb the ecological equilibrium?
Here is Seniority's selection of DIY Ganpati idol making and decoration ideas! Wondering how to make eco friendly ganpati? Read below.
Eco-friendly Ganpati idol making ideas you can try at home:
Ganesha making with clay
Here's how you can make ganesh with clay. Take a chunk of clay and mix it with water to create a dough. Split the dough into four parts. Use one part to make a flat base.
Insert two toothpicks into the base and use another part of the dough to form the body and make sure the belly part is nice and round. Take small portions of the dough to make the legs and attach them to the body.
You can then make embellishments using smaller portions of clay and use a toothpick to carve out intricate designs on them. Roll a few more small portions of clay to create the hands, using the toothpick to design the palm, fingers, and thumb.
Place a tiny ball of clay on the left palm (the laddu). Next comes the head – plant a toothpick in the center of the body (from the top) and then use another part of the clay that will become the head.
Design the trunk in a spiral structure and attach it to the head – make sure it blends with the head. Flatten out two portions of the remaining clay to form the ears and use some additional clay to secure them to the head.
Use tiny pieces to form the tusks on either side of the trunk. You can use any remaining portions of the clay to add stability to the structure or for designing some tiny pieces of jewelry. Your idol is now ready!
Add some non-toxic color to the diy ganpati idol if you like (once the clay dries out a bit). You can also use play dough and make the idol making a family activity to mark the beginning of this holy festival! Your homemade ganpati murti is ready.
Who would’ve thought of a Ganesha idol that is made from chocolate? Rintu Kalyani Rathod, a commercial designer-turned-baker, crafted an innovative idol made out of chocolate back in 2014. She had experimented with an idol made from sugar in 2011 and has never looked back since then.
The best part about this chocolate idol is that it is immersed in milk at the end of the festival, which then turns into delectable chocolate milk! If you have a way with baking, you could try it out at home this Ganesh Utsav.
Soil, fertilizers and seeds
Plant-a-Ganesha became quite a rage a few years back. Made using red soil, fertilizers,andtulsi or ladyfinger seeds, this idol is watered (instead of immersing it) at the end of the 10-day festival, so that it dissolves in the soil beneath.
This eventually leads to a nice little plant being born! If you aren’t too particular about the visarjan bit and don’t mind experimenting with a soil-based idol for a good cause, go right ahead and get home some red soil.
While it might not be as easy as making an idol from clay, a little bit of patience and innovation will get you there slowly but surely. If you love gardening, there is no better way to celebrate this lovely festival than planting a Ganesha idol that transforms into a tree!
Although this is not like a DIY Ganesh idol, it is one of our favorites! It is also perhaps the easiest to make. Simply collect various sizes of betel leaves from the local paanshop and a few other leaves from the garden.
You can arrange the leaves in a way that they form the shape of Ganesha and once you are satisfied with the arrangement, use glue to paste them on a contrasting sheet of paper.
If your creativity runs wild, you could do a lot more to make it visually appealing! Once the festival is over, you can choose to retain this work of art and hang it on a wall or simply take the leaves out and immerse them in a natural water body.
There are several other DIY ideas when it comes to crafting a Ganpati idol using eco-friendlymaterials. From veggies to lentils to cow dung – artists around India are experimenting with various biodegradable or recyclable materials and non-toxic,eco-friendly colors for Ganpati decoration. Take your pick and get going!
Newspaper Ganesha Idol
You can use your newspapers to make a different and innovative Ganesha idol. First, take different cut outs of your newspaper and dip them for a few minutes in a a bowl of water. Once they are fully wet, you can make different parts of the idol using these cutouts.
Now, take a little all-purpose flour in a bowl and pour some water into it. Stir this mixture for sometime until it turns into a smooth liquid. Then use this mixture to join the different parts of the Ganesha idol and paint it with some colors.
Play Dough Ganesha
As kids we loved to play with play dough or children friendly clay. Who knew, we could make Ganpati out of children friendly clay? Use the dough in bright hues to shape the Ganesh idol and make balls of different sizes.
With one ball of dough make a base or seat for the lord. Follow the instructions mentioned in the description of Ganesha made of clay. You can use blue or green colour for the Ganesh and yellow for the crown, with some red dough for ornaments.
You can also add some decoration, stick those on the clay to make the idol stand out from the rest.
Ganesha idol with paper mache
Another way of celebrating Ganesh festival this year is by making a Ganesha idol with paper mache. This is composite material made of paper pieces or pulp and is bound together with glue or wallpaper paste.
First, add water to the paper mache and make a soft dough. With this dough, make different parts of the idol such as the stomach, legs, ears, crown, hands, etc.
Assemble all parts of the idol together and use a little water to get rid of all the cracks. You can pierce holes to create the eyes, crown and tika and leave it dry for 2 days.
Paint the idol, decorate it with various ornaments and your Ganesh Idol will be ready.
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated every year in different states of India. However, due to the Covid-19 situation, we cannot have a grand celebration this year. So, you can try out any of these methods to make your own creative Ganesha idol at home.
Let us know your experience with the idol-making experiment this festive season in the comments below.
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