This is a lovely craft for any time of year, although I originally write it just after Christmas. I like to keep a sack of air drying clay around the place (you can buy it very cheaply online), as it’s a cure-all for a wet afternoon.

Lighting candles for the dinner table on these cold, dark wet nights seems absolutely proper at this time of year, so while Diwali is long gone (the Hindu Festival of Lights celebrated in our Autumn), when my eldest, B suggested making Diva lamps, it somehow felt right.  (We are a non-secular household, who feel curious and interested in all religions, festivals and celebrations).

Traditionally within the Hindu religion, Diva lamps are lit at Diwali to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, into people’s homes.  I’m cool with a bit of wealth coming into hte house!  They are also linked to the story of Rama and Sita.  The people lit thousands of clay lamps to welcome the exiles back home after a 14 year exile.  We learned all about them at a lovely Diwali event in Brighton Museum back in the Autumn of 2013 and it’s obviously stuck with B.

I have a big sack of air drying clay, which I bought very cheaply online.  I use it at Wildplay a lot as well as at home, and it’s probably one of my kids favourite activities.  We have made a nativity scene, Buddha statues and Wildplay wizards.

We used real candles, but have them on a very wide, flat plate on our dining table.  If your kids want to have them in their bedrooms try electric tealights, which are readily available on the web.

This is a great craft for children to really get their teeth into – once they’re set-up, they can simply get on with it and the results are really effective.

We used:

A big handful of clay each, rolled into a ball (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a tennis ball).

Buttons, glitter,beads, old coins, and some old bits and bobs (not flammable stuff as we were using real tea lights).

That’s it!

I helped my three-year old to push her thumbs into the clay to make the dent in her first one, then they just got on with it.  Later models included handles (but I don’t let the girls carry them around)!

Once the lamps are formed, we double checked the tealight could be taken in and out so that it would be refillable and decorated with all our lovely treasure.

They make a lovely centrepiece for our dining table and are a fun addition to teatime.  My girls absolutely love to eat with the Diva lamps lit!

Beautiful homemade diva lamps as a lovely New Year table centrepiece

Beautiful homemade diva lamps as a lovely New Year table centrepiece


this post was originally written for Worthing Mums