Crafting for Krishna
I love to create things and nowhere is that more evident than in dressing deities. Whenever I see a beautiful display, I just itch to make it all myself. I've learned to craft necklaces, ribbon flower garlands, and more. I want to share some ideas with you of things that you can make for your own deities.
I hope these ideas will inspire you and help you better serve God.
(And if you aren't the crafty type or there are things you don't feel like making yourself, I also have a small Etsy store where I sell handmade items and a few of the things that I'm showing you here.)
- Large paperclip
- Needlenose pliers
- Use the needlenose pliers to straighten out the paperclip to as straight as you can get it.
- Put the straightened paperclip through Sri Krishna's hands to make sure it fits properly and see how much extra room there is once it is placed near his lips.
- Mark in some way where the end of Krishna's hand falls and remove the paperclip.
- String a few beads and tie them on the end.
- Use the pliers to bend the end of the clip into a fancy shape (swirl, flower, etc.)
- Decide on final placement of the bead strings and use a dab of superglue to keep them in place.
- Optional: Add a flat rhinestone to the decorative swirl with superglue
Home Mandir - Create a home for Krishna and his beloved
There are many gorgeous home temples available to buy, but they're expensive. You can make one yourself, infusing it as you work with your own bhakti and love.
I thought of this idea when I was reading this DIY dollhouse tutorial: Upcycle Style Suitcase Dollhouse
I haven't been able to find the right kind of suitcase at the Goodwill yet to create this, but this is a photoshop rendering of my plan.
- Hard sided suitcase (try looking at Goodwill or yard sales)
- Piece of wood to fit the suitcase when turned sideways
- Power drill and screws
- Wood appliques (either thick enough to use screws with or get wood glue also)
- Colored tissue paper, thread, and needle
- Decorative paper and glue
- To start, make sure the suitcase is thoroughly clean
- Attach the decorative paper to the inside on both the lid and cavity
- Measure the depth and width of your suitcase's cavity to make sure you cut the wood plank correctly
- Screw the shelf in from the outside of the case
- Screw or glue wood applique accents at the top
- Make a garland with the tissue paper using the instructions here: http://www.imprintshandmade.com/2013/02/diy-mini-paper-garlands.html
- Hang the garland from the bottom of your shelf.
- Your mandir is now ready to house Krishna and Radha
- Optional: You could add a small plastic set of drawers below the shelf for the God to hold supplies, clothes, jewelry, etc.
I saw this tutorial for creating a stiff lace crown and I thought that it could easily be adapted to make crowns for Krishna and Radha:
- Short strip of crochet lace (either purchased on handmade)
- Fabric stiffener (i.e., fabric starch)
- Small amount of poster board
- Clear packing tape
- I love to make crochet lace, so naturally I plan to make my own for this project, but craft stores will sell pre-made lace. Just remember how tall or short you want it when you're shopping!
- Place lace in a small bowl and cover with fabric stiffener. Soak for 15 minutes.
- prepare a crown form by cutting a strip of posterboard and make it into a tube that is the same size as the deity's head. Cover with packing tape (helps keep the form non-stick)
- Remove lace from bowl, allowing excess to drip back in to the bowl.
- Wrap the wet lace around the base of the posterboard form.
- Microwave in 30 second increments until the lace is dry to the touch.
- Spray crown again (while still on the form)
- Repeat microwaving. Keep repeating until it is still enough.
- Microwave once without the form, then return to the form and leave to dry.
Turbans - Make a turban hat so you don't have to wrap it every time
You can use the same technique as the lace crowns with turbans. It's just a little bit harder in that the cloth has a tendency to smoke or catch fire!
(See the video below for how to wrap a Rajasthani style turban. You could use this technique on any kind of turban style you prefer.)
- Long, thin strip of cloth (I used a strip from an old dupatta)
- Fabric stiffener
- Small bowl
- Small amount of poster board
- Clear packing tape
- Soak the cloth in fabric stiffener for 15 minutes. Make sure it is completely covered.
- Measure the deity's head (the final size you want the turban) and make a small tube of poster board of that size. Cover it with the clear packing tape (to prevent sticking)
- Remove the cloth from fabric stiffener and allow excess to drip back into the bowl.
- Form the turban around the top of the poster board tube with the wet cloth.
- The original instructions call for microwaving, which I had trouble with. Experiment with this part and make sure the cloth doesn't smoke or catch fire in the microwave. You could also try using a toaster oven on low setting, just keep a very careful eye on it...
- Microwave on high for 15 seconds. Continue in increments of 15 or 30 seconds until the cloth is dry to the touch
- Remove from microwave and spray down with the stiffener while it is still on the poster board form.
- Return to the microwave and repeat the process.
- Continue to repeat until the turban feels stiff enough.
- Remove from the poster board (you may need a flat knife to help remove it)
- Microwave one more time without the form.
- Place back on the form to dry.
How to wrap a Rajasthani Turban
Ribbon Flower Garlands
- Spools of narrow ribbon in the color(s) you want
- Seed Beads
- Double a length of thread that will hang to the right length on your deities (plus an extra couple of inches) and put it on a needle. Knot the end, leaving a long tail.
- Use a running stitch through the center of the ribbon and scrunch it down tightly but not too tightly (so it resembles a flower garland but not so tight that it get mis-shappen).
- Only ribbon half way and then knot again to keep it scrunched.
- Add beads to the second half, then tie off at the end of the ribbon scrunching.
Another thought I've had is to modify dishsoap decorative dresses to be deity dresses. Barbie Doll clothes are the same way. Of course, these make for easy Radha outfits, but it will take some creativity to modify them for Sri Krishna.
- Crochet Memories: Pineapple Dress
This is a pattern to buy, but it does make a very lovely dress so might be worth it!
- Crochet Memories: Fitted Kitchen Dress Set
Another pattern for sale.
- Best Free Crochet: Dress
Will have to enter an email address for access
- Craftsy.com Let's go to Paris knit dishcloth
This may be one layer and need to be done twice and sewn together
- Crochet More: Blue and White Dish Detergent Dress
Looks a little loose, but could be tightened up in the waist with the ribbon.
- Leisurearts: Garden Party Epattern
Another pattern for sale
- Crochet Barbie Ball Gown
Could probably modify easily to make it not strapless
- Etsy set of Barbie Doll Crochet Clothes Patterns
This set of patterns includes one for pants