It’s been more than 6 months since we moved Into our new house. I finally got the chance to share our Indian housewarming decorations with you.
We moved back in March when COVID was just taking the nation to the storm. Due to which a lot of our friends and family couldn’t make it to our Griha Pravesh. We also kept the celebrations simple (limiting to 7 people) and did everything on our own without any external help-from cleaning the house to cooking, decorations, and pooja.
My Father in law guided us through the entire Griha Pravesh ceremony from a Facetime video call. He read mantras on the phone while we did the pooja. I honestly never acknowledged the full potential and practicality of video technology like this before. I also never imagined our House warming to happen this way (without any family) but I am grateful that we were able to HAVE one in the first place and were able to move in and enjoy our new house during this quarantine time.
Coming to the decoration, I wanted it to be traditional. I did all the decorations in a 2-hour span so It’s simple, and something you can easily re-create for any Indian festival. As Diwali is just around the corner, I thought you can find some inspiration from the post to jazz up your place.
Traditional Indian Housewarming Decorations
(Griha Pravesh Decor)
Home Entrance Housewarming Decorations
Home entrance decor has been enhanced by DIY real Mango leaf toran, flowers, and simple rangoli. The entrance of a new house is mainly adorned by mango leaves to signify good fortune to the house and its members. It is also believed to ward off evil spirits or any negative energy entering the house.
You can purchase mango leaves in almost all major cities in the USA at Indian grocery stores. I got mine from Lotte plaza. To make the DIY Mango Leaf Toran, take a thick thread or multiple layers of the white sewing thread, cut it to the length of the door. Smoother it with Tumeric. Instead of punching in individual leaves, I tied bunches of mango leaves. This is how my dad usually makes Toran for our house in India. I wanted it to bring in the same look and vibes.
For the flowers, I hung 2 sets of artificial Chamanthi/ Chrysanthemum strings on each side of the door. Each string is 3.25 feet long. I ordered them from Desifavors Amazon store, you can also order them directly from their website. I was not sure about the garlands when I ordered them since they were a bit pricey. But I was blown away by the quality when I opened the box, they looked very real and the quality was incredible. I left it on the door for weeks, it survived many windy days without falling off.
I did a simple Rangoli with rice flour at the entrance. If you are not into doing rangoli, you can get this beautiful pre-made Rangoli set.
Traditional Indian Housewarming Decorations: DIY Pooja Backdrop
I wanted a pooja backdrop that didn’t involve tapping or nailing the walls. So I used an adjustable backdrop stand to create the backdrop. The best thing about an adjustable stand is that you can move the backdrop to any location and of course adjust the height and width easily.
The backdrop is designed using burlap fabric, adorned with artificial marigold garlands, mango leaf toran, and brass bells. I love how traditional and professional the backdrop turned out without putting in a lot of effort.
Finding the fabric for the backdrop was the toughest. I wanted something different, something I have not seen used before. An idea popped up when I saw the marigold garlands on my woven puja mat, I immediately googled for woven backdrops with zero luck. My search has ended me with this garden burlap fabric that I managed to hang it on the adjustable backdrop stand
The fabric was only 40″ wide. In order to cover the whole backdrop, I had to cut it into half, hung them side by side bu securing it safety pins
Next, I did the floral decoration. instead of cutting the Marigold garlands for the different lengths and shapes, I adjusted the flowers and used safety pins to get to the desired design. This way you can re-use the garlands again for a different design next time.
I love the chiming sound of the bells. So instead of getting the fake bell ornaments, I splurged on these brass bells. The bells turned out to be smaller than what I imagined. But they looked cute and added the traditional gold contrast to the whole setup.
The set came with 30 individual bells. My friend Bhawna patiently made the strings and we hung them to the backdrop together.
Tip– Decide the height of the backdrop stand depending on where you want to put the idols for the pooja. If you are using a coffee/side table, put the table in front of the backdrop, and adjust the height accordingly. That way your backdrop isn’t too small or too big.
Initially, I planned on placing the idols on a cardboard box wrapped in a silk fabric but I ended up switching it with a coffee table at the last minute due to which I thought the backdrop looked slightly small.
Traditional Indian Housewarming: Return Gifts
I thanked the guests who attended the Griha Pravesh with a goodie bag filled with a Gold Ganesha Diya, Thamboolam which included a blouse piece, 2 bananas on a betel leaf with betel nuts on the top, turmeric, and Kumkum packet, a packet of marigold seeds for gardening and some sweets.
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