Handmade Decorative Diya (Oil Lamps)

About: A Software Engineer. I love learning new things. Hooked up with Instructables. It is the biggest find I ever made. :D Cooking and Crochet are my passion. I love to learn different techniques and cuisines.

Diya are traditional oil lamps of India. The Diya are very elegant and simple to make too. When lit they give a peaceful ray of light. During Diwali, which is the festival of light every Indian homes are lit with Diya (Oil Lamps) which is such a beautiful sight to see. Decorative Oil Lamps are used for many auspicious occasions and are of religious significane.

Here I am going to show you, how to make a Diya (Oil Lamp) at home with ease. Traditionally they are made with clay. Here I have used wheat Flour. I have decorated and painted the hand made Diya in a traditional way.

You can also create your own Diya with customized design of your choice. :)

Step 1: Ingredients

To make - 3 Oil Lamps (Diya)


Wheat Flour - 1/2 Cup

Water - Enough to knead

Oil - 1/4 Cup

Cotton Wick - 3 (or) Cotton cloth - 3 Thin Strips as shown in the picture

Fabric Paint

Beads and Mirrors (Any decorative items)


Paint Brush



Step 2: Knead

Take the wheat flour in a bowl.

Add water little by little and knead it.

Knead the dough till it forms a ball. It should be slightly tight and not too soft.

Adjust the water in such a way.

Step 3: Shape

Divide the dough into three parts.

Shape it into the traditional Diya shape.

The tip should be pinched.

This is where the wick will be placed and lit.

Step 4: Bake

Grease the Baking pan. Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius.

Place the Diya on the Baking dish.

Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degree Celsius.

Check in between. If the base has puffed up slightly the just push it down gently with a spoon.

When the Diya are hard and stiff take it out of the oven.

Let it cool.

Step 5: Paint the Base

I have selected three different colors for the Diya.

Color the three Diya base as Red, Yellow and Green respectively.

Let it dry then go ahead painting the rest of the portion.

Step 6: Red Diya (Oil Lamp)

I chose to do a temple design with dark green on the Red lamp.

Temple design is a traditional design of India.

I chose to use creme beads.

I have fixed the beads with help of glue on the lamps.

Let it dry.

Step 7: Yellow Lamp

Another traditional design is the running curves.

I have used a contrast red paint for the curves on the yellow base.

Red beads are used here to enhance the effect of contrast.

The inner base of Yellow lamp I have used gold dust.

Step 8: Green Lamp

Paisley (Mango) design is one of the most popular traditional design. It is used garments and shawls.

For the green base I have used Yellow paint to highlight the Paisley design.

Step 9: Prepare the Oil Lamp

Dip the Cotton wick with oil. If using cotton cloth roll it and dip it in oil.

Fill the oil lamp with oil just enough. I have used coconut oil here.

I have seen people use many types of oil such as castor oil, Olive oil and Vegetable oil.

So you can use any type of oil which gives you good brightness.

In my case I have got the desired illumination I wanted with coconut Oil.

Step 10: Light It!

Light the lamp with a match stick or a candle. Enjoy the illumination. When I see the Diya lit it looks so peaceful and elegant.


If you want to reuse your diya you can use tea light candles instead of filling the lamps with oil and wick. The tea light candles should fit into the diya base.

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    16 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Very pretty:-). I didn't know you could make lamps like that! How long will it last? Will insects eat it?

    3 replies
    Passion Makeshazni

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    This is the first time I am making a lamp. I will just update how long it stays. After my first use it is staying intact and looks like it can go on for few more use. Since I have baked it till stone texture I guess it will stay longer and be safe from insects.

    mkslocombPassion Make

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Have you used the oil lamp more? How long did it last? How did it work out for more longer term usage?

    Thank you for this "ible. I hadn't thought of salt dough to substitute for clay.

    Passion Makeshazni

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Such lamps are usually made the day before any festival. The family members come together and have fun making lamps. To make it last longer may be you can add salt to the dough. These lamps are for one or two time use.Thanks for the comment :)


    5 years ago

    I love this design! I want one for my kitchen, but I think I might make it out of clay so I can reuse it. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1 reply