diy payal, jhanjra, jhanranPayal (or jhanjran as they were called in my traditional Punjabi home), are anklets worn by Indian women, and usually have ghungroo  attached to them. Ghungroo are little bell shaped baubles that make noise as you walk. Depending on the number and size of ghungroo your payal could give off a demure romantic chime, or announce loud and clear that you are on your way into the room!

I’ve loved payal since I was a little girl and wore them pretty much religiously until I was about 17 years old. That summer I went to visit some family in London and one of my older ‘cooler’ cousins told me they sound like cowbells. I was young and impressionable, so from that point on I only wore them to Indian parties where the sound of the blaring music would drown out the ‘cham- cham’ of my payal. 

Earlier this year I was showing off my city to a few girlfriends, and while shopping I spotted a pair of beautiful pink and gold stone payal, and my love affair was rekindled. I probably haven’t gone a day since then without wearing a pair, and have been itching to buy more. Of course this leads us to today’s project: DIY payal. 

Th ese are the simplest type of payal you can make, and it took me about 15 minutes to make this set! Honestly, the hardest part of this diy was finding an Indian store that would sell me these ghungroo. diy payal pink chai living

DIY Payal

Gold chain
Jump rings
Lobster clasp
Individual ghungroo (try your local Indian shops, if that doesn’t work you can order online)
Jewellery pliers

If you are new to jewelry making projects you can always check out the dollar store before investing in a lot of supplies. I’ve seen a lot of tools there recently, and it’s a great way to test out a hobby before committing.

Stepsdiy payal pink chai livingStart by cutting your gold chain to the length you want you payal to be. I used a pair I already had to measure, If you don’t have a pair, just wrap the chain around your ankle and size it. 

Next, decide how much space you want between each of your ghungroo. I went this 1.25″. I decided to eyeball the spacing all the way around. If you want a more precise look, use a Sharpie to mark the exact spacing.

Now we start adding the individual ghungroo…diy payalStart by opening the jump ring with your plier and slip it through the payalInsert the jump ring through the chain at your pre-determined intervals and squeeze the ring closed. Don’t apply too much pressure when closing or the jump ring will loose it’s shape or break.  Continue adding ghungroo until you get to the end of the chain, then add a lobster payalThe lobster clasp finishes the payal on the ends. I would suggest buying a better quality lobster clasp from your local bead store or Michael’s. The dollar store version doesn’t cut it. 

Just like that you are ready to hit the road and rock your new payal with a pair of cute mojris {Punjabi shoes}diy payal


Images by: Aziz Dhamani

PS: I also pair my payal with high heels which I think is a perfect evening look!


diy travel tumblers for chaiRecently I was talking to a friend of mine about ideas for party favours. We were trying to come up with an idea for something easy to put together, not too costly, and useful for a family wedding. There’s nothing worse than spending time and money on putting together party favours and having people toss them out as soon as they get home.   View Post


diy pompom dupattaUnless you’ve been living under a rock (or haven’t been on Pinterest in months), you’ve probably noticed the pom pom trend. I’ve seen it popping up everywhere from shoes to home decor products, and I’ve been dying to jump on the bandwagon! The only thing is, I didn’t want to invest a bunch of money in supplies for a temporary fix. I’m pretty sure I would only wear pom pom sandals once or twice this summer, and pom pom pillows would get booted off my contemporary sofa after a few months. 

I was pretty happy to spot this pink pom pom trim (which I think was intended for scrapbooks) on clearance at Michael’s on recent visit. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the perfect pick me up for an old white dupatta that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. 


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It took me about 2 hours at a slow and steady pace, and constant Netflix distractions to add a little pretty to this lightweight pom pom dupattaI love how it pairs effortlessly with a summer dress. But what I really love is that a dupatta that would have sat in a memory box for years is now being enjoyed and truly respected. diy pom pom dupatta

Text: Raj Thandhi
Images: Aziz Dhamani
Outfit Details: Dress – GAP, Shoes – Spring

PS: If you enjoyed this post you might also like; How I Use My Grandmother’s Dupattas, Updating My Grandmother’s Old Shawl


The weather is turning and desi party season is well on it’s way. I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t really like to spend a lot of money on Indian party wear clothes. It’s not that I don’t love them – there are a lot of desi designers I swoon over, they just aren’t a practical investment for me. I’m just not going to wear a lehenga or sari enough times before I get bored of it to make the cost per wear acceptable for me. diy double print sari
{Two rescued dupattas get a new DIY life}

I’ve been searching my local desi market for some inexpensive saris I could dress up with a fancy blouse or accessories, and nothing was really hitting the mark because, a cheap sari looks cheap (and it rarely ties up well). So, this got me thinking about making some one of a kind saris for myself. The first idea that popped into my head was the super-trendy double print sari. This is basically a sari that has two prints (or colours), one features in the pleats and one in the pallu/shoulder double print sari

Like every DIY I dream up, I try to do what I can with supplies I already have at home. After a quick look through my fabric stash I came up empty handed, but then I had a light-bulb moment; what if I took two old dupattas and combined them to make one sari? After a bit of research I found that a typical sari can be anywhere from 5-9 yards and a typical dupatta is 2.5 yards. This works out for me because a 5 yard sari is more than enough for me (I’m 5’4″ and wear a size 8/10). Some women who are taller or have a different waist size, or even just like a much longer pallu may want to go for a longer sari. If two dupattas doesn’t work for you, you can purchase two pieces of fabric that are 3 or 4 yards long double print saree

This is a super easy project that even a novice sewer can complete in two to three hours. (That includes hemming the sari and adding the fall).

DIY Double Print Saridiy double print sari


  • Two pieces of fabric cut to add up to your desired sari length (3 yards or 4 yards each). When selecting your fabric, make sure that it is wide enough for your liking, and both pieces of fabric are the same width.
  • Sari fall – a thin strip of fabric available at your local desi fabric shop
  • Sewing machine with a basic stitch, and thread matching your sari.


To create this sari, we are going to start by sewing a “chor seen” or a French seam between the two pieces of fabric. Scroll through the slideshow below and follow the step by step directions for this portion of the DIY.


Step 1: Iron your fabric pieces

Step 2: Pin wrong sides together.

Step 3: Sew both pieces together leaving a 3/8″ seam allowance

Step 4: Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″

Step 5: Open the seam on the right side of the fabric and iron it flat.

Step 6: Fold the fabric so it is now right sides together. This step is crucial, once again ensure it is right sides together

Step 7: Iron the seam flat, with stitching right on the edge of the seam.

Step 8: Once the seam is flat, sew it with enough seam allowance so that your original seam is hidden within the new seam.

Step 9: Open the seam one more time and iron it flat on both sides.

diy double print sari

Once you’ve completed your French seam, hem the ends of your sari and add a fall to the bottom edge of your sari. If you aren’t that great with hemming, you can also use hemming tape!diy double print sari

That’s it, not bad for a saree that cost me pretty much nothing!diy double print sari



Today’s DIY is so simple, I almost didn’t post it. Guys, it’s balloons that I wrote on with a Sharpie!! I know a lot of people aren’t into balloons anymore (how 1990’s), but I kind of secretly love them.

I think it’s the ease and simplicity of decorating with balloons that appeals to me. Even your local dollar store will have a variety of colours, and you only really need to two tools; your lungs and a little scotch tape to stick them on the walls – instant party!diy handwritten balloons

The other day I was thinking about all the holidays and events we desi’s celebrate that you can’t really find customized decor for at your local party store; Lohri, Diwali, Eid, Godh Bharai, Mundan, and countless others. So……I decided to remedy that with a handful of balloons I had leftover from Z’s rainbow themed birthday party last year, and some permanent markers. Truth be told, if I was decorating for a real wedding or party, I would have bought prettier colours of balloons and co-ordinated them better – but you forgive me right?

So here’s the 411 on my DIY Handwritten Balloons:diy handwritten balloons

diy handwritten balloonsBlow the balloon up part way and hold it secure with one hand. Use a permanent marker to write your message, and then let it dry for about 25 seconds. Deflate and save for your party!diy handwritten balloonsOnce you deflate them, let the balloons sit for about 1/2 an hour so they are good and dry before storing them or blowing them back up. I guess you could even blow up all the balloons and then write directly on them, but I feel like that would be harder to manage and cause more smudging. I found it quite easy to write directly on a smaller handwritten balloonsSometimes as a DIY blogger I feel a sense of pressure to create complicated and unique projects every week, but the reality is, some of my ideas are really basic. Maybe these balloons aren’t the classiest party decor, but I know if I walked into someone’s house for a maiyan ceremony or roka and saw something cute and kitschy like this, it would make me smile!

If you end up doing a bunch of balloons, I think they would look super cute with some helium and some pretty gotta holding them together. 

PS: If you like to DIY check out my phulkari inspired coasters, and block printed jewellery holder.