DIYdiy projects

DIY Holi-Inspired Posters

by Maxwell Tielman

As of Wednesday, March 20, it is officially spring, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. Ever since Groundhog Day, we’ve been antsy for more sunlight, more temperate weather and the beginnings of spring blossoms. We’ve each been celebrating spring in different ways over the last few weeks — we threw an Easter Egg decorating party last week, and I attended my first Passover Seder this past weekend — but there is one particular spring holiday that we’ve been absolutely dying to take part in: Holi. Celebrated primarily in India and Nepal, Holi is the Hindu celebration of spring. Although the impetus for Holi is rooted in Hindu tradition and mythology, the festivities involved for this particular holiday are one of the very reasons for its awesomeness. Each spring, Holi celebrators take to the streets for an explosive bout of revelry that involves spraying one another with handfuls of colored pigments and perfume. Easter pays homage to the colors of spring through colored eggs and vibrant jelly beans, but in all honesty, Holi seems to take the cake in terms of color and fun.

Brooklynites might not take kindly to us throwing colored powders at them, so we decided to celebrate both the beginning of spring and the fabulous holiday of Holi with a little DIY art project. After purchasing a few boxes of Holi pigments and playing around with them for a bit, these are the results: a fun, easy-to-make poster that will bring color into your home the whole year round. For full directions, continue after the jump! — Max

*Update: You can now download our versions of these posters after the jump!


To make your own, follow the instructions below. To download ours, click the links below:

Let Color In (download here)

Triangle Poster (download here)

Hexagon Poster (download here)


To make your own:




1. Tape a large sheet of white paper to the floor.

2. Cut open your pigment powders and drop them onto the paper in any manner you’d like. Feel free to play around and make patterns or abstractions.

3. With a digital camera (even a smartphone should suffice), take an aerial photograph of your pigment design. It can help to stand on a chair or step stool to accomplish this.

4. In Photoshop, create a file that is 19.75 inches wide by 27.5 inches tall at 200 dpi. Paste your pigment photograph into this file. Resize the pasted image as necessary to fill the document size. If you want to make the pigments really stand out, bump up the sharpness by several notches.

5. After you’ve pasted your image into the poster file, feel free to add type or graphic embellishments. For our “Let Color In” poster, we used a large-sized italic Bodoni typeface underlined by white rectangles. Easy-peasy!

6. Save your file as a high-quality JPEG, TIFF or PDF.

7. Bring to a printing center like Kinko’s or Staples and print your file at full size (19.75 x 27.5) onto matte paper. This shouldn’t cost more than $20. We paid $7 per print at our local print shop.

8. Frame it! The poster dimensions fit IKEA’s Ribba frame perfectly.

9. BAM! DONE! Holi-inspired Art!

Above image: This poster design was accomplished by creating a large white triangle in Photoshop and adding “R,” “G” and “B” to its corners in white Futura Bold.

Above image: The above poster was created by cutting the pigment image out with a hexagon shape in Photoshop.

If you liked any of the poster designs featured in this post and aren’t in a particularly DIY mood, we’re going to be giving away the designs as a download in this Friday’s e-mail newsletter! Not subscribed yet? Click here to do so!

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  • I think I got the newsletter (from Mar 22?), but I don’t see a link mentioned anywhere about downloading the images. Help!

  • What a smart idea to take photographs of the pigment. Ingenious! I could see this idea be applied to other materials. Love it.

  • I spent 2011 living in Delhi – I arrived just a few days before Holi and so didn’t take part directly but saw it happening around me – such a great celebration….and this project is such great idea and way to have a bit of that Holi spirit – totally doing this!

  • Oh, gosh I was so excited to be able to dnload one of these that I believe I goofed. I think I subscribed to the newsletter which I already receive daily. Could you please remove one of my subscriptions if I in fact did that? Thanks! And I truly enjoyed learning about Holi as well as this pigment/photocopy idea. :-)

  • I love the texture of the pigment powders. This is really a good project for Spring. Bright colors are very trendy this season so this is a good addition to your interior. The texture made the poster look edgy and very unique.

  • I am so excited about the newsletter! This is the first year I celebrate Holi and it was GREAT! Oh and it was in Chicago! I had been looking fwd to this post since I saw your pics on instagram!

  • I’ve just signed up to the newsletter so I can use the prints! I’m going to try getting a really big print for a huge gold frame I bought in a charity shop. Can’t wait for the newsletter to arrive, hope it’s soon! :)

  • Hi! I’ve been receiving the emails for a while, but I can’t find the downloads on any of the emails in the past few days – did I just miss the link somewhere? Thanks!!

    • Hi caitlin

      The Holi Posters are at the bottom of the newsletter- just click on the images of the posters to download :)

      *Ah- you may not be signed up for our newsletter. That’s something we send ONCE a week. You may be signed up via Feedblitz or Feedburner (not us) to receive daily emails. I’d suggest signing up for ours instead- it’s once a week, contains the week’s full content and won’t have a bunch of annoying ads in it. It also contains new content that won’t be on the website, as well as free downloads like this one.


  • Hey I’ve been getting the newsletters for a while and got the one on the 29th but I can’t find any links to download the posters… where is it? the only link I’ve got there opens up on the article right here… HELP!

  • Will you consider having the downloads as part of next week’s newsletter? I signed up yesterday so I didn’t receive the newsletter from the 29th and missed this project :(

  • Hi,

    I also signed up last March 28 and did not get a copy of the newsletter. Is there anyway to resend it to me. I can send you a copy of the confirmation that I got (if needed). Thanks!

  • Fantastic – got this through on my e-mail just after playing Holi in Udaipur this year. India has been on our list for ages of places to go and so we timed the trip specifically for this festival. Even though we used wonderful organic dyes, I am still getting some from under my nails and my travel companion has some very artistic blue and red streaks still in her hair. Was awesome fun!

  • I’m signed up for the newsletter but didn’t get Fridays! I checked my spam folder and it’s not there. I re-signed up today on my other email address, but it’s too late. Is there any way to get the downloads? I’m a faithful reader :(

  • On the last picture with the hexagon what is that colorful glass thing to the right of the frame? The is the coolest thing I have seen. Did u make it? Thank You!

    • Mary

      It’s a vintage glass sculpture we picked up at John Derian. They have more :) I think originally it was a sample collection from a French glass studio or glass blower.


  • Why did I not realize I could get Holi powders on Amazon?? Thank you! Question: You say, ” If you want to make the pigments really stand out, bump up the sharpness by several notches.” Do you mean, scan at a higher resolution, say 300 or 600 dpi?

  • Oh, I just went to the Amazon site, and a couple of reviewers said these are not Holi powders, for throwing at people, they are Rangoli powders, for doing chalk pictures on the ground. For this tutorial, it makes no difference, but for others, it could.

  • Lovely idea inspired by Holi! Love the LET COLOR IN poster! I’m Indian and love the way you have treated this:) I think I’d like one of these in my home:) which is a mix of indian+contemporary design.

  • What’s the point of buying the powders and making a design with them if you’re just going to take a photo of it and photoshop it? Just drop the powders on a canvas covered with mod podge and use stencils if you want text, that’d be much cooler than a photoshopped photo.

    • Nicole

      The point was to make an image that we personally liked, and this is it.

      I actually started with dropping the powders on paper that had been sprayed and covered in adhesive- it looked like a muddy disaster.


  • Hi all from Sunny Sydney (AUS)
    I have only just signed up but realise I am a month late. Is there any chance anyone could send the newsletter with the link for the Holi powder downloads (to save Grace the trouble)?
    Many thanks in advance

  • I signed up for the newsletters but a great while too late! Would it be possible to receive the files by e-mail? Thanks.

  • Much like a lot of others, I came across this too late and signed up too late. Would it be at all possible to get the files? Thanks!

  • I also signed up for the newsletters too late as well. And would LOVE to be able to get a hold of the files pleaseeee??

  • Hi! Same here! Saw this awesome post just recently! Could you please pretty please email me the files :) gracias!!

  • Hey. I signed up – but too late. could you also send me the files? I would love that. thanks so much beforehand and best regards from germany!

  • Ah no, there was a typo in my email address – you can delete this comment but I now put the right email address below – I am so sorry for the inconvenience, thanks so much!

  • I signed up far too late but I would also love if you could email me the files. A Christmas miracle! Thanks so much!

  • Hello! Could you also send me the files? I’m about six months too late, but I would really appreciate it. Thanks so much!

  • Hello, I would like to received this amazing poster as well but I don’t know if it’s still possible. Could you tell me how to do so?

  • Finally got this printed today after nearly 8 months of waiting for the opportunity!!! So happy with it!!! Thanks Design Sponge!!!

    • Lucky you, I was hoping to get it and never manage to do so.
      How did you get it?