Sep 25, 2011

How to build Navarathri Golu Steps

Navarathri season is already here this year! And that means its time for Golu if your family is into keeping Golu. When I was growing up, Golu was one of the most fun times in our household. It was the 9 days of constant buzzing activity at home. There was always some kind of sundal at home and every evening there were people walking in and we had to be at our best behaviour. Thankfully I was not as talented as my sister and she was the one who had to play her veena every evening to impress all the mamis walking in. Those were the days when we were dressed up in new pattu pavadais and my mom was always more sweeter to us because she just was so preoccupied with all the other stuff and we got to get away with whatever we wanted. I'm smiling thinking of those days and I'm sure my daughter is here smiling that her turn is coming up soon!

For all of us living in the US or away from India, the luxury of having to buy readymade steel steps for Golu remains a constant dream. However, there are always options. Building a set of steps in wood. But it did take me a couple of years to convince my husband to actually get to build this. The topic always came up and somehow things never materialized and the last two golus sat on well kept cardboard boxes. This year things changed. He actually listened to what I said and hence here I'am writing a post on how we built our golu. Hopefully this will be helpful to someone out there who needs a little motivational push.

When you decide to do something, why not just do it big, right? So, instead of our normal 5 step golu, this year we're going with 7 steps!


Building this will take probably a few hours and maybe a couple of trips to your local Lowes or Home Depot stores. Plan well and you can be all done one weekend morning before lunch.

Here's what you need to shop for a 7 step golu set up. I've also provided the approx cost involved of the materials.

5 Step Stair Riser - $ 22
2 3 Step Stair Riser - $ 17
Wood Nails - Flat Philips - 10 x 2 1/2 - a 25 ct box (you'll use most of them)  - $ 3.00
Wood Premium Furring Strip - 2x2x8 - Get 1 piece cut into 2 pieces each at 4 ft length. - $2.00
Wood Board 1x2x2 -2 pieces - cut at 5 ft length (or however wide you want the planks to be. This is to connect both the stair riser and provide support)- $3.00
Wood Whitewood Board (Planks) - 9.25 inches depth, .75 thickness, 5 ft length - Get 7 pieces of this plank. Cost per plank - $ 8.00. (Make sure the depth of this plank is not more than the stair depth that this plank will sit on)

Total Approx Cost of materials only - $145

Take your specifications to Lowes and they will cut your wood planks to the length you want and this is free of cost.

In order to do a 7-step, place the 5 step stair riser and overlap the 3 step riser on top with one step overlapping each other.


You'll need an automatic drill to screw in nails on either side of the stair risers to join the 5 and 3 steps to make a 7 step stair.


Drill in 3 nails on one side and 4 on the other side. Make sure the steps line are even and not tilted while you do this.



Next, nail the 2x2 furring strip near the 6th step so that when the step is placed upright, this stick holds the weight. We had a small piece left over after the long one was cut into two pieces at Lowes and used that in the second step at the bottom for extra support.


Next place the two 7 step stair risers parallel to each other on the floor. For a little support and to make a skeleton structure, nail in the 1x2x2 wood board in the front of the first bottom step and another one in the back connecting both the 7th steps.




Next, place the wooden planks on top of each step. Get the planks so that they fit within the width of the step and does not cross the step. This way when you place the dolls, it won't hit the step above it.


Place all the planks on each step. And you're done. These planks are pretty sturdy and don't need to be screwed in. But if you are really picky, you can screw them in but remember, you'll have to disassemble them all after navarathri.

For disassembling, remove the planks and store them as is. Just remove the two boards connecting the stair risers and store as is. You can then store the stair risers with the legs as is. That way, it won't be too difficult to put it back the following year.

Sorry I don't have too many pictures of each step. But the hubby did this while I was away and I could only get these shots - will try to take some more when we disassemble and maybe add those here.


So, if you're waiting to build one, now is the time! Get your tools out and order some pizza. It will be a joyful day when you get something accomplished like this! I'm super happy and can't wait to start golu in a few days. Got our dolls out over the weekend. Will sure share some pictures once we are all set up!


Update: Here's how my golu looked. Enjoy building your own steps and setting up your golu.



Enjoy. Peace Out!



28 comments:

  1. Happy Golu!! What awesome instructions :) A group of my seniors who went to do MS in US of A about five years back started to make huge sums of pocket money by providing services on golu steps setting up! I guess they must have done the same thing, pretty cool!

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  2. Wonderful,welldone..thanks for sharing.

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  3. I'm sure this post is going to be of very much use to me some day!! For now managing with a mutipurpose rack that I got recently :) Thanks much for sharing!! Great work as always!!

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  4. Happy golu and nice about sharing the post, Happy navarathri

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  5. omg! trust you to do something like this and then also post pics to help others do the same!! :D

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  6. My sister is doing like this for the past 4 years and hers is a 5 step golu.

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  7. happy Navrathri Anu !!! Eppo varalam ??? Wish to see the full setup soon :)

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  8. happy navarathri anu...hope nandu did the major part of hammering work!

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  9. Did I just read this? Hats off, Anu. This is way way beyond anything I'd do. So much effort. Kudos!

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  10. Thanks a lot for the instructions. I will try making this next year. Reading this blog a little late this year.

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  11. Hope you had a wonderful golu. Lovely step by step explanation da. How are you doing and when are you actually due? Anytime now? do message me your number.
    Hugs,

    Shobha

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  12. Thanks a lot for sharing and reducing our stress in advance by giving festive ideas :)

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  13. Thanks a lot for reducing our stress in advance by sharing festive celebration ideas :)

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  14. Thanks for the wonderful ideas and detailed steps. I convinced my husband to build one for me...Happy Navaratri to you and yours.

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  15. Just use some bricks as support and put planks on top.

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  16. This is awesome.Thanks!! One question - How do u dismantle it? It looks Permanent..

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    Replies
    1. Anandhi - yes, there is a partial dismantle - all the boards come off but the stair risers are screwed together - but you can treat it as one piece for storage.

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  17. arunthathy.ravindranNovember 18, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    thank you for the wonderful ideas

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  18. Thanks for the wonderful idea of building golu padi! It really helped us and we had a great Navarathri celebrations at Toronto this year.

    Swarna

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  19. Will this golu padi be stable if not leaning against the wall?

    Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it will stand by itself without a back support wall. You can add another column in the middle just as an additional support. Mine just happen to be placed against the wall.

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    2. Yes it will stand by itself without a back support wall. You can add another column in the middle just as an additional support. Mine just happen to be placed against the wall.

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  20. hats off to you two Great I would have loved to do when I was younger say some 10-15 yers ago right now age disability prevents me moreover no requirement per se.
    yet it is heartening that you guys retain the cultural flavor after so many years and at so many thousand miles away from your land........again such ready made things are not easily available at reasonable rates here ......

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  21. A reader from London, UKOctober 5, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Fantastic idea and instructions as I was looking for exactly this. Glad to hear home improvement stores can help!

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