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How I made our “Closet Mandir” ?

Devotional September 2, 2016

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By Sushma:

I was a Dentist by profession in India, before getting married . I came to USA after I got married to my wonderful hubby who also happens to be the creator of this awesome site . It has been a while, that I worked in my professional field. But I still remember my basics in carpentry 🙂 (that is what we are normally trained to do first in Dentistry).

That training helped. Recently, we bought our first home ever  and one of  the first things my husband started to think was, where to setup the puja room? I bet this is what most of us Indians think (whether we pray daily or not is a topic for different day 🙂 ), when we move into a new house or buy a new house. So, that got me thinking…..

We were looking at all the options on where to setup the puja room (usually for some it is in the North East corner of the home, but it could be different for some others). Luckily, my father-in-law (hubby’s dad), advised us that a closet was exactly in the correct position and we should probably give that place a thought. That’s when the real idea of “Closet Mandir” came to my mind.

So, one fine day (after a lot of thinking), I showed my hubby the below picture. This was the first drawing, of what I imagined as the mandir/temple for our to be constructed home.


My first drawing of the mandir


So my goal was pretty clear – Turn this picture into a real mandir. Below are the steps I followed to make this a reality.

Please note: This mandir model is suitable only for closets.

Materials Required:

  • Wooden Panels (Lowes) – 2
    • Panel 1 – 48 X 16
    • Panel 2 – 42 X 9 (Custom cut by Lowes)

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  • Wooden Curtain Finials (Lowes) – 27


  • Wooden Crates  (A.C.Moore)
    • Small – 3
    • Large – 1


  • Wooden Pencil Boxes (A.C.Moore) – 6

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  • Wooden trays (A.C.Moore)
    • Small -1
    • Medium -1
    • Large -1

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  • Crown moulding blocks (Lowes) – 2

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  • Wooden bun feet (Lowes) – 2


  • Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum) – (Lowes) – 4 bottles (I used  Aged Copper and Espresso Brown colors)


  • Hardware – eyelet screws (picture shows bell and screw), ‘L’  joints and screws (as required).

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  • Elmer’s wood glue – 1.
  • Ganesha with elephants carving piece – Tadbund, Hyderabad, India – 1


  • Decorative Brass Bells – Tadbund, Hyderabad, India – 28 (1.5 inches)


  • Hanging Brass Lamps – Shilparamam, Hyderabad, India – 2

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STEPS to make “Over the rack”/Closet Gopuram:

Step 1:  Spray paint Aged Copper color onto all the wooden finials. Spray paint Espresso Brown color onto  the wooden panels and other remaining wooden items.

Step 2: Drill 16 holes (equal spacing) onto wooden panel 1 (48 X 16), to accommodate 16 wooden finials. These finials already have prefixed screws.

Step 3: Onto wooden panel 2 (42 X 9), fix the brass decorative bells (all 28) using eyelet screws, with equal spacing. See picture below.

Finials are fastened into the drilled holes on wooden panel 1 and bells are fixed onto the edge of wooden panel 2.



Step 4: Attach panel 1 and panel 2, as shown below using ‘L’ joints. (perpendicularly as above picture)

Step 5: Put this structure on a table.

Step 6: Attach Ganesha carving piece on top of wooden panel 1, using ‘L’ joint. See pictures below.

The first picture is showing L joint screw for Ganesha carving and Panel 1. The second picture is showing the frontal view, after fixing the carving onto the Panel 1.

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Making Gopuram

(Use wooden crates, finials, wooden trays and wooden pencil boxes to make the Gopuram.)

Step 7: Place crown moulding blocks on either side of the wooden panel 1. These blocks have opening on one corner. Place them in such a way that those open sides are invisible i.e. place those open sides towards the wall.

Step 8: Place the two wooden bun feet on top of the crown moulding blocks.

Step 9: Place the three small crates (together),  between the two crown moulding blocks Place the large crate on top the three crates.

Step 10: Glue the three pencil boxes (see picture) and place them on either side of the large crate (see picture). This will give the appearance of steps.

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Step 11: Use the three trays as the top part of the Gopuram. Place three finials on top of the Gopuram.



Place the rest of the finials on the steps.

Step 12: Make sure all parts of Gopuram are arranged, after placing the structure on the rack in the closet and glue them. This is what it looks like after all the work. This piece goes onto the wire rack in a closet.


Over the rack


This is our final mandir, with the above piece and a simple drawers table.

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So, that’s it.

Follow these steps to make your own ‘Closet Mandir’. If you have any questions post your comments below and I will be sure to respond.

This costed me around USD180.



Good luck.






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