Khamsa Centerpiece {Tutorial}

Today is Mawlid al-Nabi.  Growing up in Libya, this was a big national holiday celebrated by everyone to commemorate the birth date of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon Him).

 

There was special food made in the morning called aseeda, then you put on your best clothes and visit family and friends.

 

While on the way, you’ll most likely come across roaming bands of musicians, singing praises about the Prophet (pbuh) and everyone would sing along, since we’d been practicing the songs for weeks at school.  We would have also spent days decorating the house with lights and new curtains, fresh pillows and a khamsa.

 

These khamsa were basically hands on top of tiered stands, covered in bright flowers. At the top of each finger were candles that were lit. As a child, I remember going to the souk and seeing these khamsas lined in the store fronts for weeks before the big day. As I got older, I took great pride in helping my mom pick out the prettiest and brightest to line our dining room table.

 

Since I’m so far away from family this year, I wanted to teach my daughter how to make a khamsa while I shared my childhood memories of family visits and cousin food contests.  We will light the khamsa tonight and say some extra prayers for our Prophet (pbuh).

 

Supplies

Styrofoam cone
Tissue paper
Scissors
Wirecutters
Hot glue gun
Hand model display
Wire
Paint / paintbrush
Awl
Candles

We started by cutting the bottom off the hand display and attaching it with hot glue to the top of the Styrofoam.

Then we got started on making the flowers, using the same method we used for our Eid Puff Flowers Tutorial.  We needed a large pile of tissue paper cut into rectangle shapes.

Then we grabbed about six or so out of the pile and folded them into an accordion shape.  We used the wire cutters to cut pieces of wire that were about four inches long.

We wrapped the wire around the middle of the accordion fold, not cutting off the end and rounded out the edges of the paper.

To create the flower, we pulled the tissues toward the center of the wire, away from the part that sticks out.  Then we took stuck the made flower into the Styrofoam.

We made many of these flowers and covered the entire piece with them.

We also covered the back and sides since it was going to be placed in the middle of our table.

Sorry we forgot to place the next few tools in our supplies list, but after the piece was completed, we added green paint on the hand.

The final step is to puncture holes in the top of the fingers with the awl and add the candles.

Now our khamsa is done and ready to be enjoyed by our family tonight.

 

To learn how we will pray and celebrate this special night, check out last year’s post on Mawlid Celebrations Around the World. To create a centerpiece that is much smaller, check out the Mawlid Al Nabi Good Deeds Centerpiece we made for Multicultural Kids Blog.

If you want to celebrate with minimal decorations, feel free to print out our free Green Mawlid Decorations {Free Banner}.

Check out more tutorials on A Crafty Arab Pinterest.

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