Khatam Collage Paper Art {Tutorial}

A collage artwork is formed where  an assemblage of different things are bound together, making a new whole.  The word comes from French word coller, “to glue.”


We used a square punch and left over paper to make a khatam collage wall art with fall colors to welcome the new season. A khatam (Arabic: خاتم) is the Arabic word for 8 point star.


I buy a lot of paper to create my handmade cards. Sometimes I buy a set because of a few pieces of paper I like, but have a lot of left over paper I can’t use.  For example, I fell in love with this glitter paper set, but it included fairies on one page that I don’t need.

Rather then throw away the paper, my daughter spent an afternoon punching out glitter squares to make art.



Decorative card stock
Square card stock (2)
Square punch
Double sided tape

My daughter punched out all the orange and yellow glittered paper from the fairy page. She then decided to add from another more purple page to layer a contrast color.

To create the khatam shape, my daughter took two square pieces of paper and glued them to each other, offsetting the edges to make 8 points.

Once the star was made, the punched out squares were added with the double sided tape.

After all the squares were taped down, she flipped over the star and cut off all the pieces of paper that were hanging over.

She kept flipping it over to make sure the edges were clean, trimming off anything hanging over.

Now our artwork was done. I helped her cut out a piece of blue mat board and then we taped it on but you can just add it inside any frame.

If you enjoyed making this khatam art, please visit Khatam bead coin dish and Khatam gift tag. Or stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials from the Arab world.  Don’t forget to Pin this to come back to it later:


Recycled Cup Darbuka {Tutorial}

While traveling this summer in Morocco, we heard a darbuka at the wedding we attended, and saw hundreds while walking through the Fes el Bali.


A darbuka is a drum with a goblet shaped body that is used in various parts of MENA (Middle East and North Africa). The origin comes from the Arabic word “darab” (“to strike”).

They are made from clay or sometimes metal and are played either under the arm or resting on the player’s leg.


We have a miniature clay darbuka at home from other MENA travels and decided to use it as inspiration for a hand made play drum out of cups we had left over from a party.


We had recently been sent this leather studio acrylic paint from Plaid Crafts (as my role as Plaid Ambassador) and couldn’t wait to use it to give our hand made darbuka a weathered look. It’s actually an acrylic paint that you can use on leather or vinyl, which is something I’d never seen before, so we can’t wait to try it on a future project with those platforms.


Today, let’s see how it looks on a darbuka!



Paper cups
Sharpie (fine and ultra fine)
Leather Studio Acrylic Paint
Masking tape
Paper towel

We placed our cups bottom to bottom and taped them together to create a goblet look. (To make this with teens, you can first have them cut off the bottoms with an xacto, then super glue the bottom edges togehter. This gives the drum a deeper sound, but please be careful with those tools and children.)

To make our rounded edge top, we added tape around one end, going lengthwise to cover it completely.

Next we started taping around the cups, starting from the top to cover up all the uneven tape edges left over. Try to stay as even as possible to make the next step easier.

After we had covered both cups, we used the smaller Sharpie to draw lines, following the lines created by the tape.

Using our clay darbuka as inspiration (you can find images online or use ours) my daughter filled designs all over her new musical instrument.

To give it a more weathered look, we gave it a paint wash. First painting it then wiped it off quickly with the paper towel. Now it’s ready for some finger drumming!

To learn more about Arabic musical instruments and their names, check out:

Do you live in Washington state and would like me to come to your elementary school to show kids how to make darbukas, while teaching them about MENA?  Contact me here.


If you enjoyed making this drum, try making an Eid rattle drum. Or stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest for more tutorials that teach about the Arab world.


Eid Party Fruit Snack {Recipe}

How was your Eid Al Adha gathering this past weekend? I hope you had a fabulous time with family, friends and of course food!


We got together with friends after prayers for a potluck play date with a toy exchange and craft table, plus this cute station where the kids made fruit snacks in the shape of a palm tree with a sheep enjoying it’s shade.


We were inspired from creating them last year at girl scout camp. When we got home, we gathered all the ingredients so we can show you step by step how to make them.



Spreader knife
Banana (2)
Cheese stick
Clementines (2)

Since kids are doing this, we found spreader knives that were able to cut the fruit, but not each other!  First we had a quick lesson on knife safety.  Once the kids each had a knife, they were told to cut the grapes, lengthwise, to resemble the “grass” at the bottom of the plate. They also cut the banana lengthwise.

After placing the cut banana on the plate, nestled in the grass, the kids used the knives to create cuts in the tree trunk.

Once the banana looked like a palm tree “trunk”, the kids worked on the palm “leaves” by peeling the oranges and placing them in a fan shape on top.

Now that the grass and tree were done, the kids started working on the “sheep” by cutting the other banana into thin slices. They placed a few in a circle and added more on top to resemble “wool.”

Next came the “face” which is made from cutting the blueberries.

For the “eyes” the kids were given the cheese stick and told to cut out small circles.  They can cut as many as they need until they can get two small enough to fit on the face.  Then they used small left over parts of the blueberries for the final touch.

The final touch was writing EID in frosting. Some kids wrote their name, or added balloons and other shapes. You can also add a cup of slightly warmed peanut butter or Nutella for dipping the banana slices!

Here is our final version, which lasted for about two minutes before it was totally gobbled up! This snack is also fun to eat with toothpicks, but be conscious of the kids ages before you bring those out.

If you enjoyed making this fun snack, be sure to follow A Crafty Arab on Pinterest for other recipes, tutorials and downloads that teach about the Arab world.