Bismillah Painted Tray {Tutorial}

In most Arab countries, the Bismillah is used by Christians and Muslims at the beginning of any undertaking. It is also used in other countries where more than half of the population follows Islam.

Bismillah is found in the introductory statement of these country constitutions:  Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Pakistan, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Some people write it at the beginning of a letter, others say it every time they get into a car, while many use it to greet each morning as they wake up.

Christians sometimes use the name Bismillah to refer to “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” (باسم الآب والابن والروح القدس  bismi-l-’ābi wa-l-ibni wa-r-rūḥi l-qudusi).

Muslims read the Bismilalh before each sura (the Arabic word for chapter) of the Quran, the Islamic holy book (except for the ninth sura). For them it means “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful” (b-ismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ ).

I was looking for a gift to give a friend who recently has had a move and a divorce. I came upon this beautiful woven tray from a local Hawaiian store. I know she loves anything tropical and the colors were perfect for her new chapter.

I wanted to personalize it with the word Bismillah as a conversation starter to new friends entering her home. I used the color shift paints from Plaid so that tray changes color when it touches sunlight. I was sent the paint as my role as Plaid Ambassador.

Follow the steps to make a quick gift for a friend. Or yourself.


Woven tray
Letter banner kit

You will need to pull out the letters that spell Bismillah from the banner box.

The letters were too big to write across the tray, so inspired by the syllables breaking of our Shukran card, I broke up the word Bismillah according to it’s 3 syllables to fit in the tray.

Once the letters were even, you’ll need to trace them out. Don’t worry about the connector line across the top of the banner, you’ll fill that in later.

Once all the letters were traced, paint inside the lines.

Let the paint dry for a few hours, then go back and draw the missing lines from the letter connector.

The tray is ready to be gifted. I hope she likes it.

To write Bismillah in Arabic, stop by our beaded artwork or check out our free printable.

Or visit these easy gift ideas to brighten up a new home:

Sharpie Pen Vase {Tutorial}

Hanging Khatam Paper bag Decor {Tutorial}

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more craft tutorials that teach about the Arab world.


I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.