Hand Cut Arabesque Stamp {Tutorial}

Learning how to use new tools is an important step for a young artist. In the age of 3D printers, the lessons of using your hands to create something, must not be lost. Cutting a square block into an arabesque stamp allowed my daughter to spend an afternoon working on something hand made.


I came across this carving set at our local store and couldn’t resist bringing them home for my daughter.  I stopped at my local art store and asked what I could carve with them and they showed me several options. I got a linoleum block because it’s easy to carve, especially if you use it within a year of buying it, before it hardens. I learned there is a difference between the soft block and the hard block, such as carving details. I went with the hard block because I thought it would be easier for my daughter to handle, since it had a back.


The tools came in different shapes to allow my daughter to cut fine lines and negative spaces. There were just a few more things I gathered before we got started.



Arabesque tile detail printout
Tracing tool
Carving tools
Carbon paper
Masking tape
Linoleum block

We wrapped the carbon paper around the block and wrapped the arabesque printout out over it.  We used the masking tape to secure everything in place. Then my daughter used the tracing tool to draw out the shapes in the tile detail.

I helped her check to make sure every line was done, going back over a few.

Now the fun begins, the carving!  I let my daughter hold the block on one side and showed her how to carve away from her hand. If you are doing this with a child, you must supervise and allow them to take their time.  The carving does not have to be deep, use the different tools to achieve various cuts.

As you can see from her shavings, most of them are very small.  I sat with her while she keep working, taking a little off here, a little there.

She hasn’t decided what she’ll do with it when she’s done: use it on a card with acrylic paint, or maybe a nylon bag with fabric paint or gift it to a friend.


Stop by these other fun ways we incorporate arabesque designs into learning about art:

Palm Tree Celery Stamp Art {Tutorial}

Melted Crayon Allah Art {Tutorial}

Be sure to visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more DIY craft tutorials.

Feed the Baby Hummus {Review}

Not long ago, I received the book Feed the Baby Hummus: Pediatrician-backed Secrets from Cultures Around the World by Lisa Lewis, MD. I was intrigued by the title.


The book itself is very well researched, containing global parenting practices for new parents.  It’s divided into four sections: 1. Behavior and Development, 2. Decisions to Make, 3. Diet and Nutrient, and 4. Building Immunity and Body Care.  Each section contains various chapters that help guide your baby through it’s first year.


Having been raised on hummus, an Arabic word that means ‘crushed chickpeas,’ I plunged into the book to find out other ways that Middle East and North African (MENA) Arab moms raise their children. However, other than Lebanese food, the Arab culture is not mentioned. (There is also a recipe for ‘Middle East Lentils’ but Middle East also includes countries such as Turkey, Iran, etc, where Arabic is not spoken.)


Once I got over this the first time, I went back to re-read the book and found some true gems. For example:

  • In Greece, the godparents are required to buy the first pair of shoes for a baby’s christening.
  • Mothers in Jamaica use rose water to soothe babies who have a fever.
  • In Laos and Thailand, ginger is popularly used as a galactagogue.

The chapters are well written and the appendix contains helpful shopping lists, for both the nursery and the kitchen.


If you are a parent in need of parenting advice that incorporates various multicultural practices, this is a book for you. It really does do a good job of teaching about the global parenting village.  Use it as a stepping stone that will potentially lead you to vast diverse resources used around the world. Just keep in mind, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in how parents raise world citizens.

Please stop by A Crafty Arab educational resources to read other book reviews that educate about the Arab world.

Masking Tape Khatam Artwork {Tutorial}

Creating this masking tape khatam artwork is a great way to learn about negative and positive space. Khatam is Arabic for eight point star.

I recently had Martha Stewart watercolor acrylic craft paints sent as my role as Plaid Ambassador and I knew right away I wanted to create a teaching khatam painting. Khatam is the Arabic word for eight point star.

We had used masking tape on a Allah painting before.  Allah is the Arabic word for God.  Keeping along the same lines of using mini canvases (they are inexpensive to use with kids and don’t take up a lot of wall space), we used them again to create our masterpiece.

Artwork Supplies

To start, turn your canvases over to tape the backs.

Make sure to tape all four to each other.

You may need to turn it over to make sure everything is lined up. Next use the watercolors paints to draw lines with each color.

You can add more colors. Make the canvas disappear by adding water to blend in the colors.

Let your masterpiece dry, we left ours in a window sill for a few hours, and add masking tape in a square shape. Check your corners to make sure they are 90 degrees.

Make a line by creating a smaller box inside. Use the Xacto to cut the tape, to make sure your line is continuous.

Paint the diamond shape you just made white.

Let the white paint dry and remove the tape, gently.

Next, you will need to turn your artwork, tape a new square shape and paint it white.

Let the second square dry and remove the tape.

Turn your artwork over and remove the tape on the back. Add saw tooth hangers to the back and hang the frames up. It looks like one piece, but it’s actually four. Impress your friends, especially if you have a white wall, with the optical illusion of a floating khatam with negative and positive space.

If you enjoyed making this khatam craft, stop by these other

Khatam Painted Cube {Tutorial}

Khatam Jewelry Bowl {Tutorial}

Khatam Clay Coasters {Tutorial}

Or visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Arab world.