Repurposed Arabic Perpetual Calendar {Tutorial}

Earth Day is coming up on Sunday April 22nd and people like to celebrate by spring cleaning their home.


A close friend asked me to come over last week to help box up some things to donate.  She wanted to take the clothing items to a Syrian fundraiser textile drive happening in our community, while throwing away some items she no longer used.


I was boxing up some things when I came across a perpetual calendar in the “Get Rid Of” pile. A perpetual calendar is a type of perennial device that is valid for many years, not just one. I asked why she was getting rid of it but she said with the convenience of cell phones, she never uses it anymore.


Lightbulb moment for me: why not convert the English numbers and months to Arabic to help my daughters practice more?


I asked if I could take it home and save it from the landfill and she said yes.


Once I got back to the studio, my daughter helped me use Mod Podge to make the magic happen of amending our months and numbers. Check out the rest of the materials used and how we are celebrating Earth Day by re-purposing things around us for a new use, in this case, a multilingual learning tool!



Perpetual calendar
Arabic months and numbers print out
Foam brush
Mod Podge

We measured the size of our existing months and numbers pieces.

We added a tiny bit of overage to all the sides and cut everything down. It’s better to trim any extra later than try to make a small piece fit.

To adhere the paper to the wood, we added Mod Podge with the foam brush to the piece and also to the back of the paper.  Once we added the paper, we also added an layer of Mod Podge to the top.

We did the same to the numbers, making sure to place a zero, 1 and 2 on both cubes. We placed the 3, 4, and 5 on one cube and the 6, 7, 8, and 9 on the other.

Just a reminder, similar to English, where the 6 can be turned upside down to become a 9, the Arabic language has that same ability with the ٧, which is 7 that becomes a ٨, an 8.

Our calendar was done and ready to go in our kitchen. We are going to start a tradition of saying the month and days in Arabic at dinner each night.


There is a slot in the back of the calendar (behind the numbers) that used to hold a note pad and pencil. But I am going to add the days of the week, when I get a chance to print them out.


If you enjoy re-purposing materials into new things, check out these other recycling projects we’ve made into calendars

Arabic Ramadan Countdown Calendar {Tutorial} – made from fencing materials

Ramadan Dates Calendar {Tutorial} – made from cardboard rolls


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

Oman Paint Chip Art {Tutorial}

I have wanted to teach my daughter about Oman, officially known as the Sultanate of Oman, for awhile now since it’s the last Arab country in the Arab League we haven’t discussed.


Oman (Arabic: عمان‎ ) is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest with the south and east on the Persian Gulf.  The Sultanate is administratively divided into eleven governorates.


We printed out a copy of them to use in today’s artwork made of paint chips. We got eleven chips of the same color variations of red, to show the unity of Oman, but highlight the differences.



Paint chip
Oman country print out
White card stock

We started by cutting out the country and outlining it on the white card stock.

We lightly outlined the eleven governorates.

We then cut the paint chips into random triangles.

We set glue down and added the paint chips.

Once all the major areas were done, we went back and added smaller triangles to fill in the gaps.

Once the mainland was done, we added an island for the provenance of Al Wusta.

Plus two little sections for the governorate of Musandam in the north.

This is what it looks like when we were done.

I have to say, the final artwork is visually stimulating.

We can frame it and it would look lovely to hang in any living room.

Please stop by to see more artwork we have made of the Arab world.

Algeria Geometric Art {Tutorial}

Comoros Layered Papercut {Tutorial}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterst to learn about other countries.

Arabesque Napkin Votives {Tutorial}

I was at the party store and came across these arabesque napkins and fell in love with the design.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to use them for, but I knew they were not headed into the kitchen or dining room.


What I loved most about the napkins were the gold margins. I thought this activity was perfect to do with my daughter since it highlights that gold on both these previously blank votive candle holders. This helps tie them together, when before, I had gotten them both as gifts from different people.


You can do this same process with any type of napkin that has two layers or any glass surface. Imagine the possibilities next time you are at the party store!



Votive candle holders of various heights
Foam brush
Mod Podge

This project works best with napkins that are two layers. They tend to be thinner and absorb the Mod Podge better.  Pull the layers apart and now you can take the bottom layer to the kitchen or dinning room.

Make sure the glass is clean and dry before you apply a thin layer of Mod Podge.

Lay the arabesque napkin on top and add another layer of Mod Podge. Our napkin didn’t go all the way around, so we carefully matched up a second napkin to the design. Cut off any extra napkin on top. Tip: to help it blend a little better, fray the edge a little bit. This helps the paper fibers blend.

Set that votive holder aside and make another and another and another.  As many as you’d like.  Once they are dry, add a second layer of Mod Podge and now they are ready for the candles.

If you enjoyed making this candle activity, please stop by these others we’ve tried

Eid Wax Paper Candle {Tutorial}

Lebanese Flag Candle {Tutorial}

Palm Tree Cookie Cutter Candle {Tutorial}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun tutorials that use arabesque designs.