Khatam Jewelry Bowl {Tutorial}

These mini air dry clay bowls were made to help keep us organized.


We have left over clay from our previous ladybugs and coasters and wanted to used it up before it hardened.


Since we had shaped the ladybugs into circles and the coasters were cut from a template, I thought I would show my daughter today how to work with a mold.


A mold can be bought or it can be made from any household items you have at hand, as long as you protect your surface from the clay.


We decided to use two little bowls we had picked up at the dollar store as our molds.  By placing the two square bowls in each other, we discovered they created a 8 point star, or a khatam in Arabic.


If you read this blog at all, you know we love to make khatams because they are so easy for kids to replicate. Simply take two squares and offset them. Khatams can be found all over the Arab world and even in Western society. This is a khatam I found in a park in Washington, while on a walk last week.

To make our khatam, we used the Brush Metal silver paint from Plaid, which I received as a Plaid Ambassador.  We kept the center white so we can see our silver jewelry pieces.



Cling wrap
Washi tape
Air dry clay
Mod Podge
Foam Brush

Cut off a section of the clay and make sure you wrap up the rest super tight. Once it dries, it is impossible to use.

To condition the clay and get it ready, you need to soften it up for a few minutes by pushing it around your fingers.

You’ll want to now flatten your clay to about a quarter inch thickness.

Use the mold to cut the clay to size.

Place the cling wrap over the mold to make the extraction easier later.

You’ll next place the clay in the mold.

Use your fingers to shape the clay into the crevasses and corners of the mold.

The clay will need to stay in the mold for 24 hours to harden.

Place a little tape on the corners and paint them silver.

We added a layer of Mod Podge to protect against starches.

Now your khatam is ready for jewelry. Just as one or separated to create two bowls.

I especially love that the top bowl has a little lip so that earrings can be placed on the edge.

To see more of my handmade jewelry, please visit my shop. To make more tutorials that teach about the Arab world, be sure to check out A Crafty Arab on Pinterest.


Khatam Clay Coaster {Tutorial}

This DIY coaster tutorial is so easy and fun, my daughter has already asked to make more for teacher appreciation day.


We had air dry clay left over from the ladybugs we made last week and wanted to use it up before it hardened.


I had received this beautiful Barcelona stencil design from Plaid as a Plaid Ambassador and noticed the smaller sizes were perfect square size. Since a khatam, the Arabic word for 8 point star, is a simply two squares offset, we used the stencil to make coasters.



Air dry clay
Clay roller and knife
Square card stock
Mod Podge
Foam brush

We started by cutting off a section of the clay with our knife.

We spent about 5 minutes conditioning the clay. Twisting and turning it to make it soft and workable.

When it was ready, we rolled it out to about a quarter inch thickness.

We added the square card stock and marked where the corners were in one direction. Then we picked up the square, offset it and marked it again.

Once we had a general idea of where all the points are, we used the paper to guide the xacto cut into the clay.

The coaster is now ready to be set aside to dry for two days. We placed it on parchment paper and flipped it every 12 hours or so to avoid buldging. You can also use foil or a plate. We made four coasters total using the steps above.

Once all four were done, we used the stencil to add bright colors.

We waited a few hours for the paint to soak in and dry. Then we coated both sides (and edges!) with Mod Podge, which acts as a sealant to protect your clay. We did 3 coats total.

Here are all  four together. They are now in our living room, waiting for their first glass!

If you enjoyed making this khatam craft, please visit

Khatam Bead Coin Dish DIY {Tutorial}

Khatam Gift Tag {Tutorial}

Khatam Date Holder {Tutorial}

To learn more about the Arab world, stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest.


Air Dry Clay Ladybug {Tutorial} Plus Where? {Review}

I was recently sent the book Ayn? (Where? in Arabic) by Aya Khairy and Rania El Turk, from Maktabatee.


This little board book follows the story of a boy that discovers a ladybug on a head of lettuce his mom has brought home from the grocery story.  He delicately lifts it to carry but it flies away. But where is it?  Kids can lift the flaps of the next few pages to look for the ladybug, who seems to be closer than you think.


I took this book to a recent storytelling session and it was a huge hit. The kids loved taking turns lifting the flap and looking for the ladybug. I loved that the book was wordless so I could improvise Arabic words into the story, such as خس (khus) for lettuce, هرة (hirrah) for cat or  دعسوقة (daesuqat) or sometimes أم علي (umm ali) for ladybug.


For my next storytelling session, I thought it might be fun to hide a few ladybugs around the library and have the kids look for them.


These only took a few minutes to make but you’ll need two days for the clay to dry.  You can use regular clay and fire them in a kiln, or use air dry clay like we did.



Air dry clay
Wire / wire cutters / needle nose pliers
Bone folder
E6000 / magnet

We started by carefully opening the clay so we can cut off a slice.

As soon as we were done, we put away the clay in an air tight container, to make sure it stays moist.

To get the clay ready, we spent a few minutes conditioning it. This means we rubbed it between our fingers and hands to get it soft.

After about five minutes, we divided it up into three balls and spent some time making them round.

We picked the smoothest side to each ball and flatten the other side of it so the best side showed.  Then my daughter placed it in her hand and used the bone folder to make an incision about a third of the way across. This will become the head.

Once the head is done, she placed the bone folder in the mid point and made another incision across. This creates the wings.

Once the body is done, it was time to start working on the face. My daughter took apart a ballpoint pen to use the main part for the eyes.

She then used the ink well to make the mouth.

You can choose to add antennas, or leave out the next step.  If you do decide to make them, you’ll need wire cutters and needle nose pliers to cut and shape them.

Once made, place them over the eyes in the ladybug.

We waited 24 hours for our clay to dry, then my daughter painted the body.

Once the wings had dried, she painted the face black.

She added pupils for the eyes and gave one of the three ladybugs lipstick.

The final step is to use the back of the ballpoint pen for the black spots.

You can leave your ladybug as is, or you can add a magnet with E6000. Earlier, we also added a hole in two of the ladybugs so we can add a wire to the bottom of them. We placed a tiny bit of E6000 to hold the wire.

Now our ladybugs are ready to hide. One in the corner of our magnet board in the front of the library kid’s area and the other two in the planters. Waiting to be found.

Be sure to check out the book Where from Maktabatee or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.

Stop by these other book reviews that also include a fun craft tutorial.

Sheep Origami Bookmark

Persian Paisley Painting


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