Halal/Haram Sharpie Light Switch {Tutorial}

Halal and haram are two Arabic words that mean opposing things.

Things that are halal are permissible, while haram means forbidden.

These Arabic words, particularly with respect to dietary rules, are found in the Islamic text, the Quran and parallel the Old Testament categories of clean and unclean in Christianity.

My teen was has been redesigning her room lately and I gave her permission to use a Sharpie on her light switch. She did a little research and found images of light switches with the Happy Potter words Lumos and Nox. She also saw light switches made with Luke and Vadar of Star Wars fame.

She thought she’d have a little play on words and use halal for daylight and haram for nighttime. The design only took a few minutes to create and if you are confident with your writing, you can even do with only two supplies: a light switch and permeate pen.


Letter stickers
Light switch
Ultra fine point sharpie
Fine point sharpie

First we added sticker letters that spelled halal at the top and haram at the bottom.

We carefully outlined the top letters with the finer tip pen. We also used the finer tip pen to fill in the space in the bottom letters.

Once that was done, we used the edge of the sticker sheet to draw a line in the middle of the light switch.  We then used the thicker Sharpie pen to fill in the bottom half of the light switch.

Once the bottom was filled in, we removed the stickers. If there is too much bleeding of ink on the bottom letters, you can use nail polish remover on a q-tip to clean up the black ink.

We filled in the inside space of the top letters.

You can leave it as is, or add white star stickers for the nighttime sky.

If you enjoyed making this light switch, stop by these DIY tutorials

Eid Foil Decor {Tutorial}

Khatam Ramadan Window Clings {Tutorial}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more crafts that teach about the Arab world.

Mosque Papercut Bookmark {Tutorial}

Our house is getting ready for Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2018.


We are thrilled to be co-hosting this important initiative to get more diverse books in classrooms, libraries and homes.


Last year, we received the book Naji and the Mystery of the Dig by Vahid Imani about a Persian girl. The event organizers are in the process of looking for authors, bloggers and others.  We won’t know who our author is until later in the month.


In the meantime, we wanted to make a bookmark to get ready for its’ arrival.  Since the papercut Comoros Islands were a huge hit on the blog last month, we thought we’d keep the papercut theme going and try our hand at a mosque silhouette with domes and minarets.



Contact paper
Cutting mat
Mosque dome and minaret silhouette
Blue Tape
Black card stock

We started by cutting out a piece of black card stock to 3 inches x 6 inches. We placed it down on the cutting mat, then taped the mosque silhouette outline on top. My daughter used the xacto to cut out around the outline. You can be as detailed or as free flowing as you’d like.

Once the bottom of the bookmark is complete, remove the white outline paper, cut out a border and take out the “sky” above the domes and minarets.

I helped my daughter cut out stars from the left over sky parts. I made five V shapes in random sizes, all connected to each other.

Then my daughter used the xacto to cut out a piece of contact paper that was slightly larger.  She folded it in half, took off the paper backing to that fold line and added the bookmark and stars.

Once the bookmark was securely taped down on one half, she took the rest of the backing and pressed it down on the fold, over the bookmark.  Once the bookmark “sandwich” was secure, she trimmed off the excess pieces of contact paper.

Here is what our bookmark looks like when it was held up to the window.  Which means that when you are reading, you can also be able to see the words through the night sky. My daughter can’t wait to try it out.

Be sure to stop by these other bookmark tutorials we have made to celebrate books:

Qatar Flag Bookmark {Tutorial}

Moon and Star Punch Art Bookmark {Tutorial}

Or print out your own to color and decorate. I have also compiled a list of 99 Creative Mosque Projects to create.


To see more easy DIY crafts, visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest.

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.