Mosque Golden Domes {Tutorial}

Recently Chronicle Books sent me the book Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan.
This beautifully illustrated children’s book showcases Islamic culture, through the eyes of a young girl, using colors.  We learn about the red of the prayer rug, the brown in dates, the yellow of the zakat box, and so on. There is also a glossary of terms which may be unfamiliar to little ears.


Our favorite part of the book was it’s use of large horizontal double page art, which spreads unbordered to the edges. This allowed us to lay the book flat and talk about all the images of food, holiday preparations and architecture we see.

We especially loved the page of the golden domes on the mosques and decided to try to recreate them. To be unusual, we decided to design them from the view of those birds flying in the sky, looking down.


This is a great STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) project because you need to use most of those resources to measure out the sizes of the domes.



Decorative 12×12 paper plus 8.5×11 white card stock
Lids of various sizes
Brown marker (optional)

Start by laying out your lids on the paper to see what you can fit. Play around with smaller lids. Mosques usually have one major dome, but sometimes several minarets and smaller domes. We went with one large dome and two smaller ones.

Cut your 12×12 paper into strips. Ours had glitter, diagonal images that left glitter all over my floor, so do this outside if your floor is not easy to sweep. We made some wider ones for the larger dome and smaller strips for the smaller domes.

Now you need to figure out long your paper strip needs to be to create a dome, turning your design from 2D to 3D. Start by folding over one end, you’ll need this later for the glue, and decide how high you want your dome to be off the paper.  Then fold the other end over, to leave another flap for the glue on the other side. Cut off any access paper.

Add glue to both flaps and place them down on the paper.

Keep adding paper, going around the sides of the dome. You’ll need to measure out each strip since each one will be different size as you build your dome up higher.

This is optional, but we decided to color the rooftop of our mosque brown.

And now our STEAM mosque domes were done and ready to be enjoyed at our dinning table tonight. My daughter will share her findings of how she created a 3D dome by measuring strips of flat paper.


If you enjoyed this mosque craft tutorial, please visit

Mosque Polymer Clay Cake {Tutorial}

Great Mosque of Cordoba {Printable}

Mosque Crepe Paper Banner {Tutorial}

If you enjoy reading a multicultural book and making a project on that book, please visit

Sandwich Swap Hummus {Recipe}

Persian Paisley Painting {Tutorial}

Mosque Pillow {Tutorial}

Or be sure to check out the list I’ve compiled of 99 Creative Mosque Projects.

A Crafty Arab on Pinterest has more DIY tutorials on Arab and Islamic children’s books.



Door Blessing Hamsa {Tutorial}

The hamsa is a palm shaped talisman, or amulet, thought to protect against the evil eye.  It can be found through out the Arab world that is in North Africa and the Middle East. Used as a sign of protection, it can be found on all the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, from Spain to Morocco.


I thought it might be something to bring up with my daughter to celebrate Arab American Heritage Month. I want her to learn about this symbol that is uniquely born of her Arab roots and has spread to other cultures.


The hamsa has been called a Khamsah, the Arabic word for “five”,  to sympbolise the five fingers of the hand.  The five fingers are occasionally used to symbolism the five pillars of Islam. It has also been referred to as the Hand of Fatima, after the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).


A few years ago when I was on vacation, I saw this universal sign of protection in both Egypt and Turkey.  It can be found in souks, the Arabic word for markets, as well as in homes of Arab Christians, Jews and Muslims.  The hamsa’s path into Jewish culture can be traced through its use in Islam. The khamsa holds recognition as a bearer of good fortune among Christians in the region as well. Levantine Christians call it the hand of Mary.


Origins of the hamsa have been traced back to Tanit, an Amazigh goddess in Egypt but also to Carthage, which is the area that is now modern day Tunisia.


Due to it’s origins, there are many who believe that it is a pagan symbol and does not have a place in Islam.  They feel it’s magical or mystical and beyond the scope of the Quran.


I shared both views with my daughter as we made today’s craft.  Follow along the picture tutorial as we make a hamsa to help bless our home.



Copper wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers
Wood beads
8.5 x 11 paper

My daughter traced out her hand with the pencil on the paper.

She learned how to use the needle nose pliers to bend the wire to trace her hand outline.

She then learned how to use the wire cutters to cut the wire off the spool.

She cut off two pieces of wire of equal lengths and turned them into two S shapes.

To attache the two shapes to each other, she cut off small pieces of the copper wire and twisted it around the middle two spots where they touch.

She then used more copper wire to attach the S shaped design to the wire hamsa.

To add some movement below, she attached a wood bead to the cooper wire and twisted the wire closed.  She then added more beads, alternating colors. Now our beads will hit the door when it’s open to create a windchime.

To attache the bead dangle to the hand, she added chain.  To attach the chain to the wire, she simply used the needle nose pliers to make a closed loop.


Our hamsa is ready for our front door. 


If you enjoyed this DIY tutorial and would like to learn more about the Arab world, please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterst.








Mauritania Flag Banner {Tutorial}

Arab American Heritage Month seems like a great time to continue our quest to learn about all the different countries in the Arab League. We settled on Mauritania, which became a member in 1973.


Mauritania (Arabic: موريتانيا) is located in the Maghreb region of Africa.  It is boarded  by Morocco/Western Sahara to the north, Algeria in the northeast, Mali in the east/southeast, Senegal to the southwest and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.


The capital is Nouakchott, right on the Atlantic Ocean, as the majority of the country is covered by the sand of the Sahara Desert.


The flag of Mauritania is very unusual because it only contains the colors gold and green and not the common flag colors in all other world flags: red, white or blue.  It was adopted on April 1, 1959 and consists of a green background with a central upward pointed crescent moon and star.


The gold symbolizes the sands of the Sahara Desert and the green is for Islam, while some consider that green symbolizes a bright future and growth. The crescent and star are also symbols of Islam and seen on other flags such as Turkey, Libya and Tunisia.


For this project, we recycled a Styrofoam tray that came with our meat from the grocery store. If you follow our lead, please soak it for a little bit in a mixture of water with a dash of soap/beach. I just added a few drops in a bucket and soaked it for a few minutes.   You can also buy them new, so I included the link below.


Styrofoam tray
Fabric paint
Felt cut into 2.5 x 4 inch pieces
Fabric glue
Printout of 2.5 x 4 inch Mauritania flag

I found a black and white outline of the Mauritania flag and made it the same size as our pre-cut felt pieces. My daughter cut out the flag.

She then cut out the moon and star from the inside of the flag.

She laid out the flag on the Syrofoam and outlined the whole flag first, then the moon and star on a differnet part of the tray.

She used the Xacto to cut out the main flag shape and also the moon and star.

Next she used the flag print out as a guide and glued the cut out moon and star Styrofoam pieces to the Styrofoam flag piece.  This will need to set, so she put it aside for half an hour or so.

Now the fun painting starts! She just squirted the fabric paint directly onto the moon and star.

She positioned the stamp directly over the felt flag, since they were the same size, and pushed down gently to get the paint to transform.  Every time she did a new flag, she added more paint. ( If a child messes up, you can flip it over to use the new side and place the banner against a wall. If your flag is going in a window, wait for the paint to dry, flip your flags over and do the over sides so both can be enjoyed. )

She let the paint dry and came back to used fabric glue to add a flag to the ribbon.  Our ribbons was nice and wide so she could flip it over to give the flag to make a nice trim.

She added the rest of her flags to the ribbon, leaving a few inches in between them. Let the fabric glue dry overnight. I put our banner between two heavy art books to make sure the ribbon stayed folded over the flags while it set.

The best part is now we have a stamp to use on another project later. Or buy more meat and create a whole new stamp to use.

If  you enjoyed making the stamp and would like to try your hand at another, try our Moon & Star Stamp {Tutorial}.

If you enjoyed learning about the Arab world, be sure to visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterst.