Camel Garden Stake {Tutorial}

Camels have had a long history in the United States.  I thought Arab American Heritage Month would be a great time to introduce that to my girls.

 

They first arrived on May 14, 1856 to Texas from the North African countries of Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia, along with other Mediterranean countries.  The Army needed to improve transportation in the southwestern US, which most observers thought was a great desert.

 

One of the most famous camel drivers, Hadji Ali, had a Syrian father and a Greek mother. He is one of the first known Arabs to help settle the American west.

 

Pulling out our favorite tool, a cookie cutter, we decided to make a camel garden stake to honor Hadji Ali and his camels this month.

 

I decided to use it for my sage plant outside since it’s the most pudgent and people ask when they walk by “what is that smell?”  I thought it might be nice to let the people know that are also curious, when I’m not outside to answer.

 

Supplies

Sculpey clay
Roller
Brown Sharpie
Cutting mat
Camel cookie cutter
Metal kebab skewers
To cook: cooking pan, foil and oven

We started by conditioning our clay, per manufactures instructions and rolled it out thinly on the cutting mat.  (You can also cheat a little and use a roller machine, which we did.)

Use our cookie cutter, we pressed it in the middle of the clay.

We carefully took off the excess clay and laid out the kebab skewer on the cut out camel shape.

We flattened some out some extra clay in our hand and laid it on top of the metal, making sure to seal it down well. We carefully picked it up and placed it on the foil covered cookie sheet. We cooked it in our oven per manufactures instructions. We also made sure to have all our windows open, just in case, for ventilation.

We let our stake cool for a few hours and then used the Sharpie to write out our herb.

Now our camel garden stake was ready to go outside.

If you enjoyed this camel craft, try making these

Freezer Paper Camel {Tutorial}

Eid Camel Gift Bag {Tutorial}

 

If you enjoyed working with a cookie cutter, try using one in these mediums

Moon & Star Cookie Cutter Canvas Art {Tutorial}

Palm Tree Cookie Cutter Candle {Tutorial}

 

If you enjoyed working with clay, stop by this DIY craft tutorials

Mosque Polymer Clay Cake {Tutorial}

Polymer Clay Moon & Star {Tutorial}

 

To learn more Arab history, check out

99 Arab American Women {Resource}

14 Books to Introduce Teens to the Arab World {Resource}

 
Or stop  by A Crafty Arab on Pinterst for other fun ways to learn about the Arab world.

Paper Bag Dabke Dancers {Tutorial}

 

Dabke (Arabic: دبكة‎‎) is an folk dance native to the Levant countries of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Syria. It is widely performed by both men and women at weddings and other joyous occasions.

 

Dabke combines the circle dance and line dancing. The leader of the dabke heads the line, which forms from right to left, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers.

 

According to one folk tradition, the dance originated in the Levant where houses were built from stone with a roof made of wood, straw and dirt. The dirt roof had to be compacted which required stomping the dirt hard in a uniform way to compact it evenly.

 

In English, its name is also spelled Dabka, Dubki or Dabkeh (plural Dabkaat). Follow along on our tutorial to learn how to make these dabke dancers out of paper bags for hours of puppetry fun.

 

Supplies

Paper lunch bag
Hole Punch
Glue
Double sided tape
Sharpie
Scissors
Metal brads
Card stock paper in beige, green, white and red

To make our dancers, first we have to start with the face. We placed double sided tape over the rectangular bottom of the bag.  Keep the bag closed so placing the tape is easier.

Then we added our beige paper to cover up the seam lines of the bag.  We cut off any over hang paper left over.

Using the same methods, we clothed our dancers in a red shirt and green pants.

We took our extra paper and cut off one inch wide stripes. We didn’t really measure how long they were, just eyeballed how long legs and arms should/could/might be. We set them aside for now to work on the neck.

 

To make our keffiyeh, first cut a 1 inch stripe of paper then measuree across our bag body and then cut off any access.  We took the extra and cut it in half length wise for the ties of the scarf.

We took the sharpie and drew small Xs across the ties and double Xs across the neck area.

When the drawing was done, we placed double sided tape on the edge and added the ties. 

We added more double sided tape across the neck area and over the ties for the main part of the keffiyeh. Tuck it under the neck a little.

Now we were ready to add our arms and legs.  First we hole punched, making sure to only go through only the top layer of bag.  (Tip – If you punch all the way though, you will not be able to put your arm in comfortably.)

Insert the brad through the one inch strip, then the body and close off the back.

Add a dap of glue to the goolgy eyes and place them on the biege paper.

Use the sharpie to draw in the rest of the facial features.  We added a beard and hair.

Your dancer is now ready to start a line!

Since it’s hard to dance the dabke alone, we decided to use our supplies that were out and make him a friend.

Now they are both ready to dance the afternoon away. (Yallah! is the Arab word for Let’s Go!)

If you enjoyed making these dabke dancers, be sure to check out our clothespins ones too:

Dabke Clothespins Dancers {Tutoriall}

If you bought an entire case of paper bags and need more fun DIY tutorials to make with them, check out what we do with them on this tutorial:

Hanging Paper Bag Khatam {Tutorial}

This post is part of our month long series in March to learn about the Arab culture. Please visit other posts during National Arab American Heritage Month or stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest.

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Nowruz Sir Plate {Tutorial}

Happy Nowruz 2017

 

Today is Nowruz, celebrated by the Iranians and Turkic peoples, along with some other ethno-linguistic groups, in the Middle East and worldwide.  It is a holiday that marks the beginning of the New Year.

 

Last year, we made a sib, or apple, for the half sin table. This year we are tried our hand at papier-mâché to make a plate for garlic, or sir (سیر).

 

According to Wikipedia:

A Half Sin (Persian: هفت سین‎‎ “Seven S’s”) is the traditional table setting of Nowruz in Iran. Typically, before the arrival of Nowruz, family members gather around a table, with the Haft Seen set on it, and await the exact moment of the March equinox to celebrate the New Year. At that time, the New Year gifts are exchanged.

 

I started by printing out some black and white paisley designs I found on the internet, along with garlic images. Paisley was actually a shape that originated in Iran, so we wanted to tie in a bit of history into our sir bowl.

 

Supplies

Clingwrap
Plastic container
Foam brush
Sharpie pen
Mod Podge
Rectangle ceramic plate
Paisley and garlic cut outs

 

Mix the Mod Podge with a little bit of water in the plastic container.

Use the gold sharpie to add a few value lines in the garlic. Cut out the shape and also cut out the paisley shapes.

Place the Clingwrap on the plate and start gluing down the paisley cut outs.  Let the first layer dry overnight and then add another layer.

Add the garlic cutouts as the final touch.

Let your plate dry overnight. The next day, it should pop right out of the ceramic shape.

Now your paper plate is ready for sir and your half sin table.

To enjoy more plate DIY tutorials, visit

Eid Decorative Plate Tutorial

My First Ramadan Sharpie Plate Tutorial

Moroccan Flag Candy Dish

There are a few handmade Nowruz cards in my shop and don’t forget to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Middle East. Please feel free to pin this image into your favorite board:

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