Arabic Letter Rose Door Decor {Tutorial}

Spring is in the air now that April is here.  Since it’s Arab American Heritage Month, my daughter and I decided to make a rose wreath for our front door celebrating the Arabic alphabet.

 

The Arabic word for rose is warda, وَرْد, which starts with the letter و.  We took that first letter and used a piece of chipboard, plus silk flowers, to make this simple door decor, in honor of our rose bushes that are started to wake up.

 

We hope you can see how easy it is to make and create your own.

 

Supplies

Chipboard or heavy cardboard
Hot glue
Scissors
Sharpie
Silk roses
Ribbon

 

I downloaded and printed out the letter و for my daughter and she cut it out of paper, flipped it backwards on the chipboard and traced it out with the Sharpie. The “flipping over backwards” will make sense in just a little bit.

She then cut out the letter from the cardboard.  The middle was a little hard for her and I ended up pulling out the Xacto, just FYI.

Here is her letter all cut up and flipped over the correct way.  The reason I had her trace the letter backwards is now the letter edges are clean and free of Sharpie markings.

It’s time to turn on the hot glue to place the silk roses. We laid out a few to see what our design would look like.

This part of the project was great for teamwork. I would glue the back of the roses and my daughter would decide where they went. We glued our three large roses first, then the medium sized roses.  This made tucking in the smaller flowers easier later.

When we were done, we had extra flowers left over. Now we have to think of another craft for them.

We waited a few minutes for the last few roses to dry, then flipped over the letter to add our ribbon.  We cut off a piece and used the hot glue to secure both ends.

We again waited a few minutes for the hot glue to set, then took our rose wreath to the front door for our neighbors to enjoy.

Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun ways to craft with the Arabic alphabet.

 

April 2017 is National Arab American Heritage Month {Resource}

Did you know that April is National Arab American Heritage Month? This month celebrates the 1,697,570 Arab Americans in the United States (according to the 2010 U.S. Census). They are Americans of Arab ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity.

Definition

Arab Americans trace their ancestry to any of these 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that all either have Arabic as their primary or secondary language: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Dijbouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

While there may be ethnic or cultural adaptations, or religious similarities (63% of Arab Americans are Christian, 24% are Muslim and 13% list themselves as Other) what really ties them all is the Semitic Arabic language.

There are many different varieties of outfits, national food dishes and/or traditional dance in each of the above listed countries, however, any person can pick up a book or newspaper, Quran or Bible, in any of these 22 countries and still be able to understand the same Classical Arabic words.

History

The first Arabs were brought to America by the the Spanish explorers in the 15th Century as slaves.  By the Revolution War, things had shifted when US needed the Moroccan port of Tangiers and sought recognition.  This recognition was granted in 1777, making Morocco the first country to recognize the United States of America. The fighting armies were also dependent on the horses imported from Algeria to replenished the cavalry.  By the late 18th  century, laws were changed so that Arab Africans could be treated according to the laws for whites and not for those of their sub-Saharian African brothers and sisters.

Arab immigration after that came in waves, usually as a result of specific periods of war or discrimination in their respective mother countries. The most recent immigration wave, created from the Iraqi War, the Syrian Civil War and the attack on Gaza, has caused the United States to issue a MuslimBan against 7 countries, six of which are Arab (Persians in Iran speak Farsi).

Today, a majority of Arab Americans live in metropolitan areas and it’s interesting to note, have twice the American average for postgraduate degrees.

Resources

When I first wanted to introduce my language to my daughters, the only children’s Arabic alphabet poster I found was from a company in DC that had a black border and dark, hard to understand, illustrations.  It was so depressing for a children’s room. I had just sewn a bear sailor nursery set and the colors were all primary: reds, blues, yellows, and greens.  I wanted an Arabic poster in her room to reflect that brightness and cheerfulness that belong in an environment for a baby.

That was when I got together with an ex-coworker, who just happened to be a published children’s illustrator, and created the Arabic Alphabet Animal poster. I started selling it small, first on Etsy, then on Zibbet, before I tried my hand on Amazon and at local festivals. Soon the Arab American Museum in Dearborn, MI wanted some and before long, it was selling at the Smithsonian African American Museum in Washington, DC.  From there, I bought a button machine and made magnets.

Since then, we have gone on to make game cards, via a Kickstarter campaign and recently have debuted the Arabic Animal Color Poster.  My husband even helped develop a free app last year. It’s very basic, but he was excited to learn new coding since he’s not working at the moment.  I designed free coloring pages as an incentive to join my mailing list (which only gives you a heads up that a blog post is ready for you to come and enjoy).

 

Other then products for our home, I wanted to teach my daughters more about the language spoken by their ancestors.  I started blogging lullabies in Arabic, number games, and DIY crafts that include Arabic words. and letters. More can be found on ACraftyArab Blog on Pinterest.

I tried to vary the learning methods, sometimes making  capital word searches and word origin crossword puzzles. I made sure to share them on ACraftyArab Printabales on Pinterest too.

I filled their bookshelves with dictionaries, folktales, and toys that reflected their world in Arabic and English. I use these books to teach not only about the Arab world, but show them that they are can stand tall as strong, athletic, and kind. Since I am raising girls who will one day become women, I remind them that they come from a long line of those before them that were brilliant and artistic.

Not that I didn’t share an occasional food recipes with them, though. Talking to them about the spices and regional dishes of Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and Palestine helps keep the language alive too.


For the rest of April, we’ll be adding more posts about the culture, food and language of Arabs and their diaspora. We hope you follow along and share it with your friends.

Keep Learning:

To learn about other world languages, follow along on the TOP Kids Language Resources for your Language Learners. I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of this round up and share our Arabic resources with you.

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Personalized Arabic String Art Tutorial

I am so excited my brother is finally engaged. He has met and fallen in love with a Moroccan gal and proposed a few weeks ago. I am currently visiting him and decided to make him an engagement present using supplies he had around his home.

 

I used this previous tutorial, Arabic Initial String Art Tutorial, as inspiration to combine the first letter of his name with hers.

 

Supplies

Wood
White paint (not in photo)
2 shades of green paint
Paintbrush
Nails
Hammer
Pen
String
Wood flourishes
Petroleum jelly (not in photo)

Start by priming the wood with white.

Once the white is dry, paint two layers of the dark green paint.

While I had the green dark paint out, I also painted the corner wood flourishes.

Draw out the letters and cut them out. I decided to use an ampersand instead of the traditional Arabic ‘and’ ( و) because they will be living in the US after they are married, so I wanted to have both English and Arabic letters on their board.

Add petroleum jelly in a few spots. I had previously used this same technique to make an Eid Party Distressed Wooden Sign.  Then add two layers of the lighter green paint.

Use sandpaper to remove some of the light green from a few spots.

Once the letters are done, I placed them on the wood and started nailing. To help with spacing, I would put a nail down flat as measurement.

I tied off the string on the letter and outline it first.

Here is a close up of each letter.

And this is the final piece on his fireplace.

 

Be sure to stop by ACraftyArab on Pinterest to see more fun Arabic tutorials.

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