Khatam Atom Caution Sign {Tutorial}

Plaid Crafts is launching a new Plaid Cosplay Facebook page and to celebrate, we have decided to show our geeky side for today’s Ramadan craft.

It is true, our family loves science, math and all things engineering. When we visited Florida, we not only went to the theme parks, but we also spent some time at the NASA space museum. My husband has coached both our older daughters in robotics competitions for years and there is usually some sort of robot experiment happening on our kitchen table.

My daughter wanted to take her love of science by taking a carbon atom and mixing it with an Islamic design, a khatam, which is the Arabic word for eight point star, to come up with this personalized, geeky caution sign for her wall.

We used Plaid Crafts products and they have graciously offered our blog $50 worth of items to give away. Check out the rules at the bottom of this post on how you can win these products:

Supplies

  • Bamboo square plate
  • Foam stickers
  • Mod Podge
  • Yellow paint
  • Black paint
  • Xacto
  • Paintbrush
  • Foam brush
  • Blue painter’s tape (optional)

Our first step in making our caution sign was to paint our bamboo plate a solid bright yellow color.

To make our plate look more like a sign, we used painter’s tape to add a black square around the edge. This is optional and you can leave the sign as is.

My daughter created her personalized, geeky image by taking a carbon atom and placing it inside a khatam. She printed out the design four times on blue paper.

In between adding more coats of yellow paint, my daughter cut out the four khatam designs, each time taking off more of the design until only the circle was left.

The full khatam design was added to the plate first with Mod Podge.

Before adding the other layers to the top of the first khatam, my daughter covered both sides with Mod Podge to make them more stiff.

After the Mod Podge had fully dried, my daughter added the foam stickers to the back of the khatam designs before adding them to the middle of the plate.

Here is what all four layers of the khatam atom design looks like on top of each other.

The extra time spent cutting the paper of each layer really gives the atom an extra 3D effect.

As soon as we add a sawtooth picture hanger, it will be a nice addition to our space invaders wall.

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see other fun tutorials we have made.

Plaid Crafts / ACraftyArab.com Ramadan 2019 Giveaway Rules

We have half way through the month of our 30 day Ramadan crafts 2019 challenge and would love to know how many you have made.

  • So head to either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and use the hashtag #CraftyRamadan and #PlaidRamadan to show us.
  • We will pick a winner (sorry from the US or Canada only) from those that enter from now to June 5th, 2019.
  • Make sure you are following ACraftyArab on all three channels so that we can see your posts when you tag us.

Arabic Christmas Pallet {Tutorial}

This Arabic Christmas pallet decor was so easy and took so little time to construct.

Eid Milad Majid {عيد ميلاد مجيد} is how to say Merry Christmas in Arabic. Eid means holiday, Milad means birthday & Majid means glorious, loosely translated to stand for Festival of the Glorious Birth. Christmas is celebrated by roughly 64% of Arab Americans in the US who are Christian.

I took advantage of this Plaid Enterprises, Inc. pallet’s wood sign having four boards to stack the words, adding a star to the top, to create the shape of a Christmas tree.

I made this sign today and gave my daughters a day off to catch up on tests.  If you want your kids to get involved in the sign construction, you can Xacto out the words from the paper to turn them into stencils. This frames the letters nicely for them to sponge paint, rather than hand stencil.

I cut and paste عيد ميلاد مجيد into a Word document & played around with sizes so that the Majid at the bottom was much larger in size than the Eid at the top.

Supplies

Wood pallet

Paintbrush – Large for cover, small for writing

Tracing stylus

Paint – aqua, cardinal red, daffodil yellow, wicker white

Blue tape

Carbon paper

عيد ميلاد مجيد – printed & cut

The first step is to paint the background colors. I picked the aqua and cardinal red as complimentary colors, alternating them.

After waiting a few hours for everything to dry, I taped my word down, placing the carbon paper under it, before tracing the letters.

Then I removed the word and the carbon paper, to start painting with the white.

For the final touch, I added a star to the top. I just cut out an eight point star, called a khatam in Arabic, from a piece of paper. I cut out the bottom longer, then traced it with the carbon paper, before painting it yellow.

Once everything was painted, I left everything flat for a few hours to dry.

That is it.  Super easy, correct?  I will want to add a cover of Mod Podge to help seal in the colors, but tomorrow to make sure everything is dry for 24 hours.


To see other ways we have discussed Christmas, please visit:

Arabic Christmas Card {Printable}

Arabic Christmas Ornament {Tutorial}

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to check out other tutorials that teach about the Arab world.


Seattle Arab Cultural Camp Roundup {Outing}

Last week we held an Arab Cultural Camp in our home to teach local children about the group of people that live in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region of the world.

 

I had spent years working at a girl scout camp in our area, so being around the camp concept with children was not new to me. I knew I wanted to have an Arab cultural theme because Seattle has other camps that focus on the MENA area, therefore the interest is already in the community. I used the tutorials from this blog to fill the day with activities that were not religious or political and made sure to also include lots of physical, outdoor play.

 

In case others wanted to conduct a similar camp in their area, here was our fun, filled schedule.

 

Monday

We started the day by getting to know the kid’s names with camp name tag badges. The kids used Sharpies to decorate rectangle piece of wood, with a hole drilled in one corner. They could either write down their real names, or come up with a camp name.  Once they were done, the kids added yarn into the hole to make necklaces.  In the photo are my Camel camp badges, from the last two years at girl scout camp, that the kids used as an example.

Once we were finished, we dove right in and made art based on the Mosque Salt and Glue Watercolor Card {Tutorial}. While we waiting for the glue to dry outside, we made apples from the Nowruz Sib Origami {Tutorial}, plus some stars, in the living room.

After we finished our art, we took a break for lunch, which included a walk to the local park for our physical activity of the day. I had planned for the kids to take the Mosque Cardboard Ring Toss {Tutorial}, but it wasn’t easy to carry.  I have to put my thinking cap on and come up with a new one that can easily travel.

 

Upon our return, we got right down to business making room decor with the Halal/Haram Sharpie Light Switch {Tutorial}, followed up with punching paper to make a few bookmarks from the Moon and Star Punch Art Bookmark {Tutorial}. Then we stopped for a snack break to make some Ramadan Man’ousheh Mini Bites {Recipe} and finished our day stamping t-shirts to prep them for tomorrow.

Tuesday

Now that the tshirts were dry from being out in the sun all day, the kids took scissors to them to turn them into bags, for us to donate, based on the instructions from the No Sew Tshirt Bag {Tutorial}.  We then spent a little time making sand dollars look like real money with metal paint, just like in our Glittered Seashell Beach Art {Tutorial} and had way too much fun with Eid Green Slime {Tutorial}.  As in the kids didn’t want to go to the next activity!  But we managed to get them to paint with celery from the Palm Tree Celery Stamp Art {Tutorial} before we stopped for lunch.

Today was one of the hottest days in Seattle all summer.  Even with the air conditioning inside, it was just too hot to move.  So, with permission from the moms, we spent the rest of the day at our private swim club, soaking up some rays.

Wednesday

Half way through our week, we thought we would pause and spent a little time to talk about things that we are grateful for.  We placed those things on shimmering rocks with help from instructions on the Alhamdulillah Rocks {Tutorial}, before we moved on to make khatam earrings and necklace charms to gift to others (khatam is the Arabic word for eight point star) based on the Moon & Star Paint Chip Earrings {Tutorial} .

Our lavender bush in our front yard was in full of bloom, so the kids spent a little time picking the harvest to make it into a refreshing spray.  The kids then got down and dirty, to make goop to hold together their yarn art from the Crescent Moon And Star Yarn Window Art {Tutorial}.

We took a break for lunch, with also included a walk to a local park, before we rounded out our day to cut up some felt based on the Crescent Moon and Star Straw Toppers {Tutorial}. We enjoyed them with milk, while we cut up our food to make a Eid Party Fruit Snack {Recipe}.

Thursday

Today we spent a little time talking about the different countries of the Arab world and painting some rocks to represent their flags, based on the Arab World Rocks {Tutorial}. We went on to paint in the kitchen with sweet sticky fingers from the Sugar and Wax Resist Painting {Tutorial}, before covering crutches headed to Syrian refugees in whimsical duct tape to brighten them up.

Our last activity of the day in the studio was to make charms from the Islamic Shrinky Dink Charms {Tutorial} before heading back into the kitchen.

Once there, the kids learned about hummus.  They also made man’ousheh again since they loved it so much the first day.  Then as a special treat, we finished the day off again at the pool, this time inviting friends and siblings to join us and our home made snacks.  (I also gave each mom hummus I had pre-made to enjoy with the rest of the family later.)

Friday

It’s hard to believe we went through over 20 activities for the week.  We’ve been spending so much time making art about the MENA region, we went out today to find it.

 

We took the bus to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) to look first. We found a khatam design on the wall in the Islamic room and in a new instillation in the Sub-Saharan Africa galleries.

None of the camp kids had ever been to a museum, so we spent a little time exploring other rooms as well (the Japanese tea room was a huge hit). As someone who has been giving (adult) tours at SAM for 24 years, it was a wonderful experience for me to be around children for a change.

We had lunch in the museum cafe before heading to buy gum. They chewed and chewed it until it was soft before adding it to the Pike Place gum wall.

We washed our hands (I promise!), then bought cookies for the rest of the walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park (also part of SAM and free!) to look at more art. As a reward for all the walking the campers had done (close to 15 blocks!), I rewarded them with candy from the Kaab’a Candy Party Treat {Tutorial} I had made as I told them about the upcoming Eid Al Adha.

Once the kids were finished running in between the sculptures, we took the monorail back to our bus stop. One of the campers pointed out a khatam on our walk, can you see it?

For me personally, to introduce children to museums meant that Friday was to be one of the highlights of my week. I hope they go back.

 

Tips

Overall, the Arab cultural camp was a huge success as far as the moms were concerned. The campers went home tired, having learned new things. However, if I were to do this camp again next year, I would put into place these learning experiences:

 

Register early – Having the families register early gives you a better idea of how much you need to have on hand for supplies.  I am fortune that my studio is well stocked as a Plaid Ambassador, so I was able to grab so many different types of paints and brushes for our projects.  However, there were some things that needed to be bought before hand: name tags, t-shirts, light switches, celery, etc.

 

Advertise – I spent weeks before the camp setting up Facebook events, to invite all my mom friends, plus I sent out press releases to all the major newspapers.  I placed flyers in the Arab grocery stores and sent out emails to people I had worked with on similar children educational projects in the past. Next time, I would start earlier and advertise months in advance.

 

Print out activities – The campers outnumbered my volunteers, so having print outs of the instructions really helped the kids. I didn’t do this the first day and found myself repeating directions several times.  On the second day and moving forward, I made sure to not only include the written instructions, but also photos for the younger ones that can’t quite read.

 

Keep it light – Kids learn best with hands on activities that are fun. Rather then spend time with a slide show about the Arab world, I would just sprinkle little bits of trivia through the day.  For example, while painting the Arab flags, I might mention to someone who was painting Morocco that the first university in the world was created there by a woman.

 

Have some down time – I’m convinced that kids in the summer metamorphosis into sloths.  Who can blame them with all the over stimulation we give them the rest of the year? So if you are planning a similar camp, make sure to include a park, a pool, or an outing, to let them vegetate, every day.  It really is okay for them to be bored. This forces them to engage with the other kids at camp, or have a little time to collect themselves before the next set of activities.

 

Get community help – I had planned on hiring a local Arab musician to come show the kids how to play the darbuka.  Unfortunately, I was not able to raise enough funds this year, but hope to bring him next year.  Look around your community and see if there are others with a talent to include in the activities. This gives the kids a chance to learn from other voices.

 

xxx

Overall, I’m happy the camp went well and I’m looking forward to recreating it again next summer. On a much larger scale now that I’ve had the experience.

 

See you next year: as a camper, volunteer or cheerleader on this wonderful endeavor!