Alhamdulillah Zakat Basket {Tutorial}

My daughters and I enjoy making a different zakat (‘alms-giving’ in Arabic) box, as part of our 30 day Ramadan crafts challenge, to collect money. We have made them out of wood, glass, picture frames, and even recycled materials.


Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and an obligatory form of charitable giving for all Muslims that have the ability to do so.


We wanted to try something different this year and collect money, plus perishable food, daily. We painted a basket with Alhamdulillah (Arabic for “”thank Lord!”). According to Wikipedia: So frequently do Muslims and Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians invoke Alhamdulillah that the quadriliteral verb hamdala (حمدل), “to say al-ḥamdu li-llāh” was coined, and the derived noun ḥamdala (حمدلة) is used as a name for this phrase.


At the end of the month, we will donate everything inside the basket to a local food bank.


The project was inspired by the Bismillah Painted Tray {Tutorial} and uses the same banner letters. I received the paints as my role as Plaid Ambassador.



Glitter paint
Coastal paint
Banner letters

We took our letters to the local craft store to find a basket big enough for food inside and the letters outside.  Once we brought it home, we lined up the letters to spell out Alhamdulillah.

We used the Sharpie to outline the letters.

Next we painted the inside of the letters with the coastal paint. Once the first layer dried, we went over it again.

We waited a few hours for the paint to dry and went over it with glitter paint, just to add a little bit of sparkle.

Now our basket was done.

We placed it on the kitchen counter and have already added a few cans inside. we hope to take a photo of our complete basket on Facebook, so please stop by for an update.

If you enjoy crafts that show gratitude, please stop by these other activities

Alhamdulillah Rocks {Tutorial}

End Everything with Alhamdulillah {Printable}


Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterst to see more DIY activities

2018 Ramadan Crafts 30 Day Challenge {Resource}

Tomorrow marks the start of our 8th annual 30 day Ramadan crafts challenge.


Ramadan is a holy month in the Islamic calendar when able Muslims around the world fast between sunrise to sunset. No food, no water, nothing can enter their body. In the most simplest of explanations for children to understand: it is to make them appreciate what they have and to donate to the less fortunate at the end of the month.


For our annual #CraftyRamadan challenge, we will once again be sharing 30 activities, tutorials and downloads that teach about Ramadan, Muslims, the Arab world, and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.


From the beginning, my 3 daughters and I have spent the holy month of Ramadan creating projects to talk about their connection to the 1.75 billion Muslims around the world.   I wanted to show them they were part of a larger Ummah, a word meaning community in Arabic,  أمة‎. Some posts may not teach anything but offer a fun toy or game to help children pass the time.


Our annual tradition started in 2011, and continued in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.


As an teaching artist, I had the resources to teach them art in my studio, a subject they were heavily missing in their school system.  As a Muslim, I wanted to make sure they were always reading and learning, as asked of us in the Quran, or holy book. As an Arab mother, I wanted to spend time with them individually talking about my childhood memories of spending Ramadan with family, growing up in Libya.


This year, I am adding a Plaid Online contest for a chance to win $50 worth of Mod Podge accessories, as part of my role as Plaid Ambassador.  Please stop by A Crafty Arab on Facebook to enter to win:

8 OZ. Mod Podge GLOSS
8 OZ. Mod Podge Matte
8 Oz. Dishwasher Safe Gloss
Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium 2 Oz. Carded
Mod Podge Silicone Craft Mat
Mod Podge 7 Piece Tool Kit
Mod Podge 4pc Sponcer Set
Mod Podge 4pc Foam Brush Set


May the spirit of Ramadan brighten your world and show you the way to harmony, joy and peace, In’shallah (God willing in Arabic).



Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterst to see more of our fun crafts DIY tutorials.

Arabic Initial Papier-Mâché {Tutorial}

A form of papier-mâché, a French word that means “chewed paper,” existed in ancient Egypt, in a technique called cartonnage. It is made when layers of linen or papyrus was covered with plaster over an object.


The Persians took this technique and manufactured small painted boxes, trays, étagères and cases. Then, around 1725, people in Europe started to use gilded papier-mâché as a low-cost alternative to carved wood or plaster in architectural details.


My daughters and I have enjoyed crafting with letters in English that have already come pre-made, when we decorated them for Eid, or covered them with yarn to hid imperfections.


Today I thought my youngest should learn how to make our very own letter from papier-mâché, starting with a cereal box.


We picked the letter د, pronounced as dāl, the eighth letter of the Arabic alphabet. We picked an easy letter that had no dots, but I think next time we try this, we are going to make the tutorial a little more challenging.



Cereal box
Arabic letter printout
Form brush
Paint brush
Mod Podge

My daughter started by cutting out the Arabic letter and outlined it twice on the cereal box.

She then cut out both letter outlines from the cereal box.

She also cut out three strips of the side of the box, making sure they are very even since they will be the letter walls.

My daughter used the tape to secure the walls to the letter. She found it easier to tape when she bent and played with a side before she tried to add it.

Once all the sides were secured, she added the second letter cut out to the top.

Now it was time to cut the newspaper into stripes of paper that were similar in size.

My daughter added the newspaper with Mod Podge, being careful to keep the paper tight and wrinkle free by gently rubbing out the bubbles with her fingers.

She waited a few hours for the first layer to dry and added a second layer of newspaper.

The final step is painting and she picked this color shift paint that changes tints and is fun to watch in the sun shine.

Now our letter was ready to be placed on a shelf or gifted. If you enjoyed making this letter, visit these other Arabic letter tutorials:

Arabic Initial Lunchbox {Tutorial}

Arabic Initial String Art {Tutorial}

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more activities that teach about the Arab world.