Quilled Iqra Tutorial

Quilled Iqra by A Crafty Arab

After finishing my Quilled Khatam, I got started on a new project, a Quilled Iqra.

Iqra is the Arabic word for Read and it is written in the middle of the canvas, right to left and stuffed with beige beehive quilling. Scroll quilling and coils decorate around Iqra.

I wanted to share with you how I did it in a tutorial, so you can try it also. This post contains affiliate links.

I started with a recyled canvas I picked up earlier this year. The original canvas had a quote about Friendship and a huge, hidious flower.

I got my embossing heat gun, warmed up the canvas behind the flower a little bit and peeled it off. I then used acrylic paints to cover the front and sides white and the back beige.

After a few days, and a few coats, I covered the canvas with parts from an old book of my father’s that I picked up a few years ago.

I then painted Iqra on the strips of Arabic font with brown acrylic.

After a few more days and coats, I outlined the Arabic letters in brown quilling strips.

I knew I wanted the letters to stand out more then just adding paper stripes inside, so I taught myself the beehive method of quilling and filled the letters.

Quilled Iqra by A Crafty Arab


Quilled Iqra by A Crafty Arab

I almost made it to the end before I started to second guess myself. I tried the peach color strip instead of continuing with the beige beehive filling. But after I placed the canvas across the room for perspective, and asked some online advice, I decided to stick with my original concept drawing that I had planned.  Goes to show that you need to be open to other ideas along the process!

Quilled Iqra by A Crafty Arab

Once all the biege beehive quilling stripes had been filled, including the tiny, itsy, bitsy, ones below the first alif, I started filling in the outside design, including adding tight coils to the ends of the scrolled quilling strips.

Quilled Iqra by A Crafty Arab

If you are local, come see it live at the Homemade Harvest!

Be sure to check out the hashtag #CraftyArabwip on Instagram to follow along on my next work in progress.


I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.