Ramadan lanterns, called fanoos in Arabic, have been a very unique symbol of the holy month for hundreds of years.
These lanterns are today explicitly linked with children and are made from tin or some form of metal, and glass. Sometimes they can be made out of paper, but we made one today in our tutorial from yarn.
Historically, according to wikipedia –
The traditional use of fanous as decorations associated with Ramadan is believed to have originated during the Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171), primarily centered in Egypt, where tradition holds that the Caliph Al-Muizz Lideenillah was greeted by the Egyptian people holding lanterns to celebrate his arrival at Cairo during the holy month of Ramadan. Its use has now spread to almost all Muslim countries.
I have fond memories of swinging my fanoos as a child during Ramadan in Libya, singing silly rhyming songs with my cousins, playing down our neighborhood streets. This tradition of the fanoos has been passed from generation to generation, and I wanted to share it’s story with my daughter today.
My youngest worked on this yarn art and she thought it was “super duper” easy. As in easy enough for a toddler, if you do all the cutting for them and just have them do the placement as a sensory craft.
Double sided tape
2 sheets of white cardstock
Ruler (not in photo)
Letter stickers (not in photo)
My daughter started by laying out one of the white cardstock pieces of paper and using it to measure the length of yarn she needs.
She spent most of the afternoon cutting yarn from the four colors I found at a garage sale two weeks ago. They were four for a dollar and who can resist that deal? Especially since that is all it cost me for an afternoon of a child quietly cutting.
I printed out a lantern silhouette and my daughter traced out the shape on a blank piece of cardstock. She used a ruler to make the lines straighter. She then folded it in half and cut out along the pencil lines.
She laid out the cut silhouette, drawn side up, and added double sided tape all along the edges of the lantern.
She added her cut yarn, making sure to have both ends hitting the tape.
After she had layered the yarn exactly how she wanted it, she trimmed the extra yarn from the edges.
She took her blank piece of white cardstock and covered it with double sided tape. She made sure to go alone all the edges, plus in many places in the middle.
She sandwiched the yard between the two pieces of paper, making sure to press hard along the edges.
The last step is to include Ramadan Kareem, generous Ramadan in Arabic and a common greeting when you see a Muslim during the month, with letter stickers.
The cardstock is sturdy enough that you can rest this on it’s own along a shelf, or you can buy a picture frame to place it in.
It would make a great Eid gift. Eid being the holiday that ends Ramadan. Simply replace Ramadan Kareem with Eid Mubarak, blessed Eid in Arabic. Or make this a birthday present by substituting a birthday cake for the fanoos.
To see more of our Ramadan lantern tutorials, visit
- Ramadan Lantern Card Tutorial
- Hanging Vellum Ramadan Lantern
- Eid Hol(e)y Lanterns Tutorial
- Pyramid Paper Lantern Tutorial
- Eid Tea Light Lanterns
- Eid Spraypainted Lanterns
Check out the Crafty Ramadan board on Pinterest to see more tutorials to celebrate Ramadan with your children.