Air Dry Clay Ladybug {Tutorial} Plus {Review}

I was recently sent the book Ayn? (Where? in Arabic) by Aya Khairy and Rania El Turk, from Maktabatee to review.

This little board book follows the story of a boy that discovers a ladybug on a head of lettuce his mom has brought home from the grocery story.  He delicately lifts it to carry but it flies away. But where is it?  Kids can lift the flaps of the next few pages to look for the ladybug, who seems to be closer than you think.

I took this book to a recent storytelling session and it was a huge hit. The kids loved taking turns lifting the flap and looking for the ladybug. I loved that the book was wordless so I could improvise Arabic words into the story, such as خس (khus) for lettuce, هرة (hirrah) for cat or  دعسوقة (daesuqat) or sometimes أم علي (umm ali) for ladybug.

For my next storytelling session, I thought it might be fun to hide a few ladybugs around the library and have the kids look for them.

These only took a few minutes to make but you’ll need two days for the clay to dry.  You can use regular clay and fire them in a kiln, or use air dry clay like we did.


Air dry clay
Wire / wire cutters / needle nose pliers
Bone folder
E6000 / magnet

We started by carefully opening the clay so we can cut off a slice.

As soon as we were done, we put away the clay in an air tight container, to make sure it stays moist.

To get the clay ready, we spent a few minutes conditioning it. This means we rubbed it between our fingers and hands to get it soft.

After about five minutes, we divided it up into three balls and spent some time making them round.

We picked the smoothest side to each ball and flatten the other side of it so the best side showed.  Then my daughter placed it in her hand and used the bone folder to make an incision about a third of the way across. This will become the head.

Once the head is done, she placed the bone folder in the mid point and made another incision across. This creates the wings.

Once the body is done, it was time to start working on the face. My daughter took apart a ballpoint pen to use the main part for the eyes.

She then used the ink well to make the mouth.

You can choose to add antennas, or leave out the next step.  If you do decide to make them, you’ll need wire cutters and needle nose pliers to cut and shape them.

Once made, place them over the eyes in the ladybug.

We waited 24 hours for our clay to dry, then my daughter painted the body.

Once the wings had dried, she painted the face black.

She added pupils for the eyes and gave one of the three ladybugs lipstick.

The final step is to use the back of the ballpoint pen for the black spots.

You can leave your ladybug as is, or you can add a magnet with E6000. Earlier, we also added a hole in two of the ladybugs so we can add a wire to the bottom of them. We placed a tiny bit of E6000 to hold the wire.

Now our ladybugs are ready to hide. One in the corner of our magnet board in the front of the library kid’s area and the other two in the planters. Waiting to be found.

Be sure to check out the book Where from Maktabatee or ask for it a your local bookstore, library or Amazon.

Stop by these other book reviews that also include a fun craft tutorial.

Sheep Origami Bookmark

Persian Paisley Painting

Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Arab world.

Arabic Initial Lunchbox {Tutorial}

While making this Arabic marbled lunchbox with my daughters initial, I have to warn you, this Martha Stewart marbling medium tutorial can yield addicting results.

I had received the product in my role as a Plaid Ambassador. My daughter used it to personalize her lunchbox with the Arabic letter Ta. But within minutes, she had added a fourth color (pink) and also done her composition book. Meanwhile, her sister joined in to marble her camera box lid.

The best part? We have so much product left over, so we can’t wait to try it on other things on our next crafting adventure.


Blue tape
Plastic spoon
Bamboo stick or toothpick
Paint cups (we recycled yogurt containers)
Lunchbox (ours was made from papier-mâché)
Acrylic paint
Marbling medium

We used the blue tape to outline ‘Ta‘ which is the third letter of the Arabic alphabet.  I wrote it out with a pen and then my daughter used the Xacto to cut it out. I also helped her outline the edges of the lunchbox so that the paint doesn’t slip over.

To get the paint ready, we poured a little at the bottom of our containers and added twice as much of the marbling medium.  We used the spoons to make the mixture into a creamy consistency.

Using the plastic spoons, we poured the paint generously over the lunchbox.

Now the fun begins, we started by holding the lunchbox this way and that to make the paint start rolling. This was so crazy to watch!

To help make even more design, my daughter used the bamboo stick to create waves.  She also used the stick to help “push” the paint into the corners.

We set the lunchbox in the sunshine for a few hours. We had a hot day where we live, so I’d suggest you wait a full day before you go to the next step.  Once the paint fully dried, my daughter used the xacto to re-cut the letter out of the paint.

She also used the Xacto to cut the tape outline around the edge of the lunchbox.

Her lunchbox is done and ready for school. She loves that the letter Ta looks like a smiley face too!

If you enjoyed making this craft, be sure to check out

Arabic Initial String Art {Tutorial}

Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper {Tutorial}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see other tutorials that teach about the Arab world.



Comoros Layered Papercut {Tutorial}

We talked about the country of Comoros this week.

We have been crafting our way through all 22 Arab countries that belong to the Arab League and we are finally on our 22nd country: Comoros!

The Comoros (Arabic: جزر القمر‎‎, Juzur al-Qumur), is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar.

The Union of the Comoros has three official languages – Comorian, Arabic and French. They joined the Arab League on in 1993.

The national flag of the Union of the Comoros (Arabic: الاتّحاد القمريّ‎‎, al-Ittiḥād al-Qamarī) was designed in 2001 and officially adopted on January 7, 2002.

The flag design consists of a white crescent with four white five-pointed stars inside of a green triangle. The flag has four stripes, representing four islands of the nation: yellow is for Mohéli, white is for Mayotte, red is for Anjouan, and blue is for Grande Comore. The four stars on the flag also symbolize the four islands of the Comoros. The star and crescent symbol stands for Islam, which is the nation’s major religion.

My teenage daughter made a paper cut of the islands, using the colors of the flag.


Shadow frame
Card stock
Foam stickers
Embossing tool
Carbon paper
Black and red Sharpie

I printed out the islands from a photo I found online, making sure to flip it backwards. My daughter placed the yellow card stock down first, with the carbon on top and then the islands.  The lines between the islands were to keep them together during cutting.. They also represented different political connections between the largest cities.

The next step is to cut the outlines out with the xacto. Don’t worry about the markings, they will not be seen.

The next step is to flip the cutout over. Now the islands are clean and ready for the outline and dotted lines with the black Sharpie and the addition of the capital’s star with the red Sharpie.

I helped my daughter create this design on the blue paper that looks like waves.  I didn’t really use a pattern, just practiced first on the yellow discarded paper. Make sure the waves cover the background of the entire frame.

Once the waves were done, my daughter added the green card stock and placed both in the  frame.

Before adding the islands, my daughter placed foam squares on the back of them.

I helped her center the islands over the waves. The foam squares really make them seem to “float” above the waves once everything was finished.

To check out more tutorials that teach about the Arab world, check out some of Comoros’s closest Arab League neighbors:

Somalia Flag Pennant {Tutorial}

Sudan Flag Lantern {Tutorial}

Please stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more easy DIY crafts.