Nowruz Senjeb Banner {Tutorial}

Today is the first day of spring, but to Iranians everywhere, it was Nowrūz, the Persian New Year.  It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox, this year at 9:15am, March 30th, 2018.


Nowruz is celebrated by some in the form of a Haft Sin (or seven s’s) traditional table in their home.  This table includes seven specific items starting with the letter ‘S’ or Sīn (س) in the Persian alphabet.  Items include:

As we’ve made two of the items for a half seen table, I thought I would try to make something to symbolize the senjeb, or olives.


Black or brown pom poms
Hot glue gun/hot glue

I cut the felt into stripes and then cut a long leaf shape from the end.

I then repeated that about 300 more times.

Once I had enough leaves, I started sewing them onto the ribbon.

Since I was using a thin ribbon, I tied to keep my stitches in the middle.

I placed the next leaf over the last and sew it on, overlapping to hid the ribbon.

I kept adding more and more leaves until my banner was the length I liked.

To make the olives out of the pom pom shapes, I rotated the round balls in one direction, taking a little off with each turn.

I add the olives with the hot glue.

I tried to place the olives in a staggered manner along the entire banner.

I cut off any hot glue strings and my senjeb banner is ready to enjoy. I can tie it between two candle stems on top of the table, or pin it around the table edges to make a nice skirt.


Stop by to check out these other banners we have enjoyed making –

Eid Puff Banner

Eid Al Adha Frolicking Sheep Banner {Tutorial}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to learn more about the Middle East.

Arabic Mother’s Day Card {Tutorial}

Mother’s day will be celebrated in the Arab world on March 21st, 2018 by 19 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


The first Mother’s Day was started in Egypt in 1956 after two journalists received numerous letters complaining from mothers that their children do not take care of them. The writers, Mostafa Amin and Ali Amin, suggested that mothers be honored on the first day of spring, March 21st, and the tradition spread to other parts of the Arab world.


In some parts of the MENA region, the day now includes grandmothers and mother in laws, evolving into Family Day.


In Arabic, mama is ماما and today’s tutorial includes making a card with flowers written out in the form of that word.



Color card stock
Flower punch
Double sided tape
Foam squares

To start, punch out the same flower shape from different colors of card stock.

Once you make eight or nine of each color, add a little detail by drawing some ovals into the petals.

Once all the flowers were done, curl the edges of some of them with the end of the pen.

Play around with the flowers until you make sure you have enough for the word. Then place double sided tape on the flowers that were curled and foam squared under the flowers that stayed flat, before adding them to the card.

Keep alternating, the low, curled flower, with the high, flat flower, until the word is done. If you find the image off in numbers, it’s very easy to make an extra flower.

If you have to mail your card, make sure you place it in a padded envelope to help keep the flowers from getting destroyed.

Your mom may also choose to place your card in a frame, which we all know means you are her favorite child.

To make more cards, visit these other tutorials

Arabic Stamped Thank You Card {Tutorial}

Eid Step Card {Tutorial}

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more DIY crafts that teach about the Arab world.

Hand Cut Arabesque Stamp {Tutorial}

Learning how to use new tools is an important step for a young artist. In the age of 3D printers, the lessons of using your hands to create something, must not be lost. Cutting a square block into an arabesque stamp allowed my daughter to spend an afternoon working on something hand made.


I came across this carving set at our local store and couldn’t resist bringing them home for my daughter.  I stopped at my local art store and asked what I could carve with them and they showed me several options. I got a linoleum block because it’s easy to carve, especially if you use it within a year of buying it, before it hardens. I learned there is a difference between the soft block and the hard block, such as carving details. I went with the hard block because I thought it would be easier for my daughter to handle, since it had a back.


The tools came in different shapes to allow my daughter to cut fine lines and negative spaces. There were just a few more things I gathered before we got started.



Arabesque tile detail printout
Tracing tool
Carving tools
Carbon paper
Masking tape
Linoleum block

We wrapped the carbon paper around the block and wrapped the arabesque printout out over it.  We used the masking tape to secure everything in place. Then my daughter used the tracing tool to draw out the shapes in the tile detail.

I helped her check to make sure every line was done, going back over a few.

Now the fun begins, the carving!  I let my daughter hold the block on one side and showed her how to carve away from her hand. If you are doing this with a child, you must supervise and allow them to take their time.  The carving does not have to be deep, use the different tools to achieve various cuts.

As you can see from her shavings, most of them are very small.  I sat with her while she keep working, taking a little off here, a little there.

She hasn’t decided what she’ll do with it when she’s done: use it on a card with acrylic paint, or maybe a nylon bag with fabric paint or gift it to a friend.


Stop by these other fun ways we incorporate arabesque designs into learning about art:

Palm Tree Celery Stamp Art {Tutorial}

Melted Crayon Allah Art {Tutorial}

Be sure to visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more DIY craft tutorials.