Arabesque Paper Lantern {Printable}

I remember lanterns, called fanous in Arabic, being a big part of my life as a child in Libya.


We would bring them out for every Eid, the Arabic word for holiday, in our home, but they were always hanging in the souk, or open markets.  They were also all over the mosques sprinkled throughout the cities and permanently mounted in the alleyways of old parts of town.


I first posted a simple paper lantern tutorial seven years ago and have since put them on cards, (twice!) made them holey and even used ice to create them.  My daughter puts them in her hair, we have made them out of foil and even used them to count.


Today I made a free printable with a lantern design to download. It is on black and white but you can print it on any color or printed card stock. I also added three optional arabesque cutouts, on the side, if you do not have the special window punch below.  You can add an electric tea light inside the lantern once it is complete, but please do make sure to check it for heat. Never leave unattended candles, of any kind, around children.



Friskas Everywhere Window punch
Optional – metal ring & hole punch & bakers twine

Print out the download below and cut out the two lantern shapes on the solid lines. Both will be glued together to crate four sides.

Once cut, fold the lantern in half, so that only the flap is showing. This is a good time to make sure your tops are nice and even.

Use the Everywhere Window punch to add two cut outs to the lantern sides. Try to position the window in the middle of the lantern.  You can also trace and cut one of the shapes on the side of the printable or write Eid Mubarak, Blessed Eid in Arabic, on the sides.

Fold over all the dotted lines and glue the two pieces to each other by attaching the flaps.

Make more.


Optional – Arabesque Paper Lantern Mobile

Use the hole punch to create two holes at the top of the lantern, on opposite sides.

Tie the baker’s twine through the holes, tie it off and tie the other end of the string to a metal ring.

Download the Arabesque Paper Lanterns Printable.

If you would like to make more lanterns, please visit

Ramadan Perler Beads Lantern {Tutorial}

Lantern Money Holders {Tutorial} Guest Post


Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun tutorials.

Cardboard Mosque Playhouse {Tutorial}

Our family has been wanting to make a cardboard mosque playhouse for years now and have been waiting for the right moment.


That arrived when our neighbor had new furniture delivered at the beginning of summer.


As I watched the delivery truck pull up and two beautiful cardboard boxes come out, I knew right away they were the perfect size. I needed a smaller space for my daughter to sit, plus a minaret for the side. After the couches from inside the boxes had been taken inside the house, I ran over and begged for the boxes.  The deliver men were all too eager not to have to break them down and happily carried them over for me.

I received outdoor paints and stencils as my role as Plaid Ambassador and gathered them all together to get started.

After my teen sketched out an easy design for us: a door and dome for the smaller cardboard box and two windows and a pitched roof for the minaret, we got started on our project.  This took weeks to complete, so if your cardboard boxes are as large as ours, be sure you have space to store them while you work.


Our only other supplies were left over girl scout cookie boxes to make our dome and minaret roof. Other basic tools we had on hand included a pencil, spool, brushes, and sharpie pen.


To use up some old house paint, my youngest daughter painted two coats of beige to cover up the cardboard brown color.

Next we needed to make a compass big enough to create the arch in our dome. We used a pencil and spool of thread.

My daughter held the spool tight in one hand as she used the pencil to make the arch across the cookie box. This created a half circle that she then cut out.

She used the first cut out box to trace the other boxes.

She cut out six total.

She glued two, back to back with the girl scout writing now stuck to each other, and painted the blank sides in martinique.

The final step for creating the dome was to glue the middle of all the pieces together and then fan them out for balance.  Here is a close up photo of the final dome to give you an idea of how it will sit once complete.

My daughter again use the compass to figure out how to make the roof for the minaret.  First she keep the string the same length from two corners and made a mark.  Where those two points met, she drew a line to the corners to make a triangle. Before cutting, I added flaps lines to the side to help hold the triangle pieces to each other.

We used the compass to also help us draw out an arch over the mosque door.

And finally one last time on the windows in the minaret before cutting everything out with box cutters.

The windows and door were painted in a red trim, with a point added to the tops.

We also had a little fun with the new Martha Stewart stencil and added a trim to the sides of the minaret.

It turned out so great, I wish we had done the entire wall before my daughter had painted the red.

While we had the green paint out, my daughter quickly painted the roof of the minaret and we added artwork from a previous easy tutorial as our final touch.

My daughter was so proud of her help in making this all come together, especially since the final steps were done when her taita was visiting.  She was so excited to show it to her. Her taita quickly went inside and brought her back house warming gifts to decorate the inside of her new space.

We hope to play with this fun mosque playhouse for awhile and then share it with other kids.  If you enjoyed making this DIY craft, check out these other mosque ideas

Recycled Cardboard Mosque {Tutorial}

Mosque Papercut Bookmark {Tutorial}


Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinerest to learn more through fun tutorials.