Monday, February 29, 2016

Multicultural Toys & Activities For Kids - Arabic Alphabet coloring pages: Za is for Zabi

Happy Leap Day (2016)!

To celebrate this special day that only happens every four years, I've once again gotten together with a few friend bloggers over at Multicultural Kids Blog to showcase leaping activities the world.

Please visit For the Love of Spanish and Marcellina Maria on our blog hop today of things that leap.

Since I had already started our leap month of February with a leaping defda'a (Arabic for frog), I thought I would end it with another animal from my Arabic Animal Alphabet Poster that leaps.

The 17th letter Za (ẓā’) is represented by Thareef the zabi, which is antelope in Arabic.

Thareef is always playing practical jokes on his friends.

Other words that use Za are zarif (elegant), zufr (fingernail), and zuhr (noon).

You can find Thareef here.

Arabic Alphabet coloring pages: Za is for Zabi by A Crafty Arab

Be sure to visit the Pinterest board A Crafty Arab Printables for more coloring pages and activities to print out for free!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial

Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

We had just finished our latest large box of cereal and when I was placing it in the recycle bin, I realized I could make something out of it.  I gathered some supplies and came up with this Khatam gift tag. It was so easy to do, I'm gong to make a couple to have on hand.

Double sided tape
Hole punch
2 pieces of 3 inch square card stock
Recycled cereal box
Arabesque stencil

Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Place a piece of double sided tape in the middle of one of the 3 inch square card stock and offset it before placing it on the second piece to create an eight point star, also called a khatam.

Cut out one section of your cereal box and place double sided tape on one end and fold it over. Place the card stock khatam over the doubled up cereal box and trace out the design.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Cut out the shape.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Erase your pencil marks.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Place the khatam on another section of the cereal box and place the stencil over the shape. Chalk the design.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Punch holes in all eight points.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Cut off a piece of string, twine or embroidery thread about two arm lengths. Find the half way point and go through the khatam at the below two points.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Leave the top string alone for now, start going through the other holes, going back to two space from the top starting point. Then you'll go back through two space from your second entry point.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Keep stringing your star until you have a square design in the middle, like this. Your two strings should both be at the same hole, but coming in and out of different directions.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Take your longer string and redo the design, but this time creating a second square in the center. Your string should once again come to the same hole as the other string. Keep both strings tight and tie them together at the top. Go up about five inches, tie another knot and cut off the extra sting.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Wrap one of the extra string pieces around your fingers a few times.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Take the second string and tie a knot around the loop you just made.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Cut off any extra string about five inches from the top and use that to tie a little knot about a quarter inch from the top of the loop. Cut off the extra string from the second knot close to the knot.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Cut off the bottom loop of your tassel and attach your bead to the top. Make sure it has a big enough hole for two stings to go through.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Attach your tassel to the bottom of your tag.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab

Your tag is complete and ready to be given out with any gift. Give it alone, or add it to the Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper Tutorial I showed you how to make last week. Here is the back of the tag, left blank so you can write To/From on it.
Khatam Gift Tag Tutorial by A Crafty Arab
If you'd like to buy handmade tags without doing the work, check out these cute Arabic Love Scalloped Circle Hanging Tags in my Zibbet shop.

To view more tutorials made with a khatam design, visit
Kirigami Khatam Tutorial
Origami Khatam Tutorial
Quilled Khatam Tutorial
Arabic Initial Tote Tutorial
Khatam Ramadan Matching Game Tutorial
Khatam Ramadan Window Clings Tutorial

Friday, February 19, 2016

Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper Tutorial

Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

I have a birthday party tomorrow for a very special friend.

I've bought her a book and wanted to make my present stand out from the others on the gift table.

I decided to use the technique I used last July on this Arabic Initial Tote Bag and decorate her wrapping paper. I've personalized it with the initial, Kha, the seventh letter of the Arabic alphabet and the first letter of her name.

I hope this tutorial shows you how easy it is to do so you can try it!

Pencil with new eraser
Doule sided tape
Kraft wrapping paper
Ink stamp
Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab
Wrap your gift and set it aside. Mark you pencil eraser with the Sharpie so it's easy to see the cut you'll need to make with the Xacto. Cut the sides so your eraser shape is now a square.
Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

Print out and then cut a large Arabic letter out of paper. You can used regular paper, but I made my letter out of yellow cardstock so it's easier for you to see in the photos. Use the double sided tape to add it to the front of your present. Use only a tiny bit of tape as you'll need to take the letter off. Start stamping!
Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

Stamp all around your letter. Stamp your shapes closer together the closer you are to the letter and fade out the design as you move towards the edges of the present.
Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

When you are happy with your stamping, remove your paper letter and present your gift!

Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go with gold or silver ink so included both in the supplies photo. When I was playing around on scrap paper, I realized I liked the gold by itself. But please feel free to combine colors, just wash your eraser between colors.

If you enjoyed this craft, be sure to check out my Crafty Ramadan Pinterest board with more Arab and Islamic diy tutorials.
Arabic Initial Wrapping Paper by A Crafty Arab

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

99 Muslim Children Books

99 Muslim Children Books by A Crafty Arab
Books play a major role in my life as I have always been taught that education gives you freedom.

I love gathering books from different locations I've visited and using them in my sessions as an Arab storyteller.  My Instagram feed shows some of my collection under #CraftyArabStorytelling.

Recently I compiled a few of these books in a list of 99 Arab Children Books and then shortly after followed up with a list of 8 Books about Remarkable Muslims.

In the meantime, my list of books for Muslim children in my Amazon Associates shop grew to close to 150 books. (I do get paid fees for being an associate and use them to buy tutorial materials, fyi).  It's now time to put it in an easy to read list for anyone to use.

So without future ado, I present the list of 99 Muslim children books. Authors with an * next to their name have more then one book published, please check here for other books by them.


Aaser(*), Amin and Mohammed. Noor Kids School Is Out for the Summer.

Abdel-Fattah(*), Randa. Ten Things I Hate About Me.

Abdullah, Noorah Kathryn. What Do We Say?: A Guide to Islamic Manners.

Adams, Shireen. Colours of Islam.

Addasi(*), Maha. Time to Pray.

Al Mansour, Haifaa. The Green Bicycle.


Al-Abasi, Hadeel. Allah Loves Me.

Ali-Karamal, Sumbul. Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam.

Al-Kalby(*), Mariam. The Apple Tree: The Prophet Says Series.

Aminah, Ibrahim Ali. Three Muslim Festivals.

Apple (*), Emma.  How Big Is Allah?

Aslan, Reza. No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam.

Azzam, Leila. The Life of the Prophet Muhammad.

Barnard, Bryn. The Genius of Islam: How Muslims Made the Modern World.

Bellingham, Brenda. Captain Lilly and the New Girl.

bint Mahmood, Ayesha. Thank You O Allah!

Bokhari, Raana. Allah Gave Me Two Hands and Feet.

Brown, Tricia. Salaam: A Muslim American Boy's Story.

Broyhill Publications.  My Salah Flip Book: Teach the basic salah positions with this fun flip book from Allah to Z.

Bullard, Lisa. Rashad's Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr.

Cara, Anwar. 5 Pillars of Islam.

Cohen, Miriam. Layla's Head Scarf.

Conover, Sarah. Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: A Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents (This Little Light of Mine).

Cunnane, Kelly. Deep in the Sahara.

Davies, Fatimah De Vaux. Tell me about Allah.

D'Oyen, Fatima. Islamic Manners Activity Book.

Durkee, Noura. The Animals of Paradise.

El-banna, Abubakr and Sara Kabil. Ameena's Ramadan Diary: A Practical Guide to Getting the Best Out of Fasting and Ramadan.

Emerick(*), Yahiya. My First Holy Qur'an for Little Children.

Faruqi, Reem. Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story.

Flatt, Lizann. Arts and Culture in the Early Islamic World.

Ganeri, Anita.  Hajj Stories.

George, Linda S. The Golden Age of Islam.

Ghani, Aisha. I Can Pray Anywhere!

Ghazi, Suhaib Hamid. Ramadan.

Gilani(*), Fawzia.  Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr with Ama Fatima.

Gunes(*), Aysenur.  Mosques of the World Activity Book.

Gutta, Razeena. Faatimah and Ahmed - We're Little Muslims.

Hafiz, Dilara. The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook.

Haqq, Shahada Sharelle. Stories of the Prophets in the Holy Qu'ran.

Hassan, Labiba. Our Religion Is Islam.

Heiligman, Deborah. Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

Hunt, Demi. Painting Heaven: Polishing the Mirror of the Heart.

Hussain, Asim. Khadijah goes to School - A story about You.

Hussein(*), Asmaa, Yasmine's Belly Button.

Ibrahim, Yasmin. I Can Say Bismillah Anywhere!

Ibrahim, Fatimah Ashaela Moore. The Beauty Of My Hijab.

Iqbal S.A. Allah to Z: An Islamic Alphabet Book.

Ismail, Suzy. The BFF Sisters: Jennah's New Friends

Jalali, Reza. Moon Watchers: Shirin's Ramadan Miracle.

Jones, Ayesha. Allah Gave Me a Tongue to Taste.

Katz, Karen. My First Ramadan (My First Holiday).

Kayani, M S. Assalamu Alaykum

Khan, Rukhsana. Muslim Child: Understanding Islam Through Stories and Poems.

Khan, Hena. Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story.

Khan, Michelle. The Hijab Boutique.

Khan, Aisha Karen. What You Will See Inside a Mosque.

Khan(*), Saniyasnain. Goodnight Stories from the Quran.

Khawaja (*), Omar S. Ilyas And Duck Search For Allah.

Latif, Atiya. Islamic Prayers for Kids

Lymer, Elizabeth. Islamic Nursery Rhymes.

Mahtab(*), Mezbauddin. Teaching Kids The Holy Quran.

Mair(*), J. Samia. Amira's Totally Chocolate World.

Marchant, Kerena. Muslim Festivals (Festival Tales).

Marx, David F. Ramadan.

Merchant, Zainab. Princess Siyana's Pen.

Messaoudi, Michele. My Mum is a Wonder.

Michigan State School of Journalism. 100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans with a Guide to Islamic Holidays.

Mobin-Uddin(*), Asma. My Name Is Bilal

Momin, Azra. Hector Hectricity and the Missing Socks.

Mowjood, Siraj. The Boy and the Owl: A Story About the Attributes of God Based on the Poem "The Creed of Salvation".

Mujahid, Abdul Malik. A Day in the Life of a Muslim Child.

Munshey, Sana. We're Off to Make 'Umrah.

Musleh, Helal. Nightly News with Safa.

Mussa(*), Yasmin. Allah Knows All About Me.

Nura(*), Umm.  Jannah Jewels Series.

Oppenheim, Shulamith Levey. The Hundredth Name.

Parveenm Solmaz. My 30 Days of Ramadan: Activity and Coloring Workbook about Islam.

Payne, Geoffrey. The Islamic Year: Suras, Stories, and Celebrations.

Qamaruddin, Rizwana.  Allah Gave Me a Nose to Smell.

Qazi, Mahmoud Ahmad. Short Surahs: A Textbook for Elementary Quranic Studies.

Rahim, Yasmeen. Hassan and Aneesa Go to Madrasa.

Reedy, Trent. Words in the Dust.

Rey, H. A. It's Ramadan, Curious George.

Robert(*), Na'ima. Ramadan Moon.

Salim, Dana. Dreamland with Mommy.

Sayres, Meghan Nuttall. Night Letter.

Senker, Cath. My Muslim Year.

Sharif, Medeia. Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.

Stone, Caroline. Islam.

Tatari, Eren. We Love Hijab.

Von Denffer, Ahmad. Islam for Children.

Wharnsby, Dawud. A Picnic of Poems: In Allah's Green Garden.

Whitman, Sylvia. Under the Ramadan Moon.

Williams, Karen Lynn. Four Feet, Two Sandals.

Winter T. J. Montmorency's Book of Rhymes.

Yuce, Enis. The Rightly-Guided Caliphs.

Zucker, Jonny. Fasting and Dates: A Ramadan and Eid-un Fitr Story.


To view more Islamic resources for children, visit these Pinterest boards:
A Crafty Arab Free Printables 
Crafty Arab 99 Creative Projects
Crafty Arab Eid
Crafty Arab Ramadan Challenge

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Quilled Moon and Star Tutorial

Quilling is an art form that uses paper stripes and a slotted tool that looks like a sewing needle with the end clipped off.

Recently I was paid a visit by With a Spin, who left me with her beautiful cookie cutters.  Since I'm an artist, I didn't even think of putting them in the kitchen and immediately I saw them as quilling walls to fill.

In the past, I've had to build my own walls to make letters or arabesque shapes. But here were walls that were reusable over and over to give me the same consistent shape.  I couldn't wait to try them out.

To the disappointment of my baking daughter, the cookie cutters came into the studio.

I hope you enjoy this cookie cutter tutorial and look around your house for new, unusual, walls to fill.

Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters Tutorial
Paper crimping tool
Watercolor paper
White shadowbox frame
Quilling tool
Two colors of 12 inch quilling stripes

Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Start by making beehive quilling stripes.  Start a little bit down one end and fold the paper onto itself. Take your tool out, go down a bit more on the strip and do it again.

I made four and a half to fill the moon.  For the star, I used 3 stripes, but I precut them all in half stripes before I beehived quilled them. The six small stripes fit in much better then trying to fit in the longer stripes in the star. (You'll thank me for hours of your life back, trust me.)
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Wiggle them in. It's a tight space. If you have tweezers or a toothpick, use them.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Place glue dots where your paper meets.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Run a strip through your crimping tool to make the paper corrigated.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Wiggle your quilled piece out of the cookie cutter. I placed one of the same color around it first and then a contrasting color over that.

Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Wait for everything to dry, peel off all the glue from your fingertips, then glue your shapes to your paper.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

I used watercolor paper and this blue color because I still hadn't cleaned up my workspace from our last art piece.

You can also use colored cardstock behind your shapes to make them stand out. Your next dilemma will be to decide on placement in the frame. Put them together? Place them apart?
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

Of course, nothing can beat white background in a white frame. Always a classic.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab

For those that follow me on Instagram, you've already seen a sneak peek of playing around with different colors too.
Quilled Moon and Star with Cookie Cutters by A Crafty Arab
There are two more shapes in the cookie cutter set. I might actually take the left over green triangles from my last project (did I already mention the messy workspace?) and start playing around with architecture.

Stay tuned as cookie cutter quilling might show up again!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Multicultural Toys & Activities for Kids - Arabic Wooden Sorting Game

Today I am getting together with a few of my blogging friends, and we are sharing multicultural toys and activities for kids.   I wanted to introduce you to this Arabic Wooden Sorting Game.

When my children were small, my parents brought them this Arabic sorting game from one of their many travels.
Arabic Wooden Sorting Game by A Crafty Arab
This game has been one of our favorites over the years because it introduced children to a few words at a time to get them started learning Arabic.

The game comes in a self contained box for storage, a lid that slides in and out and 8 slots inside.

It comes with five large wood pieces and forty small ones.  The five large, long wood pieces have Arabic letters, Arabic numbers, shapes, food and animals on them.
Arabic Wooden Sorting Game by A Crafty Arab
The smaller, square pieces have the same objects, only on individual squares.
Arabic Wooden Sorting Game by A Crafty Arab
To play, you place a large wood piece in a sliding slot on the lid when the box is closed. You choose one of the smaller wood pieces and place it into the open slot.

Here the number one is getting ready to go into the number one slot.
Arabic Wooden Sorting Game by A Crafty Arab
We also used to flip the squares over and play a matching game before we created our own last year.
Arabic Wooden Sorting Game by A Crafty Arab
To see more multicultural games and toys for teaching children languages, check out Multicultural Toys and Activities for Kids by For the Love Of Spanish and Playing With Traditional Music Instrument by Maria Magdalena.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

5 Ways to Say I Love You in Arabic

With Valentines Day around the corner, love is in the air.

I thought it might be fun to give you ideas on how to show your hobb (Arabic for love) in another language this year to be different.

Here are 5 ways to say I love You in Arabic.
5 Ways to Say I Love You in Arabic by A Crafty Arab

1. Proclaim some Hobb

Arabic is an Afroasiatic langauge, and similar to it's Semitic siblings, nouns change depending on if you are talking to a girl or a boy.

Arabic is comparable to French, where nouns ending in -e tend to be feminine, or Irish, where nouns ending in -óir/-eoir and -ín are always masculine, and those ending -óg/-eog or -lann are always feminine*.

In Arabic, we use diacritics because our language is adjad. We place a Fatḥah above a letter and a Kasrah below to determine the grammatical gender.

The Arabic word for I is Ana and the word for Love is Hobb. So placing the two together is Ana Hobb, but you need to also add an ending depending on who you are addressing.

If you are saying I Love You to a woman, you place the fatḥah under the last letter:
 أنا أحبكِ - ana ahobbuki.

If you are saying I Love You to a man, you place the kasrah over the last letter:
 أنا أحبكَ - ana ahobbuka.

If you are saying I love you to a group of three or more people you add a letter to the end:
 أنا أحبّكم - ana ahobbukum.

There are also different ways to say I love you in different situations, from love in the Bible to love for a lover. You can also hear some of them here.Or use this graphic.

2. Mail some Hobb

I started my business eight years ago because I couldn't find cards to give my loved ones that were in Arabic. Since then I've created many options for others to send some love.

Here are some cards that I made in my studio this week that will all be listed in my Zibbet shop soon.
5 Ways to Say I Love You in Arabic by A Crafty Arab

3. Sing some Hobb

Mohammed Foaud is an Egyptian vocalist who has a wonderful Arabic love song called El Hob El Haqiqi, which translates to My Love That Is True. 

In the song, he sings of a love that

Teaches us how to forgive and to forget about yesterday.
Teaches us to constantly think about the forthcoming days.
 Listen to the full song here:

Umm Khalthom is another Egyptian vocalist who also has a fantastic song called Night of Love. I remember many nights listening to this coming from the radio in our house.

4. Eat some Hobb 

A saying of the past was "A way to a man's heart is his stomach" but honestly, doesn't food work on just about anyone?

Valentine's Day is in February, which tends to be a dark, cold month for us.

How about making some Arabic soup for your loved one? You can try Palestinian Spinach and Lentil Soup, Egyptian Tomato and Chickpea Soup or Lebanese Lentil Soup.

For dessert, you can even try some Baklawa Pops.

5. Read some Hobb

Looking for some poems to read to your loved one? Check out my book section in my Amazon library (I'm an affiliate member). If you are looking for love poems to read, grab this book to serenade your hobb.
Learn to Say I Love You (Correctly) in Arabic by A Crafty Arab

There are so many ways to say I love you in Arabic. I hope you try one of them this Valentines Day!

*Grammatically there are always exceptions to these rules and endings for all languages. Please check a dictionary or local dialects to verify.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Arabic Alphabet coloring pages...Dhad is for Defda'a

Yesterday I decided to use one of the animals from my Arabic Alphabet Game Set for the start of a month long photo challenge on Instagram.

Doing so reminded me that I have yet to finish turning all the Arabic letters in my Arabic Alphabet Animal Poster into coloring pages, like I had promised.

Well, I decided to fix that and today present the letter Dhad which is represented by Dhamen the defda'a, which is how you say frog in Arabic. This little guy likes to spend his days helping all his friends around the oasis where he lives.

Other words that use Dhad are dhimad (bandage), dahk (laugh), and dhabaab (mist).

Enjoy the newest coloring page to print out here: Defda'a Coloring Page

Arabic Alphabet coloring pages...Dhad is for Defda'a
To enjoy more free Arabic letter coloring pages, visit Arabic coloring pages. To enjoy more free Arab educational downloads, visit A Crafty Arab Free Printables.

And here is Dhamen on the game card, being used in the photo challenge. The word was #Leap.
Arabic Alphabet coloring pages...Dhad is for Defda'a
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