Arabic Alphabet Scalloped Garland

One of the ideas I had for Arabic Day at the school was to incorporate more of the Arabic language into the day.  At first I thought of a simple paper pennant.  I’d draw out the letters on to card stock, then attach to twine and hang through the hall at school.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized all the effort wouldn’t be worth it since it would end up in the trash at the end of the day. 

I thought about many different options but finally decided on a stenciled fabric garland.  I wanted it to be something that would last and be treasured by the school and students for years to come.  

I’ve made scalloped garlands before so I was familiar with the amount of time and effort it would take to complete it.  I’ve also stenciled garlands too.  Except, the challenge this time was to create the Arabic letters.  I have zero confidence in my ability to freehand the letters directly onto the fabric.  My English handwriting looks as if it stopped progressing in the third grade, so I could only imagine how my Arabic letters would turn out. 

I remembered that my daughters own an Arabic alphabet book.  The plan was to photo copy the pages and use an exacto knife to cut out the letters.  The more I thought about it, I realized that the paper wouldn’t be the best medium for the stencils. My heart was in the right place and everything started to fall into place.  I had the perfect sized thin cardboard pieces that I had saved when I purchased a bunch of fabric fat quarters. I knew my inner hoarder would be appreciated one day. 

I placed the photocopied papers on top of the cardboard and used the exacto knife to cut out the letters.  When the first one worked perfectly, I held my breath.  As each letter after letter came out, it became harder and harder to conceal my excitement.  But still, I waited until the “Ya” was completely cut before I did my happy dance. 

I created my scallops and prepared them to be stenciled.  Again, the “Alif” came out lovely, but I didn’t celebrate yet.  I worked my way slowly and carefully through each letter.  I finished off the last letter and stood back to appreciate how beautiful it came out.  I couldn’t wait to sew it all together to see the finished product. 

I channeled my inner Khadija through the entire process to make sure I was putting out my best work and producing the best quality these fingers could manage.

To my delight, the banner was placed front and center during the school play.  The Arabic teacher truly loved it which was a nice confirmation.

18 feet long! That's a whole lotta alphabet.


  • amazing mashallah….love it!

  • Khadija says:

    Love the banner, it looks amazing.
    I love your work!

  • Ferial says:

    Masha Allah it looks very beautiful. what type of fabric and paint did you use?

    • Amnah says:

      Alhamdulilah, thank you! I went with simple muslin because I liked the color and texture. I used acrylic craft paint readily available in craft stores.

      • Ferial says:

        Shukran, everything came together soooooooooooo beautifully, Masha Allah. great Job!

  • Mrs Gaeul says:

    Aww, masha’Allah your children are so lucky to have such a wonderful and involved mother! Of course you are also blessed to have three beautiful and healthy children as well. May Allah bless you all. 🙂

    • Amnah says:

      Alhamdulilah! Jazak Allah Khair for your kind words. I’ve been waiting a long time for my daughter to start school. I couldn’t wait to be involved at school. Alhamdulilah, my daughters are truly a blessing!

      • Mrs Gaeul says:

        As a teacher, I can’t even tell you how much the teacher probably appreciates you! It is so helpful to not only the children but the teacher! Insha’Allah your work will be rewarded with a great education for your children! 🙂 I love seeing parents getting involved. 🙂

  • Ayesha says:

    MashaAllah la quwwata illa billah…wonderful result!may Allah reward you for every letter manifold, ameen

    • Amnah says:

      Jazak Allah Khair! Ameen! I attribute my success with this project entirely to Allah. It was Allah who gave me the idea and the skills to execute it so well. Alhamdulilah!

  • Hana says:

    You’re so crafty, mashAllah!! Did you paint on the letters?

  • sahira says:

    This is great work. I wonder is do you sell the alphabet banner? I am participating in language school for my grandchildren on April 17 and love to have this banner if possible?

    thank you

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