Once upon a time there were no ‘cardboard masjids’ and then suddenly there were. If you are a muslim parent or caregiver for young children you know what I’m talking about. They just look so darn cute. A mini masjid for mini muslims.
One of my favorite sayings of the Prophet is The whole Earth is a mosque – and some of our favorite memories are of praying on the actual earth, on grass and sand. Our tradition tells us that each part of the earth we prayed on, will be a witness for us on the day of judgment. And really, I think that is so beautiful!
However, even though our place of prayer is not confined to a particular building or room, there is something sweet about allocating a space in a corner of your home for prayer. This is made more bittersweet by the closure of our beloved mosques and spaces of congregational prayer post pandemic.
This adorable story and post (the link will take you to the english translation) is probably the original ‘Cardboard Masjid’ that launched a thousand others. (May Allah bless this mother and her family immensely).
The one I’m about to share a step by step for is nothing spectacular, in fact you can see it isn’t perfect, but somehow in the making of it there was joy and in the presence of this reminder there was a bit of beauty made from something that would have been thrown away. Yours doesn’t have to be painted black- full disclosure- we tried painting the dome green and the body blue but we made a mess so my eldest suggested we paint it all black like a ‘silhouette’.
I happened to have all the materials already at home, and didn’t have to buy anything new. The cardboard I used was from the delivery of a double door and you can either ask around on your networks to see if anyone is having a large appliance, door or other such item delivered and ask them to save the packaging for you, or you can find cardboard fairly easily at your local big box store. The black paint was leftover from a room painting project.
Prior to starting, we (my eldest and I) sat down together and made a few sketches of what we might like our mosque shape to look like. We found these Mosque outlines shared by Heidi Hansen to be really helpful and also enjoyed looking through this book about mosques.
Forgive me, the instructions might not be exact, I think I lucked out with the shape of cardboard I was able to save – but with a bit of ‘thinking outside the box’ (sorry I had to) you can get a very good idea of how to do this and make it your own.
In case you start wondering how I managed to make and post about a cardboard masjid ten days before Ramadan while you are still feeling overwhelmed at the thought of all the other preps you have yet to do, let me set your mind at ease – we made this masjid LAST YEAR just before the LAST TEN Days of Ramadan. Yes. We try to keep it real here on Mamanushka!
So have a good rummage for materials, make your intentions and let’s go!
Cute Cardboard Mosque DIY
- Large piece of cardboard. Ideally it would be as long and tall as a door and as wide as two doors
- Exacto knife/ box cutter
- Pencil, eraser, glue stick
- Black paint & paintbrush (or any colour you desire)
- Colorful tissue paper or plain parchment pape
- Take your cardboard, if it doesn't already have a fold in it, score it and fold it. One half of your fold will become the body of the mosque, the other half will become the minaret.Once folded It should be able stand up by its self. If you are repurposing an old piece of cardboard make sure you are working on the 'clean' side.
- Right now your cardboard should look like a huge greeting card! Keeping it folded draw the outline of a mosque building on the front. Use the whole of the front to be the 'body' of the mosque, keep the back fold for the minaret.
- I drew the mosque free-hand. You can use a compass or large circular object to draw in the dome.
- Have fun choosing the shapes of the arches. We loved this horseshoe shaped arch for the door and simpler ones for the windows. Draw a template for one window arch and use that template to cut around craft paper so you have lots of window shapes to play around with and see how you want to place them.
- Once you have your placement trace around your templates to mark the windows.
- Unfold your cardboard so it is flat and use a box cutter to cut around the shapes of windows and domeDraw your minaret on the back flap and also cut it out.
- You should be left with the basic shape of the mosque now and if you like the naked cardboard look this can be where you stop.
- We decided to paint it all black.
- Once dry, play around with decorating.
- To add color use colorful tissue paper and stick behind each window. If you prefer you can use white parchment paper instead. Try to use something that is thin so when you add lights inside, the light will diffuse through the windows. The effect will be especially pretty in an otherwise dark room.
- Play around with styling as you want. If you like you can make another one of these, this time with the minaret on the other side and join them in the middle to make a larger mosque.
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