Like most other 9-year-olds, U.K.-based blogger and DIYer Aqsa Iman’s daughter spends most of her playing time on the floor. So this past month, Iman, who is a seasoned crafter (especially when it comes to upcycling old scraps of cardboard), wanted to give her child something to interact with that was on her eye level. “That was how the idea of the Ramadan village popped up,” she says. While Iman and her kid are always working on crafts together (it’s one of the perks of their homeschooling arrangement), the time leading up to Ramadan is when they really dive deep into art projects. And if a DIY can double as an opportunity for learning and decor, even better. 

With plenty of paper and a pair of scissors in hand, Iman decided to line a section of her living room baseboards with a series of building illustrations that spark imagination. “I felt this bare white wall needed a pop of color,” she says. Plus “the baseboards normally go ignored.” (Psst: The setup could easily live in a kids’ bedroom or a wall near the main prayer area of a home.) The project took a few hours to create once Iman and her daughter finished planning it out.  

To start out, Iman sketched some basic building shapes, including mosques, apartment blocks, and a school, onto a large sheet of card stock. She drew everything freehand and cut out the large shapes with scissors. The two of them then cut up pieces of solid color card stock and patterned paper they had on hand to make the domes, doors, and windows. The bonus architectural elements can be simply glued or taped onto the village scene.

Photography by Aqsa Iman/She Lives Her Life

“After all the cutting and sticking, I added some detail by sketching in a bakery and signs for the apartment and madrasah [“school” in Arabic],” says Iman. She also added detailing around the doors and windows with pencil. Finally, the pair stuck the little town onto the wall with Blu Tack, so it will stay there until it’s time to take it down on May 2 and store it away for next year. 

Other fun DIYs Iman suggests trying out to celebrate Ramadan with your little ones? In the past, she has made a village advent calendar using toilet paper rolls and recycled packaging, crafted a festive table runner out of wrapping paper, and put together themed bedrooms for her daughter’s dolls. But we love this option for any spaces with snoozy trim work.

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