The city almost slows to a halt; it's both summer and Ramadan. Schools and camps are both closed. It's deathly hot. What can children do to entertain themselves indoors while getting into the spirit of Ramadan?
Diyali Bhalla has the answer. The Dubai-based fashion designer-cum-artist's simple but eye-catching Ramadan decorations can be created at home by anyone. Her paper-based decorations are colourful and cheerful, and help to usher in the festive mood.
"It's a time for togetherness and doing things as a family," says Bhalla, who teaches abstract painting and mixed media at Dubai International Art Centre. "Even though I don't celebrate Ramadan, I've had the luck to interact with a lot of locals who do."
In keeping with the values of Ramadan, the materials used can be found at home, so wastage is minimal.
"The decorations can even be made with leftover gift-wrapping paper," Bhalla says. "Children and parents alike love creating a beautiful design together."
Bhalla's previous Ramadan-related projects involved a "Spirit of Ramadan" marathon paint workshop during the month. She shares a few easy-to-do designs with us.
- Cut out simple flower shapes from different colours and types of paper.
- Stack the shapes and glue/staple them in the centre.
- Stick the flowers at regular intervals on a long, shiny piece of string or ribbon.
- Hang the mobile from a hook and admire!
Paper spiral decorations
- Take a plain A4 size paper or decorative wrapping paper.
- Fold it in half.
- Draw a pattern on the fold.
- Stack about four or five such pieces of paper together and cut.
- Sew them down the centre keeping the connecting thread to hang.
- Open each fold to get a spiral decoration.
- Take a piece of decorative paper or a large white drawing sheet.
- Fold it in half and draw your pattern along the edges.
- Cut along the pattern made.
- Punch holes to allow light through.
- Paint and decorate as you wish.
- Cut decorative paper into letters in a font that you like and decorate with stickers.
- Punch holes through the top of the letters.
- String the letters together with a wool string or a ribbon.