How To: Upcycle Eid Greeting Cards

Use left over wallpaper for Eid cards.


Giving Eid cards is trendy in Muslim culture. Eco-designer Zaufishan demonstrates how she “upcycles” old spangles and scraps, into jazzy new handmade Eid cards for the Hajj season.

Right now, Muslims are performing Hajj, a pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. To mark the completion of this spiritual journey, Muslims will celebrate the second of their Eids (festivals): Eid-ul-Adha on the 16th-17th of November, by giving charity, sacrificing an animal, and giving presents or Eid cards. And I have carried forward an annual tradition of upcycling my own Eid-ul-Adha cards. Check out how I made mine and begin upcycling your own environmental art!

Don’t throw away patterned wedding cards and party invitations – cut out square apertures from them, dab segments with coloured inks or markers and glue onto 5″x5″ folded cards for a whole new creation.

Method: Here I took apart old starry gift tags and layered them onto gold printed wrapping paper from last year’s Eid presents. Use a metallic marker for a hand written message. Mine reads ‘Blessed Eid Celebrations’ in Arabic (عيد مبارك).

Eid greeting card, for Hajj

Find yourself with left over buttons and beads from dresses and your man’s unused construction wire?

Method: Thread loops of wire with sequins and beads, snip them with wire cutters and hoop through tag-shaped cards. This technique produces jangly “ear-rings” that are easy to shape and resize. Love them.

Eid greeting card, for Hajj

Method: Take a sheet of silver foil paper – anything silver will do – scrunch it up and carefully open up flat again. Run a blue ink pad lightly over these creases to highlight them with colour. Once this is dry, cut out a rectangle to fit the front of your card and rip the edges! Drag the coloured ink pad over these new rips and glue on the left-hand side. Find any tags, motif shapes or as I’ve done, a star from a brochure (copied and printed onto plain card), and attach to the front. In my sample I wrapped wire with blue beads around the star.

Henna or ‘mehndi’ temporary tattoos are a norm in Muslim celebrations. We like to decorate everything to match our fashion and personality – even our skin. So I bought an Indian-Arabic inspired henna pattern book and have collected samples and downloads over the years to develop this drawing skill.

Step 1) Choose a chunk of henna patterns from your collection (or use mine) to work as a transfer.

Step 2) Using old misprinted card sheets, cut out a tag shape and dab with ink. Colour the edges in too to really make it pop. Next is the fun part.

Step 3) Take a look at your henna pattern and practise drawing it out with a fine-liner. Once you’re happy, completely fill in the coloured tag with swirls, paisleys and spirals. See mine below.

Step 4) Use a craft knife to make a small incision at the top of the tag – a slit, no more than 3-4mm. Take a length of construction wire, hoop on a row of beads and secure one end through the top incision, finally taping it to the back of the tag.

Step 5) To complete the Indian-Arabic look, hook a piece of unwanted jewellery to the end of the beaded wire and twist the end over (this is a health and safety risk). I’ve had that silver vintage ear-ring for years and finally put it to aesthetic pleasure. Be sure to sterilise ear-rings and rings first! Here’s one I made earlier:

Handmade Eid greeting card [upcycle earring]
Vintage jewellery fuses beautifully with ethnic henna patterns for Eid

Eid ul Adha greeting card [gift tags]

Above: You can upcycle any old jewellery, ear-rings, brooches, hijab pins or necklaces and chains. In this green card I combined wire-works, wallpaper scraps, beads and a butterfly ear-ring for an abstract-ethnic feel. To get the right look, all you have to follow is colour and pattern. Green works pretty well, I think.

There you have it, my upcycled collection of Eid cards for 2010. I will be sending the last batches out to friends, family and pilgrims coming home. Maybe next year, I’ll send you one too.

What’s that mean?
Eid-ul-Adha: the ‘Celebration of the sacrifice’, commemorating Prophet Abaham’s sacrifice of his son, Ishmael.
Upcycling: a green process of recycling old unwanted materials into new products of greater environmental value.

Images :: Flickr

More upcycling stuff:
Going For the Green in Gold Jewelry
Interview with Egyptian Eco-Fashion Designer Nadia Nour
Ten Sustainable Israeli Designers who Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Comments

comments

8 thoughts on “How To: Upcycle Eid Greeting Cards”

  1. Sana Javed says:

    Eid-ul-Fitr, commonly called as Eid, is celebrated at the end of the auspicious month of Ramadan. Eid-ul-Fitr is an Arabic word in which Eid denotes a festival and Fitr means the end of the corrupt and vicious habits. To greet your friends and family now you can choose and send best Eid Cards to India at ‘Post My Greetings’ that offers wide variety of Eid greeting cards. To know more – http://www.postmygreetings.com/greeting-cards/festivals/eid-ul-fitr

  2. Jasmine says:

    Salam oualeykoum, j’ai également beaucoup apprécié cet article, j’ai traduit approximativement en français vos conseils sur mon blog, je vous remercie. Bonne continuation, have a good day

  3. Zaufishan says:

    @Above: Eid mubarak to you all too. They are interchangeable for other occasions and religions and really easy to make. Old school hand written messages are a dying communication form so bring it back!

    Thank you. (:

  4. MUHAMMAD LATIF AWAN says:

    hello,

    Eid Mubarak

    Malik Muhammad Latif Awan

  5. I think all these amazing cards could work in any religion. For birthday greetings too. Nice work Zaufishan.

  6. masha Allah! Its GREAT and innovative… simple n modest.. Keep on trying …. all the best..

  7. Arwa says:

    Mashalla! lovely work and ideas
    Arwa XX

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