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).
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.
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:
Vintage jewellery fuses beautifully with ethnic henna patterns for Eid
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.