Tuesday 30 June 2015

Owl Cushion Tutorial

My 8 year old recently made an owl design on a cushion by using cut up fabric and fabric glue, I posted about that earlier cute-fabric-cushion A friend of ours was very impressed and asked if she could have a cushion made by my daughter too! However my daughter wanted to make it different and actually do it in the shape of an owl.  Four years ago I had done this myself, but as a small softie toy rather than a cushion. See it here: owl-softie

My 8 year old did everything from start to finish, she drew out the shapes, cut out the pattern and the fabric pieces. She did all the hand sewing and even finished the cushion off using the sewing machine. So it really is quite easy to do as you will see hopefully.  We used upcycled wool jumpers that we had felted by washing hot and tumble drying several times.


  • Felt or fabric
  • Embroidery thread and normal thread inc needles
  • 2 Buttons for the eye (you could use fabric/felt)
  • Wadding (stuffing)


Step 1: Draw out the shape of your owl cushion (I used A4 paper)
Step 2: Then draw out the eyes, nose, wings and my daughter wanted a heart in the middle.
Step 3: Make sure the size of the parts fit nicely by cutting all paper patterns out and placing them on the main owl shape. If not adjust accordingly.
Step 4: Place the owl cut out onto the fabric and pin in place.

Step 5: Cut out the owl shape (you need 2 pieces one for the front and one for the back)
Step 6: Again makes that all paper pattern pieces will fit the cut out owl.
Step 7: Place the pattern pieces onto your other fabric and cut out all the pieces. Then place onto the main owl fabric to make sure that you are satisfied with your design.
Step 8: Start sewing the middle of the eye to the outer eye using blanket stitch.

Step 9: Attach the button if using onto the centre of the eye.
Step 10: Repeat this step by making the second eye.
Step 11: Attach the eyes using blanket stitch onto the main owl fabric. Then attach the nose by stitching too. Again place all pieces over the fabric to make sure they are still all fitting nicely.
Step 12: Attach the wings using blanket stitch.

Step 13: Attach the heart shape by blanket stitch. That should be all pieces attached.
Step 14: Place the other cut out owl piece and place it onto the the finished sewed owl piece. The owl design needs to be inside.
Step 15: Pin the piece together ready to sew with the sewing machine. You could do this by hand if you wished.
Step 16: Start sewing all around the edges. Leave an opening on the bottom so that you can turn it inside out.

Step 17: Turn the sewed cushion inside out so that you can now see the front of the design. You may need to press inside for the ears to be shown.
Step 18: Now fill in the cushion with wadding in the opening that you left.
Step 19: Hand sew the opening at the bottom to secure the cushion.
Step 20: You can now gift your cushion or find a nice comfy place for it to reside!

My daughter's previous owl cushion:

My previous Owl softies made by me and my other daughter in 2011:

Sunday 28 June 2015

Book Review - My Granny

This week was Islamic Children's Book Day, I posted earlier about this, so what better time than to do a new Book Review!  http://www.readlittlemuslims.com/islamic-childrens-book-day-2015/

I bought 'My Granny' last year for my daughters' to read. I was initially drawn to this book because it is about a young Muslim girl and her relationship with her Christian Grandmother, something which fits in well with my blended family situation.  My children have always grown up to respect their Christian family and they know how important it is in religion to be good with your family. Grandparents are very important to young children and it is good when religion does not need to get in the way of love.

My Review:

This is a brilliant book which was written by a young 9 year old girl named Fatimah-Zahra Kennedy.  She is also a homeschooled child which is real inspiration to my young homeschooled daughters. The story is all about her and her relationship with her Granny and how much they love each other's company even though they have different religions. It shows how they have respect for each other and how that the author explains that 'we should always keep ties with our kin because Allah tells us in the Quran to look after our parents and be kind to them when they are older.'

This book also has a few poems at the back of the book and an Activites section at the back for children to complete.  I highly recommend this book to anyone but especially to those who have blended families.

My Daughter's Review:

We are Muslim and we also have family who are not Muslim. I think the best part is that like this book my grandmothers aren't Muslim either but have still been very nice to me.  I am sad that one of my grandmother's has now passed away but she was always kind and I loved having to sleep at her house and getting sweets from her and she always bought halal things just for us. I loved this book because it is kind of like our family. Miss A Heraoua (Age 8)

My Granny
Fatimah-Zahra Kennedy
ISBN: 9781505369557

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Suhoor or Iftar Fruit Smoothie Recipes

This Ramadan I have been experimenting with making fruit smoothies for Suhoor, though these could also be used for Iftar if you wish.

So far I have tried 4 different types of smoothies. Each day I have simply used whatever fruit or yoghurts I have had at home.  My friend gave me the recipe which included the dates!

The recipe for the one shown in the photograph above is:

  • 1 carton of natural yoghurt
  • 1 banana
  • Handful of frozen mixed berries
  • Half a cup of Coconut Water

Blended with a hand blender of a smoothie maker.

Below are some more recipes I have tried this Ramadan.

Recipe for above photograph is:

1 honeydew melon
1 carton of Greek yoghurt
1 handful of frozen berries and fruit

Blended with a hand blender of a smoothie maker.

Recipe for above photograph is:

  • 1 carton of organic Greek yoghurt
  • 1 fresh mango
  • 1 banana
  • 8 strawberries
  • Half a cup of coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Blended with a hand blender of a smoothie maker.

Recipe for the above photograph is:

1 cut up small pineapple
3 bananas
1 handful of frozen mixed berries
400g Coconut Milk
4 dates (mashed)

Blended with a hand blender of a smoothie maker.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Ramadan Calendar Mosque Style Tutorial

In the previous years I have always had the kids make Ramadan Calendars, this year we did a similar one to last year using plastic garden containers but this time my 8 year old wanted it in the shape of a Mosque with opening doors on it. I think it turned out really well.


  • A 40 compartment seed tray
  • Tissue Paper
  • White Stickers
  • Glue
  • Crafts to decorate
  • Sweets to fill the compartments or Little Ramadan Notes


Step 1: Fill your 30 compartments with your chosen sweets/paper inserts. Leave the two side columns empty.

Step 2: Glue around the edges where you want to stick your tissue paper.
Step 3: Place the tissue paper over the tray very carefully, only pressing on the sides, otherwise you may tear the tissue paper. You could pre-cut the paper first to the size required to make it easier.

Step 4: Write out the numbers from 1 to 30 on some sticker paper. (Make sure it is smaller than the compartment). Stick very carefully onto the tissue paper so not to break the paper.
Step 5: Decorate 2 pieces of card (doors for the tray) Glue this onto the side of the tray where there are no sweets.
Step 6: You can add as much decoration as you wish, we used to sticky glitter card to make a shape of a Mosque door, windows, minarets and a dome. We stuck these onto the doors we made.
Step 5: We also attached some card (glued) to the back of the tray so that it would keep the tray from bending about and could then be placed upright too. 

The way to use these calendars are that you press down on the number relevant for each day of Ramadan and it will tear/give way to reveal your sweet or note. 

If you want to add some notes instead of sweets here is a great link to another great blogger who has some to print off. http://noorjanan.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/ramadan-calendar-inserts.html

Here is a link to the one I made last year: http://www.karimascrafts.com/2014/06/ramadan-calendar-tutorial.html

Thursday 18 June 2015

Ramadan Mubarak

Wishing everyone Ramadan Mubarak.  I hope everyone gets to spend time with their family and friends in this blessed month. In our house I always try and get my children to feel involved and we normally always do something craft related to Ramadan.  If you haven't already seen my link to my '30 Days of Ramadan Crafts' project I did a couple of years back then please go and have a visit as there are so many different ideas of crafts you can do with your young children with a Ramadan theme. The link below will take you to my post which shows you all 30 crafts.


Another favourite is my Ramadan Scrapbook Journal: http://www.karimascrafts.com/2014/06/ramadan-scrapbook-tutorial.html

Monday 15 June 2015

Islamic Children's Book Day 2015

I am helping to advertise this great event. http://www.readlittlemuslims.com/islamic-childrens-book-day-2015/  My girls have been brought up reading Islamic books and love reading them again and again.  Our favourite ones have to be the Goodword Series of books which are so bright and catch the young readers attention.  I have written a few book reviews on this blog in the past sharing with you some of our other favourite books.

One of my youngest daughter's favourite book to read is 'The Magic Words' by Lisha Azad.  I wrote a review about that book back in 2013 and even made a small video of my daughter reading this book, here is the full blog article, if you click on it you can watch the video of my daughter reading this particular book.

Below are some other of my past Islamic Book Reviews that my children have read that you can find on my blog:


I have bought a couple of new books and I am hoping that this Ramadan I will maybe do a few more book reviews insha'Allah.

What are your children's favourite Islamic books and are you planning on buying some during this Ramadan?

Please help share this great event using the hashtag #islamicbookday

Wednesday 10 June 2015

My First Sea Glass Necklace

Many of you who follow my blog will already know that my 13 year old daughter makes lovely jewellery amongst other things and has recently been making Sea Glass Necklaces.  I had never made them myself before but I had a task to make something handmade for a friend for an Eid swap and I really wanted to gift her one but obviously had to make it myself.

My 13 year old daughter offered me a tutorial and showed me how to make it and after borrowing her tools and her advice I managed to make one and I was really pleased with the outcome of it.

If you don't already know about my daughter's work here are some links to her sites:


Sunday 7 June 2015

Photo Frame Pin Cushion Tutorial

I have made photo frame pincushions before but larger ones! I bought some cute small photo frames recently and just knew I wanted to make a couple of pin cushion projects out of them! The one in the photograph was made as part of a wedding gift package that I posted about recently. wedding-day-gift-package

I thought I would make a quick tutorial on how I made this.


  • Photograph Frame
  • Fabric
  • Needle and Thread
  • Wadding (stuffing)
  • Hot Glue


Step 1: Cut out a piece of fabric about twice the size of the frame. This frame was round so I used a large cup to draw a circle about twice the size.  If a rectangle shape then maybe one and ahalf to twice the size.
Step 2: Sew a gathering stitch all around the outside of the circle or rectangle.
Step 3: Gather the thread and then insert some stuffing.
Step 4: Place the stuffed fabric into the frame (after glass has been removed) and make sure it has a neat fit.
Step 5: Secure the fabric to the frame by using hot glue.
Step 6: Cover the opening of the fabric with some more fabric if needed by glue or sewing.
Step 7: Place the frame back to the frame, mine had been glued on so I had to re-attach by glue but most frames have sliding out backs.
Step 8: Decorate your frame if needed, I hot glued a couple of small decorations onto this one.

I bought this frame as a set so also did the same with the other 2 doing slightly different decorations, shown below. The one immediately below I have kept at home and have used it to display my daughter's Sea Glass Necklaces. She is currently doing a giveaway on her page if you want to pop by. http://www.slhcrafts.com/2015/06/sea-glass-necklace-giveaway.html

The photograph below is a frame I made as a gift for a friend.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Cute Fabric Cushion

My 8 year old has been busy at her Brownies Club (A popular girls club in the UK). They often make or do interesting things, something different every week. She especially likes it when they do crafty projects!  Her latest crafty project was a cute fabric cushion.

Obviously I wasn't there when she did this but she explained to me how it was done which is very simple.  Decide on a picture or a them that you want on the cushion.  Have a lot of scrap bits of fabric at hand and some fabric glue and scissors.  Cut out the pieces you want and put together a picture you think will look good on the cushion.  My daughter chose an owl which turned out really good.  Once the design was made simply start gluing the pieces of cut out fabric and attach to the cushion.  Once the cushion has been finished allow to dry and insert a basic pillow or stuffing.