Celebrating Ramadan with Manal Aman & Sweet Paul Magazine

by Caitlin Kelch

Manal Aman is a crafty Canadian who has brought some DIY magic to the Muslim holiday of Ramadan in the summer issue of Sweet Paul Magazine. During Ramadan, lights turn on in homes and mosques in the middle of night to tell the story of people spending time in prayer or getting ready to take their pre-fasting meal. Manal shares some Ramadan-themed DIYs using colors and symbols designed to evoke the notions of night and light that appear often in Islamic religious traditions.

Check out the slideshow above for a sneak peek at some of these original DIYs and some tempting photos of Manal’s favorite recipes. We can’t wait to try the Plum Rosewater Sherbet!

You can get the recipes and full DIY instructions in the summer issue of Sweet Paul Magazine, available in digital or print editions. Thanks to Manal and Sweet Paul for this sneak peek! —Caitlin


Star Ornament


8 Pointed Star Ornaments

From Manal: These ornaments are in the shape of an 8-pointed star, one of the most prominent symbols in Islamic art and architecture. As Emma Clark describes in her book The Art of the Islamic Garden, the star represents God’s throne.

-Air drying clay
-Purple and gold acrylic paint
-Bamboo skewer or straw
-Foam brush
-Small brush
Step 1: Roll out clay and cut out 8 pointed star shapes of different sizes.
Step 2: Make a hole on top of each ornament with a bamboo skewer or straw.
Step 3: Once dry completely, paint entirely in purple with a foam brush.
Step 4: When the purple paint has dried, paint each point of the star gold. You’ll be left with a purple octagon in the center.
Step 5: Use the smaller 8 pointed star, including its negative space.
Step 6: Paint the outline of the smaller 8 point star gold paint.
Step 8: Add ribbon and hang.



Manal Aman, who now lives in Canada, shares her favorite childhood Ramadan memory from her childhood in Pakistan. Oddly enough, it involves a chicken tikka pizza!
These DIY Ramadan lanterns reflect the tradition in some Muslim cultures to climb to high elevations with lanterns to spot the crescent moon, which indicates the beginning of Ramadan or Eid. The full article is available in the Summer 2016 edition of Sweet Paul Magazine. Crafts + Recipes by Manal Aman | Styling by Paul Lowe | Photography by Alexandra Grablewski
Manal Aman's Plum and Rosewater Sherbet is a cold beverage rather than a frozen treat. This three-ingredient drink is as beautiful as it is delicious. Manal's recipe is available in this summer's edition of Sweet Paul Magazine.
These cookies are Naan Khatal with Oil and are scented with cardamom, then topped with crushed pistachios.
Chapli kebabs are made with nine fragrant spices; including chaat masala, coriander, mint and ginger.
Traditionally, children receive money on Eid, but parents are now opting to give their children wrapped gifts. This DIY gift wrap, by Manal, uses moon and star symbols as a nod to the reoccurring theme of night that appears often in Muslim religious traditions. She chose purple and gold colors for a modern take on night (purple) and light (gold).
These eight-pointed star ornaments represent one of the most prominent symbols in Islamic art and architecture. Manal created this DIY using air-dry clay and purple and gold acrylic paint.
The new issue of Sweet Paul Magazine is chock-full of tasty, sweet and savory summer recipes like Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream and Manal Aman's Chapli Kebabs. Be prepared for some fun dye DIYs with the natural colors from sweet summer berries, too! You can get your digital or print edition of Sweet Paul Magazine here.

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  • I’m so interested to read this article. I’m going to get Sweet Paul to learn more and try the recipes.

  • These are lovely! I’m so glad to see Design Sponge feature Ramadan-themed DIYs just as there have been posts for Christmas and Hanukkah crafts & cuisine. While not Muslim myself, I have visited and lived in countries where a large percentage of the population observes this holiday and have seen how beautiful (and delicious!) the celebration can be. I generally purchase the sweets at a favorite bakery but now I’m tempted to try baking those cookies at home!