Thursday, 7 May 2020

The Cave of Hira - Paper Mache Craft - 30 Day Craft Challenge


The Cave of Hira - Paper Mache Craft - 30 Day Craft Challenge




Salam and welcome to Day 13 of of this Craft Challenge. Today's craft left the boys in complete wonder and admiration. We discussed how the Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). We talked about how he would climb the mountains in Makkah to reach the Cave of Hira. Here, he would pray to Allah and connect with him on a superior level. I shared my personal story of climbing this mountain to reach the Cave of Hira while I was on the pilgrimage of Hajj. I described how physically challenging it was and how much effort it took for just one climb and descent. Then we imagined the troubles our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) would go through to reach that level on a daily basis. Allah surely appreciated his efforts, and in turn, he revealed the miracle of the Quran upon his heart. 

This craft brought me back to my elementary school days where we would make several different pieces of art using paper mache. It felt nostalgic to me to do this once again after so many years - but I also felt a sense of gratitude that I am now doing this with my own children. Most of you are well aware of the process of paper mache so my steps wont be too detailed. Scroll down and enjoy!

Materials:

  • Paper mache paste - here's a link with details about how to make it yourself: Paper Mache Paste
  • Paintbrush
  • Newspaper cut into strips
  • Scissors
  • Balloon, blown into the size you want your cave to be
  • Bowl sized to hold your balloon in place
  • Paint
  • Sharpie
Watch a fun YouTube video of how we did this activity: Here
Steps:
  1. Place your balloon on top of your bowl so that it is stable 
    The balloon should be snug
  2. Start pasting your newspaper strips onto the balloon
    Be generous with the paste
  3. Keep adding layers of paper mache, feel free to overlap and paste the newspaper strips in different directions to have a sturdy structure
    The newspaper strips will start to stick on nicely once they are wet with the paste
  4. Keep adding strips until you begin to cover the surface of the balloon, keep in mind the lower part of the balloon, which is in the bowl, does not need to be covered.
    Hadi making good progress!
  5. Add 2-3 layers of paper mache until you are satisfied with the coverage. Note that too many layers will take too long to dry. 
    At this point we were satisfied with our work
  6. Set aside to dry - I left ours on a table with a fan running directly at it and it dried within 2-3 hours. If you find that after 3 hours it is still wet you may consider preheating your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit then turning it off and placing your semi-dry craft inside the oven. Be sure to pop the balloon before this and place the craft on a cookie sheet or oven safe surface.
  7. Once your craft is completely dry you can remove it from the bowl and pop the balloon (I just used our scissors to do this) - it will slide right out. 
  8. You can now place the craft on a surface and draw the entrance to the cave
    Hadi drew his version of a cave entrance
  9. Use regular craft scissors to cut this shape out
    It's starting to look a lot like a cave now
  10. Use your choice of paint to give the craft a cave look. We didn't have brown or beige so we mixed a whole bunch of colours to come up with this
    All three of my kids were in on this action!
  11. Keep going until you've covered the entire cave
    Finishing up with the painting
  12. This should take about 1-2 hours to dry. Side note: I had so much of this paint left over that I painted some cardboard with the same colour and created a matching surface (completely optional)
    Here it is drying away
  13. Once the cave is dry, we grabbed some pebbles from outside and made a little sign - this gave a neat effect. 

    It ended up looking pretty cool!
  14. Right before bedtime I found some string lights we had in storage and placed them into the cave. The kids were in complete awe! It was really amazing to look at! We might even use this as a night light. 

    Magical!
Many, many thanks for reading our paper mache journey to the very end! I hope you enjoyed reading about this activity. We thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Although this was a lengthy craft - it was totally worth it in the end! Please leave a comment below about how you would improve this or if you are willing to try! I love hearing feedback. See you all tomorrow inshaAllah!

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