The Muslim month Ramadan is almost here! It starts next week! Yikes, I better hurry up and start getting things ready. First on the agenda is a countdown calendar.
For those that may not be very familiar with Ramadan, here’s a little bit of information about this special month. Ramadan is the ninth month on the lunar Islamic calender. It’s a time of spiritual reflection, and a time of purifying your heart. A time when extra charity and actions of generosity are encouraged. Ramadan is known to be the month of fasting for Muslims from dawn to sunset. Yes, fasting involves no food or liquids for that time period of the day, but it also means making a conscious effort to refrain from idle talk, backbiting, fighting, etc. Fasting from food and liquids teaches empathy for those that are less fortunate. A lunar month can be 29 or 30 days. Each month begins with the birth of the new moon. The Islamic tradition is that the moon must be sighted, so that’s why we don’t know when the actual month begins and ends until the night before. Is there a 30th day in the month or is it the first day of the new month? Can you imagine the anticipation on that 29th night! On that first day of the new month is the start of the celebrations… Eid! This year’s Ramadan is estimated to begin on July 20th. Since the lunar calendar does not run with the solar calendar, it appears as if Muslim holidays are traveling holidays. Since the world does run on the solar calendar, Muslim holidays are at different times of the year.
As you can see, little time is left, so I need to get a move on!
This is the first countdown calendar I make for Ramadan. After much and much brainstorming and much and much inspiration, I came up with the idea of using lanterns and allowing them to hang from my mantel. At first, I thought to look for mini lanterns, but boy would that be one expensive countdown calendar if I took the route of purchasing mini lanterns. After more brainstorming, I recalled a link to a tutorial that my friend Sahar had sent me a year or two ago. The tutorial was for making your own Moroccan lanterns using jars. That was it! I would make my own lanterns using baby food jars! I called on to Sahar to come join me in making my 30 jars, and without hesitation she did!
This is what you will need: 4 oz baby food jars, dimensional paint, translucent glass paint (like Pebeo Vitrea 160), spray paint, and vinyl.
First thing you will need to do is paint the inside of your jars. Some of the jars we used a paint brush and others we did the drip method. Brush strokes were more visible with some colors, so we did the drip method for those colors. The drip method is just pouring paint into the jar, swirling it until the jar is coated with the paint, and then allowing the access paint to drip out of the jar as it lays upside down.
You can bake your jars before decorating them if you would like, but we didn’t due to time. You have to allow your painted jars to sit for 24 hours before baking. If you do decide to bake them, just follow the instructions on the glass paint bottle.
Next is decorating your jars with the dimensional paint.
Since glass is non-porous, it will take a long time for the dimensional paint to dry. I gave my jars until the next day before touching them. Be careful when moving them around in the meantime.
Last thing to do are the caps. I spray painted them with gold paint, and after they dried, I applied vinyl numbers. I made my numbers with my Silhouette. For those that don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut, you can always hand cut your numbers (which may be difficult due to size), use punchers (easier), or even buy pre-made numbers (easiest!) from a craft store (ex. stickers).
Now, just place tea candles in each jar and display them anywhere you would like. Each day of Ramadan (after sunset), remove the cap and light your candle. Use the cap as a pedestal for your lantern. With each day, light the previous days’ candles along with the current day. On the last day of Ramadan, watch as all of your beautiful lanterns are lit up indicating that the next day is going to be a wonderful celebration!
Due to the number of jars, I chose not to hang my lanterns along my mantel as I originally planned. Next week, I’ll show you how I displayed them along with my Ramadan mantel.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. For those that don’t celebrate Ramadan, these lanterns would be cute to make for any occasion as well as make nice gifts.
Have a wonderful weekend ya’ll!