The first activity card in our Ramadan Calendar had the task “build a papier mache mosque” but we were busy that day so on the second day of Ramadan we started this project and now 2 weeks later we are finally finished with it alhamdulillah : ) It wasn’t planed to make it this big or that it would take this long time. But alhamdulillah now when it’s finished I really like the size of it, the kids use it as a dollhouse.
It is really easy to make this and it doesn’t need to cost much either but it takes time, waiting for the papier maché glue to dry and also the paint. When that is all finished it is so fun to decorate it and paint the little Muslim wood dolls.
DIY papier maché mosque tutorial:
1. First thing to do is finding a box. Big or small it is up to you.
2. Cut out windows, doors and tape/glue on the minaret. Build that second floor for the sisters (if you want). I used a paper rolls as pillars for support and the top from a shoe box as the actual floor.
3. Cut a magazine/newspaper in small pieces.
4. Make papier maché glue (kids safe!):
4 dl water
½ dl sugar
1 ½ tsb potato starch (potatismjöl)
Mix 2 dl of water with the potato starch until even. Boil the other 2 dl with the sugar. Remove the pan with water and sugar of the heat. Now pour in the water+potato starch. Stir constantly! Allow the mixture to heat up again but do not let it boil! Now you just have to wait until it cools.
5. Cover the whole mosque and the parts you’ve built inside (for example if you’ve built an balcony) with the papier maché. Take a little bit of glue and smear it in the piece of newspaper and lay it on the mosque. Use a round bowl (or something similar) to make the dome, if you want one. I covered my bowl with plastic foil before covering it with papier maché. It can be very hard to get it of otherwise. The more layers of paper the stronger it will get.
I have many many layers of paper on the dome. Now it is so strong that my 4 year old can sit on it without breaking.
6. Once the papier maché is dry it is time to paint the mosque. Depending on how much glue you have used and how many layers of paper this step (waiting for it to dry) might take 2 or more days. Choose a nice color and start painting!
7. Gather what ever you want or need to decorate the mosque. I used my prayer mat as a carpet for the mosque. Found an old glass lantern which I re-designed a bit to fit in the mosque, looks almost like a real chandelier. I have printed images with bookshelves and glued them on the walls.
Made a small minbar and a place for wudoo (also with papier maché). This mosque is inspired by the mosque Hassan II in Morocco. I especially like the way the minaret is built. I found pictures on google with the mosaic and tiles from that mosque which I printed and used as decorations on the minaret and the place for wudoo. Decorated the walls inside with mini mirrors I had saved.
The dome and some parts of the minaret are painted with Martha Stewart Pearl Paint, fantastic color! It really shimmers so beautiful. Covered up the ugly bottom with fabric lace tape. The staircase to the second floor is made from a kitchen roll, cardboard pieces (as steps) and gold glitter paper.
I used a white glitter shimmering wallpaper to cover the inside of the doors to the mosque, the edge of the second floor and the pillars. The front of the mosque is decorated with small gems. I also used gold and silver glitter glue here and there ; )
8. Now the mosque is done! alhamdulillah
9. Paint some wood dolls to be little mini Muslims who can visit the mosque, pray there, make wudoo, etc. The dolls are painted with acrylic paint.