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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.

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Beside writing super useful blog posts I also teach how to create Islamic geometric patterns

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I bet you all have some useless Islamic geometry tools in your drawer that just make sense. Maybe something that is not even a proper tool used for Islamic art, but you find it useful as it makes your practice easier.

If you do, let me know in the comments below because I’m a total nerd about tools, and I can’t get enough of them.

In the meantime, here are my useless Islamic geometry tools that just make sense.

Disclaimer: When I say “useless”, I don’t mean it has no sense or purpose. Rather, I mean something that is not essential to the practice of Islamic geometry, sometimes it’s even “demonised” as being for the “lazy ones”, yet we all want to have it. Something you don’t need but it would be so great to have.

***Related: My favourite supplies for Islamic geometry and why


This is my latest obsession, and it’s been on my list for a while. The dotting pen (together with the proportional divider) is the tool I miss to complete my collection of geometry tools.

You might have come across the snail-shaped one already, but lately, I’ve found out that a pen version exists too (heart-shaped eyes emojis).

Do I need a dotting pen? No. 

Do I want it? Absolutely yes. 

Picture me daydreaming about pattern constructions elegantly drawn with graphic pens and dotted lines (that’s me now). 

If you are not familiar with this tool, you can watch this video for the snail-shaped dotting pen and this video for the dotting pen.

WARNING: the videos are very addictive and can cause an immediate need to buy these tools. 


The copy pricker is a needle with a handle (see picture below).

Usually, it’s used to poke holes in the paper when bookbinding. In Islamic geometry, it is used to poke holes during the construction of a pattern, so that:

  1. We can easily point the compass to the exact intersection, for maximum accuracy.
  2. We can feel the hole with the tip of our pencil when connecting two points so that our drawings are always neat and accurate.

The one I have is from Haff, and it comes with a small magnifying glass that makes poking holes easier.

Again, do we need this tool? No. 

You can use the steel point of your compass or divider, or not use anything at all. But the mini magnifying glass is so cute that I couldn’t resist it.

By the way, the divider can be considered one of the “useless Islamic geometry tools that just make sense” as well. Its use is similar to the copy pricker, and it allows you to poke holes instead of leaving graphite marks so that your drawing looks elegant all the time.


I discovered this tool like 2 minutes ago, and it’s officially on my “shut up and take my money” list. 

Before I start rambling about how amazing this tool is, I want you to watch this video and this video.

Have you watched them? Am I right, or am I right? 

I haven’t used it yet, but I envision myself using it to draw the channels of a woven pattern. It would make life so much easier, in my opinion.


I didn’t know this was the name of this tool until Miek shared it with me. I guess we learn something new every day.

This is a two-in-one tool that is a set square with a protractor. 

Am I the only one labelling this type of tool a “lazy tool”? I mean, it’s easy to use a protractor to divide a circle into equal parts. Try to do that with a compass and ruler. Yeah, I know, I’m being self-righteous here.

If you already know how to divide a circle into equal parts (and if you don’t I highly recommend you download this freebie) there is nothing wrong with wanting to make your life easier by bypassing some steps. And the set square can help you check if your lines are perpendicular or not.

Again, is it an essential tool? Nope, but it’s good to have it at hand. It’s not even expensive.


Useless Islamic geometry tools that just make sense

November 6, 2023

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I’m an artist, self-taught designer, and educator who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to get started with Islamic geometry.
I've been in the game since 2016 and trust me when I say that one year from now you will wish you had started today.

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