When Char gave the Doll Diaries team the theme “Take a Bow” for this week I immediately knew I had to craft the beautiful Moko Jumbie Stilt Dancers of my family’s beloved island, St. Croix of the United States Virgin Islands.

With family members living on St. Croix, I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit this piece of Heaven on several occasions.  One of my most favorite times of the year to visit is at Jump UpJump Up, which is held four times each year, is a “carnival like” cultural party held in the streets and along the boardwalk of Christiansted. It has become one of the islands favorite social events for both locals and visitors alike.  During this party you are embraced by the island’s warmth and excitement.  One of the most fascinating sites is the Moko Jumbie Stilt Dancers!  Their skill to walk and dance about on these tall stilts is very impressive.  You can’t take your eyes off of the vibrant display of color!  Then you start to dance to the beat of the steel pan drums!!

Stilt Supplies

  • ½ inch thick square wood dowel rods
  • Small hand saw or x-acto knife
  • ¾ inch L (corner) brackets and ½ inch wood screws
  • Fine sand paper
  • Paint and brush
  • Pencil
  • Velcro
  • Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue
  • Aleene’s Liquid Fusion
  • Hand drill (for adult use ONLY)
  • Thin elastic

Each dowel rod was cut down to 16 ½ inches tall.  Two additional pieces were cut down to 2 1/8 inch to make the foot plates.  3-10/16 inches was marked from the bottom end and the corner bracket was lined up above this mark and screwed in place.  The foot plate was then attached to the top of the bracket.  I did use Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue in addition to the screws since the wood on these dowel rods is a little soft.  The corners of the dowel rod below the bracket were sanded down to give the stilt a rounded / narrowed end.  A piece of double sided Velcro was glued in place with Aleene’s Liquid Fusion to the foot plate for a to make a foot strap.  A small hole was drilled 4 inches down from the top and a piece of elastic placed through and tied off to make a wrist strap.  The stilts were then painted in a Caribbean blue!

Moko Jumbie Hat Supplies.

 

I traced a plate onto a piece of paper to make my pattern.  The circle was 8 ½ inches in diameter.  I cut off ¼ of the circle. My pattern was then traced onto a piece of foam paper and cut out.  The straight ends were brought together and hot glued into place.  Using Aleene’s Tacky Glue I glued the pompoms in place.  I prefer using tacky glue for the pompoms because the glue dries slower and give you more time to arrange your colors.  Next, a hole was cut in the tip of the hat and feathers were glued in place.  Lace trim was added to the hat brim.  Using Scribbles 3D Fabric Paint I added lined details to the hat.  While the paint was wet I sprinkled it with white Tulip Fashion Glitter.  This is my favorite crafting glitter.  Since it is finer it sticks to the surface better and leaves more flexibility.  A colored ribbon was hot glued under each side to make a chin strap.

Steel Pan Drum Supplies

  • Small foil pans
  • Shiny stock paper
  • Aleene’s Glass Glue
  • Glue Gun
  • Stapler
  • Shish Kabob Skewers
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Black pony beads
  • Ribbon
  • Wood Beads

 

Silver metallic cardstock was cut down into 2 ¼ inch strips.  The strip was rolled and stapled together to fit under the foil pan.  The foil pan was placed over the rolled paper and glued in place with Aleene’s Glass Glue.  This card stock is slippery and regular glues will not hold long.  Aqua ribbon was glued around the drum top edge for extra color.  The skewers were cut down to 8 ½ inches with standard scissors. Black pony beads were pushed into place on each end.  The floor end was glued down to popsicle sticks.  The drum was glued to the pony bead with glass Glue.  Drum sticks were made with wood beads and the remnants of the skewers.

Dolls pictured are from Madame Alexander and American Girl.

I loved this craft and I hope you did as well.  Bring on Summer!!