Clothespin Dabke Dancers {Tutorial}

Today’s Ramadan craft consists of making these adorable dabke dancers wearing keffiyeh and painted in red, green, black and white. We had started making just one, but he looked super lonely, and since dabke is a line dance, we realized he really needed a partner.  Now that we have found them so easy to make, we might make a whole troupe!


Dabke is an Arab folk dance native to the Levant. It is popular in Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. A line dance, it is widely performed at weddings and joyous occasions.


The line forms from right to left. The leader of the dabke heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers.


Wood glue
Sharpie fine point tip pen
Box cutters
2 wood clothes pins for each dancer
Red, black, green, and white acrylic paint

On the first clothespin, use the box cutters to chop off the bottom 1/2 inch.  This clothespin will be your main figure that will stand, so try to make your cut even, or use a little sandpaper to help.

On the second clothespin, cut 1 1/2 inches off the bottom.  These bottom pieces will be your arms and you can discard the rest of this clothespin after you make the cut.

Take the arms you just cut off and glue them to the first clothespin right under the head area.  Leave it along for a few minutes to dry.

Once your clothespin is dry: start painting!  We painted the pants green, the shirt red and the shoes black.  We also painted a Keffiyeh that was super easy.  Just paint a white triangle around the dancers neck and put a few black spots on it randomly.  Remember, the Keffiyeh shouldn’t look like it’s laying on a desk, but worn, so try to make it a little uneven.

This is what your finished painted little dabke dancer should look like.

We initially gave him a beard, but decided the second dancer would be clean shaven for variety.  We used the Sharpie fine point tip for the beard, hair, and eyes.

We added a little bit of glue to their hands so they could stand a little more stable. Plus, dabke dancers do hold hands, so this worked out! And this is what they look like from the back.

Be sure to checkout A Crafty Arab’s Pinterest for more craft tutorials from the Arab world.


I am a Libyan American who creates art to promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture.