Make Your Own Corn Husk Doll
Pioneers and Native Americans made corn husk dolls many many years ago. Can you imagine living the simplest of lives of the frontier? My participation in a little known musical, Quilters, about the lives of several pioneer sisters inspired my desire to make a corn husk doll with my daughter. I can just picture pioneer girls playing with these dolls, can’t you? And in these tough economic times, making a corn husk doll is a simple and inexpensive way to have fun with both the process and the product! They are simple to make and you only need a few items to make your corn husk doll. This is a fantastic activity for children and a perfect way to usher in the fall season!
Here’s what you’ll need:
~10 Dried Corn Husks ( You can peel them from fresh corn and dry them yourself, or purchase a pre-packaged bunch from the grocery store or craft store…try the grocer first).
~Twine or heavy weight braided string)
~Large Bowl of water (able to fit the husks)
To make a corn husk doll, begin by submerging all of the husks into the water for a few minutes. This will make the husks, pliable and easier work with. Don’t skip this step. You might end up tearing the husks as you work, if you don’t get them wet.
Next, gather the husks with your string at the smaller end (see how they taper in the photo above). Tie it as tight as possible in a knot.
Next, we will be making the head of the corn husk doll. Divide the husks in half…
…and flip them over around the tied off section.
Tie that section off in a knot to make the head.
Next, we will be making the arms. Pull out a section from the side of the doll and divide it into three sections (as shown).
Braid the strips and tie them off at a desired length. Trim the husk near the end (to make “hands). Repeat on the other side of doll.
So far, it should look like this…
Here’s my sweet little one assisting me (she is so serious with her task). She was just about the right age for this to assist. Older children can make a corn husk doll independently.
Similar to tying off the head, tie off another section below the arms to make a waist and define the body a little more.
To cover your string, tear off a long strip of husk and tie it around the exposed parts.
The corn husk doll should look like this from the back…
Trim off any unevenness on the bottom of the skirt with scissors.
Lastly, “fluff” the skirt by gently separating the folds of husks.
You are ready to play with your sweet (and handmade by you) corn husk doll!
*If you wish, you can even make clothes for your corn husk doll!
*To make a boy corn husk doll, simply divide the skirt in half and tie off each leg at the bottom with string.
*Your corn husk doll will still be a little damp for a few more minutes
*If you purchase your husks, they may smell a little funky after getting wet, but don’t worry, it’s normal and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong!