It’s almost as if she is in motion, no?…
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 one of these sweet corn husk dolls. 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 one! 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)
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. 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 Miss assisting me (she is so serious with her task). She was just about the right age for this to assist. Older children can make them 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.
It 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) doll!
*If you wish, you can even make clothes for your doll!
*To make a boy doll, simply divide the skirt in half and tie off each leg at the bottom with string.
*Your doll with 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!