Apple Head Dolls

See that big shiny apple you bought at the grocery? Are you going to eat it? You might think that’s a pretty silly question. After all what else is to be done with an apple? Make a doll with it! An apple head doll.

Apple head dolls have been around for centuries. As a very old American folk art these shriveled headed dolls were first made by Native Americans. Because each apple dries differently no two will be the same. The apple will never spoil but over time the apple becomes more lifelike as it darkens. The possibilities of “doll personalities” you can create are endless! Follow these steps to make your own apple head doll!

1. The first thing to do is choose your apple. Choose the biggest apple you can find. It will be easier to work with. Also after carving the apple, it shrinks to about two-thirds of it’s original size. Any kind of apple will do but my best results have been using the large red delicious variety. Granny smith apples also work well Make sure it is not mealy or overripe.

2. Peel and core the apple. On one side carve your dolls face. Use tools like a butter knife, paring knife, potato peeler or whatever tool you prefer. Hollow out deep set holes for the eyes. Make a small cut across the bottom part for a smile. For the nose cut groves to make a raised triangle between the eyes and mouth. If you’d like add cuts on the side for dimples or wrinkles. Once you have the apple carved you can dry it in a dehydrator or a cool dry place for around 2 weeks. Another method of drying is using silica sand found in craft stores

3. When the apple head is dry add features to the features and make some hair. You can use a variety of things to color the lips, eyes, and cheeks like markers, water based paints, and watercolor pencils.For the hair use about 15 strands of yarn or more. Measure them twice the desired hair length plus two to three inches. Hold the pieces together and fold in half. Tie another piece of yarn around the fold about an inch away. This makes a loop. Stuff the loop in the cored part of the apple head and braid hair or let hang loose.

4. Make the body. The body can be made with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. Insert the popsicle stick in the bottom of the apple. Twist the corner of a pipe cleaner around the stick just under the apple. Extend it to the right
Repeat this with another pipe cleaner extending to the left. This makes the arms. Do the same thing at the bottom of the stick extending the pipe cleaners down, That will be the legs? Next wrap cotton batting around the arms, Popsicle stick and legs to form a soft padding. Then wrap and tie strips of cloth around the body until all cotton batting is covered

5. Dress your doll. You can use real doll clothes or fashion some simple clothes of your own from your choice of cloth. Glue on felt hands or boots or buy some plastic ones at a craft store. Add accessories to personalize your doll. These can be found also in craft stores in dollhouse accessories sections.

Have fun making your doll. You just might enjoy it so much you could end up with a whole family of apple head dolls!

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