Corn husk dolls
were all the rage in days of horses and buggies but, with the invention of the extremely more beautiful dolls of today, have lost their appeal to most people. Things from long ago are now all the rage, from coins to posters to dolls. Make your own little corn husk dolls and you’ll own a piece of yesteryear, even if it is made today.
Buy corn husks at craft stores, department stores or grocery stores. You’ll also need string scissors and a pan of water. Soak the corn husks in water until they are pliable. Separate the husks and lay them out on the table, on paper towels. You need to have about a dozen husks for each doll you make.
Select four of the husks which are approximate in size. Stack them, one on top of the other, then tie the husks together at the pointed ends. This will form the body of the doll. Then take two corn husks in each hand and tuck the ends of them into the string of the body portion. Fold each set of corn husks outward, over the string, so the string no longer shows. This fold-out of the top husks will form the head of the doll.
Look at the corn husk body and head then decide on a proportionate amount to be the head. Section off this amount with a piece of string, tied around the neck area, then tightly knotted. You should now have distinct body and head section.
For the arms use another corn husk that you have smoothed out flat. At the pointed end, trim to make it straight. Roll the husk into a small tube, lengthways. Tie each end tightly leaving about a half-inch of corn husk hanging below each string.
Position the tube to form two arms, one on each side of the doll, just below the neck. Wrap string to go from the backside of the doll, around one arm, across the front, then around the other arm. Continue this pattern until the arms are secure. Finish by wrapping string around and around the “waist”, just below the arms. Use a slip knot to secure.
Take one more husk and wrap it around the back/neck area, like a shawl. Bring the ends to the front and cris-cross them across the chest. Use a string, around the waist, to secure the husk and accentuate the waist. The ends of the husk will hang below the string.
This above steps forms a girl doll with skirt. To make a male doll with pants separate the body husks below the waist into two equal sections. It may be necessary to tear the husks from the bottom, up. Form the husks into two tubes then tie them shut at the “ankle” area. Leave a half-inch or so of the husks hanging below the string. For the male doll trim the husks that are hanging just below the waist until they are only barely longer than the waist string.
Leave the face blank or paint one on. Use corn silk to make hair or leave the doll with no hair. You can make a small bonnet for the girl doll and hat for the male doll or leave them as-is. The dolls can be dressed in doll clothes or played with in their simple form.