Friday, July 8, 2011

Challenge: Corn Husk Dolls

Loghnassadh The first Harvest Sabbath is coming up on August 1st so we thought we do something once a week to get folks prepared. If your wanting recipes you should cheek out TheCUPWA blog every 2 days they will be doing traditional recipes. We decided to cover the decorations as part of our challenges.
The First one we decided to cover are Corn Husk dolls, these are really fun to do with the kids. We found our instructions at Family Fun. The link will take you to the Witch Doll version the below instructions is the simple dolls.

Here is the run down of Supplies and directions with our own pictures.

• Dried corn husks or tamale wrappers (available at grocery stores)
• Twine or string
• Scissors
• Pipe cleaners

  1. Soak the dried corn husks (approximately 20 per doll) in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften them, then blot them dry. Next, gather twenty 10-inch lengths of twine and tie an overhand knot at one end.
  2. Trim the husks so that they are each about 8 inches long. Then sandwich the knotted twine between 4 or so husks and tightly tie another piece of twine around the bundle just above the overhand knot.
  3. Make the doll's arms by rolling up a pipe cleaner in a husk (this will make the arms posable). Roll up 2 more husks (without pipe cleaners). Then braid the three together and tie the ends with twine.
  4. Take the bundle from Step 2 and peel down the husks (as you would a banana) to create a head and expose the hair. Tightly tie the bundle where the neck should be, then insert the arms.
  5. Braid together 3 rolled husks (without a pipe cleaner) for each leg. Then use 2 of the inner husk ends to tie the tops of the legs to the dolls. Trim the remaining husk ends an inch below where the legs are attached.
  6. Snugly wrap a single husk around the doll's hips, tying the ends together to secure it. Trim the knot tails.
  7. Now it's time to dress the doll. If making a girl, go right to Step 8. For a boy, create leggings by wrapping a single husk around each leg and tightly tying twine around the very top. Then fringe the leggings by making a series of short snips along the outer sides.
  8. For a skirt, sandwich the doll's body from the hips up with a few husks and secure them to the waist with twine. Then peel down the husks. For a girl doll, leave the skirt long; for a boy, trim 1 1/2 inches from the waist. Finally, drape husks over the shoulders. Crisscross the ends in front and in back of the doll and sash them around the waist with twine.
Corn Husk Witch Doll
• 24 pieces of black yarn, each about 15 inches long
• 8 tamale wrappers or dried corn husks (sold in grocery stores) soaked in water for at least 5 minutes
• 3 (12-inch) tan pipe cleaners
• Scissors
• 1 (6-inch-long) stick

  1. Gather the pieces of yarn and knot them together at one end. Shake off excess water from the soaked wrappers or husks, then stack 4 of them together and lay the yarn on top with the knot near the narrow end (A). Roll the layered husks around the yarn and cinch them just above the knot with half a pipe cleaner (B).
  2. Fold the husks down over the knot to make the witch's head (A). Wrap another pipe cleaner half around the husks at the neck (B).
  3. For posable arms, roll up a long piece of pipe cleaner in one of the husks (A). Wrap a short piece of pipe cleaner around each end at the wrists, then sandwich the arm piece between the layers of folded-down husks, tearing the husks to separate if needed. Secure the arms in place by wrapping another pipe cleaner half just below the arms to form the witch's waist (B).
  4. To make the hat, cut two 5-inch-diameter circles, each from a husk. Cut one circle in half and curl one half into a cone. To keep the shape, poke a small piece of pipe cleaner through the husk layers at the wide end of the cone and twist the ends together (A). Cut a 1 1/2-inch asterisk in the center of the other circle (B) and carefully push the cone three quarters of the way through the hole (C).
  5. For a broom, fringe the wide end of a husk (A). Cut the husk K inch above the fringe, then roll the strip around the end of the stick. Secure it with a small piece of pipe cleaner (B).
We hope you enjoyed our little how to and we would just love to see yours! Feel free to share with us :)

    1 comment:

    1. Great post! I have been collecting the husks to work on some for our upcoming Lughnasadh celebration. I love the witchy hat!