Monday, July 27, 2009

How to Make a Corn Husk Doll

Lughnasadh, the First Harvest, the Festival of Grains is fast approaching. Here are easy, step-by-step instructions with pictures, for making a corn husk doll as part of your celebrations.


fresh corn husks
cotton balls

You will need 2-3 ears of corn for enough husks to make your dolly.

1. Peel the husks off the corn. You can use the darker green outer husks if you would like, but the softer, paler inner husks are easier to work with, and don't split as easily when working with them.

Outer husks on the left, inner husk on the right

2. Take 2-3 corn husks and roll them together tightly lengthwise. Secure each end with string. Trim each end about 1/2 inch away from ties. This forms the arms of the dolly.

3. Take 2-4 cotton balls and place them in the middle of 3-4 wide strips of husk.

Then, fold the husks over the cotton balls and gather it to form the shape of the head. Tie tightly with string. Leave the long ends of the husks in place.

4. Place the "arms" between the long ends of the husks left from making the head.
Then tie string underneath the arms to form the "waist".

5. Arrange a dozen or more husks around the waist of the figure. Remember, the husks will shrink as they dry, so use plenty. Make sure the husks overlap. Gather string around the waist and tie it tightly.

6. Take the ends of the husks by the head of the figure and fold them down over the string to finish forming the "skirt" of the figure. (You may need to loosely tie string around the husks to hold them down in place as it dries) If you would like the skirt line to be even, you can trim the husks straight across.

7. If you would like your figure to resemble a man, divide the husks of the "skirt" into right and left halves. Gather the husks together on each half and tie them tightly with string on the ends. Now they should resemble legs. You can trim below the ties to form "feet".

While the husks are still soft, you may wish to continue to carefully shape the dolly. Then give your dolly a week or so to dry, in a cool place out of the sun.

You can use more husks to further decorate your dolly, if you prefer. Some people like to use scraps of cotton material to make an apron, shawl or vest for the dolly. The dried corn silk can be glued on for hair. Use your imagination!

And voila! Here is the completed dolly, along with the one I made a few years earlier. I thought it would be nice to have a God/Goddess pair. They have places of honor on my altar during harvest time. I often have the Goddess dolly out for Imbolc celebrations, as well.

Enjoy! Happy Harvest!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is great! As soon as my Dad's corn comes in I'll start collecting husks for this project.