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When you were a little girl, did you and your siblings make corn husk dolls? We sure did, as buying dolls was not an option for our family (nor were play dolls as readily available then as they are today)! Despite not having the nicest and newest baby doll, I was so proud of my Molly and took her everywhere.
Why not give your grands this same sense of pride? You can when you help them make their own one-of-a-kind corn husk doll – with a twist!
- Dried corn husks (available in craft stores or grocery stores, especially around Thanksgiving)
- Bowl of water
- Twine or string
- Markers, fabric scraps, yarn, or embroidery thread for decorations
- Craft glue
- Buttons, beads, or other small embellishments for added flair
1. Prepare the husks
Submerge your dried corn husks in a water bowl for about 10-20 minutes, as they need to be softened to make them pliable. Once they’re soft, remove them and pat them dry with a towel.
2. Create the doll’s head
Fold one softened corn husk in half to form the doll’s head. Secure it with a piece of twine or string by tying it about an inch down from the folded top.
3. Create the doll’s body and skirt
Place 3 or 4 husks (depending on their size and your preference) around the “neck” where you tied the string – these will hang down and form the doll’s body and skirt. Tie another string around the top part of these husks, just below the doll’s neck, to hold them in place.
Roll up a husk for the arms, place it between the “neck” and the top of the “skirt,” and tie a string around the doll’s waist to secure it. Trim the ends of the arm husk to the desired arm length.
5. Give it a twist
Here is where the fun begins! Using markers, draw on the doll’s face, and use yarn or embroidery thread to give her hair. (If you feel crafty, you can even braid the yarn first.) Next, you can use fabric scraps to create clothing or accessories like shawls, vests, or hats. Finally, glue on buttons, beads, or other embellishments to give your doll a unique personality.
Let your doll dry completely. As the corn husks dry, they’ll become stiff, ensuring your doll retains its shape.
7. Display or play
Your corn husk doll is ready to be proudly displayed as seasonal decor or used for gentle play.
Corn husk dolls with a twist allow grandmas and grandkids to bond over a craft that blends tradition with creativity. Let me know how it goes – if you like, you can email me a picture! Have fun.