The cornucopia can be a bit of an attention hog: proudly spilling its bounty across the dining room in a way that borders on needy. As harvest-time icons go, we much prefer the simple beauty of corn-husk dolls: They're understated, easy to make even for children, and truly ingenious -- requiring not much more than some husks, twine, glue, and felt.
Resources: Square-cut corn husks -- the ones used for tamales are sold at international grocers and surfasonline.com.
Tools & Materials
Square-cut dried corn husks
Wool felt, in assorted colors
Yarn or raffia
- Start by soaking the husks in water for 10 minutes, and then blot excess water with a paper towel.
- Lay 4 or 6 husks (always an even number) in a stack.
- Using thin twine, tie husks together, about 1 inch from top.
- Separate husks into equal portions (2 and 2, or 3 and 3), and fold halves down, covering twine. Using thin twine, tie husks about 1 inch down, creating head.
- Roll a single husk and tie at ends to make arms.
- Position arms below knot at neck, between equal portions of husks.
- Tie waist. For female doll, trim husks to an even length.
- For male doll, separate legs into equal portions. Tie at knees and ankles. Trim evenly.
- To make hair, glue yarn or raffia to the heads. Fashion clothes from pieces of felt: Cut rectangles, and snip slits or X's in the center; then slide over doll's head, and secure around the waist with a strip of felt or yarn. (Glue on buttons, and use scissors to make fringe as desired.) Create hats and bonnets by cutting felt to fit, and then gluing in place.