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Project

Harvest-Time Corn-Husk Dolls

Introduction

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.

Materials

  • Square-cut dried corn husks
  • Wool felt, in assorted colors
  • Yarn or raffia
  • Paper towel
  • Buttons
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Steps

  1. Step 1

    corn-husk-dolls-1.jpg

    Start by soaking the husks in water for 10 minutes, and then blot excess water with a paper towel.

  2. Step 2

    Lay 4 or 6 husks (always an even number) in a stack.

  3. Step 3

    corn-husk-dolls-2.jpg

    Using thin twine, tie husks together, about 1 inch from top.

  4. Step 4

    corn-husk-dolls-3.jpg

    Separate husks into equal portions (2 and 2, or 3 and 3), and fold halves down, covering twine.

  5. Step 5

    corn-husk-dolls-4.jpg

    Using thin twine, tie husks about 1 inch down, creating head.

  6. Step 6

    corn-husk-dolls-5.jpg

    Roll a single husk and tie at ends to make arms.

  7. Step 7

    corn-husk-dolls-6.jpg

    Position arms below knot at neck, between equal portions of husks.

  8. Step 8

    corn-husk-dolls-7.jpg

    Tie waist. For female doll, trim husks to an even length.

  9. Step 9

    corn-husk-dolls-8.jpg

    For male doll, separate legs into equal portions. Tie at knees and ankles. Trim evenly.

  10. Step 10

    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.