Project

Harvest-Time Corn-Husk Dolls

Harvest-Time Corn-Husk Dolls

Photography: Kate Mathis

Source: Martha Stewart

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

    corn-husk-dolls-1.jpg
  2. Lay 4 or 6 husks (always an even number) in a stack.

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

    corn-husk-dolls-2.jpg
  4. Separate husks into equal portions (2 and 2, or 3 and 3), and fold halves down, covering twine.

    corn-husk-dolls-3.jpg
  5. Using thin twine, tie husks about 1 inch down, creating head.

    corn-husk-dolls-4.jpg
  6. Roll a single husk and tie at ends to make arms.

    corn-husk-dolls-5.jpg
  7. Position arms below knot at neck, between equal portions of husks.

    corn-husk-dolls-6.jpg
  8. Tie waist. For female doll, trim husks to an even length.

    corn-husk-dolls-7.jpg
  9. For male doll, separate legs into equal portions. Tie at knees and ankles. Trim evenly.

    corn-husk-dolls-8.jpg
  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.

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