Simple corn husk dolls have timeless appeal and are just the thing to keep little hands busy at a family gathering taking place during the fall.

Updated July 06, 2020
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Husk,Dolls, craft

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 children's crafts, and truly ingenious, requiring not much more than some husks, twine, glue, and felt. Square-cut corn husks (the ones used for tamales and sold at international grocers) are the main supply for making these dolls. Basic twine is used to create body parts. 

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What you need

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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

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

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Step 2

Lay four or six husks (always an even number) in a stack.

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Step 3

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

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Step 4

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

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Step 5

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

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Step 6

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

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Step 7

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

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Step 8

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

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Step 9

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

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Step 10

To make the hair, glue the 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 the 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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