Growing up near Colonial Williamsburg I have always been obsessed with early American crafts. I saw some of the craftsmen there making cornhusks dolls as a kid and next thing I knew I had dragged my mom to the craft store to get the supplies. We had a great time making them and even decorated our entire tree with corn husk angels the following year. Recently I decided it was time to revisit my childhood, but this time on a bigger scale with a slightly more modern look. Here’s how I did it….
Corn husks (find them in the tamale section of the grocery store)
Floral wire or coat hanger
Scrap of paper
Start by soaking the husks in a bowl of warm water. Just leave them there and take them as needed.
HEAD: Take two husks and tie them together with twine. Crumple up your scrap paper to about the size of a nectarine. Flip the husks over, wrapping them around the ball and tie with twine where the neck would be.
ARMS: Take a piece of wire (aprox 12″ long), lay one end on a husk, roll the husk around the wire and tie with twine.
Repeat on the other end of the wire.
SLEEVES: Lay one end of the arm on the edge of a husk…
and secure with twine.
Then flip the husk over and tie with twine in the middle of the wire. Repeat on the other end.
BODICE: Wrap the ends of the head husk around the middle of the arm wire and tie with twine.
Take two pieces of husk and tie together at the top. Repeat.
Take each of these and turn inside out (so twine is hidden) and wrap over “shoulders” crossing to create waist and tie.
SKIRT: Create petticoat buy gathering husks and tying them to the bottom of the bodice.
Then take additional husks and tie them upside down (so they’re covering the head) to the bodice as well.
Flip them over to cover the bodice and petticoat twine ties.
Now that your doll is finished, bend the arms to the desired position. Also, arrange the skirt so that it stands on its own. You amy have to trim the bottom or tie the skirt loosely over a bottle while it dries.
Now, have as much fun as you’d like. Add an apron, head scarf, broom, bundle of sticks – I even added wings and a halo to make a tree topper. Try dying some of the husks using food coloring or diluted paint as well.
Good to know that if all else fails, I have a career in Old Williamsburg if I need one.