It used to be a tradition that parents would make their children dolls to play with. This was a time before we could go to the nearest store and buy the latest toy for our children. In fact, children would even make their own dolls.
It is believed that Native Americans have been making corn husk dolls for children for more than a few centuries. Corn husk dolls are special toys for children to play with and they are very easy to make.
If you are looking to make corn husk dolls, then you have come to the right place. In this guide, we are going to walk you through how to make corn husk dolls and look at the history of corn husk dolls.
The History Of Corn Husk Dolls
Corn husk dolls were made by many cultures in different parts of the world. They were made from corn husks because it is an inexpensive material. In fact, the only thing you need to make these dolls is corn husks. You can get them from your local grocery or farm shop.
Corn was originally something that grew in Mexico. It is believed that as people migrated from Mexico to North America thousands of years ago, they took corn with them.
Corn was something that Native Americans used for a variety of reasons. They found ways to use every part of the corn plant. They were able to use the corn stalks for kindling to build fires. They even used the husks to make baskets by weaving them.
Interestingly corn was such a huge part of Native Americans’ lives that they were the ones who taught the European settlers what to do with corn.
This meant showing the European settlers all the amazing things you could do with corn, from growing it, eating it, and using it as objects for everyday life.
Native Americans used this weaving technique to make dolls for their children out of weaved corn husks. These dolls were decorated when they were finished. They were decorated with fabric for their clothes and sometimes they even put the hair from a horse on them as hair for the dolls.
Corn husk dolls are much more than just children’s toys. They were even used by adults. Corn husk dolls were sometimes used to ward off evil spirits or they were used in Native American healing ceremonies.
Eventually, corn husk dolls became sort of a good luck charm. They were believed to be able to protect livestock, protect their homes, and help make sure they had a good harvest.
So as you can see, corn husk dolls had a very important role in Native American culture. Not only were they thoughtful dolls for children to play with, but they were also seen as a magical charm.
How To Make Corn Husks Dolls?
Now that we know what corn husk dolls are, their history, and the significance of corn husk dolls, we can learn how to make them.
To make these dolls you will need:
- 5 corn husks
Follow these step-by-step instructions in order to make corn husk dolls.
The first thing you will need to do is soak your corn husks in some warm water. The reason you need to do this is to make your corn husks soft so you can bend them without them ripping.
To get the best results you should soak them for at least one hour. Make sure to keep the corn husks fully submerged in the water. To do this it is best to weigh them down with something so they don’t float.
Once your corn husks have soaked up enough water, take them out of the water and pat them dry. Once you’ve done this you’ll want to grab four corn husks and lay them on top of each other. Make sure that all the pointy sides of the corn husks are the same way.
Next, you need to tie the corn husks together at their pointy end. To do this grab your string and tie all four corn husks together about an inch from the tip of the pointy end.
Now that you have tied the corn husks together by the pointed end, you want to go to the flat end of the corn husks.
Grab two flat ends of the corn husk in each hand. This means you will have two flat ends in your left hand and two flat ends in your right hand.
Now you want to flip them inside out, so the pointed end you tied before is hidden. Then make sure the two ends you separated are stacked together again.
Now it is time to get your string again. Remember the pointed end you tied and hid? This will now make the head of your doll.
To do this you need to take a piece of string and tie it about an inch from the top on the same side of the corn husk you tied before.
The next step will show you how to make the arms. You need to lay your corn husk doll flat. Then you want to separate the first two corn husks from the bottom two.
Grab the corn husk that we haven’t used yet and roll it up. You want to place this rolled-up corn husk so it is perpendicular between the two layers you have lifted, so it is underneath the head.
Next, tie a string on the four layers of corn husks right underneath where you put the arms piece. This stops the arm piece from sliding out.
At this point, you can also cut your arm piece to the length you want. If you want a girl doll, then your corn husk doll is complete. The flat bottom of the corn husks becomes the skirt of the doll.
If you want a boy doll, then you should follow these steps.
Grab some scissors and cut up the middle of the skirt of the doll to underneath the string you put in for the arms. Then take a string and tie each leg you’ve made at the bottom.
You can leave your corn husk dolls as this or you could decorate them.
To decorate them, you can find fabric for their clothes and use another corn husk sheet for the hair. Traditionally, these dolls did not have faces and would have horsehair for their hair.
So there you have it! Easy step-by-step instructions telling you how to make corn husk dolls.
Corn husk dolls are a great way to show your children how to use the materials they have access to in order to be creative.
Not only are these dolls a great way to entertain your children, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to educate them on Native American culture.
We hope you enjoyed our article on how to make corn husks toys. We hope you found it useful and informative. Please share with friends and family if you think they might enjoy it too.
Thank you very much for reading and we wish you happy crafting!