I LOVE corn husk dolls! Last year I made some with my daughter. We got this fantastic idea that we would make some quaint and rustic dolls and give them to "Nana" for a pre-Thanksgiving gift. We put corn husks on our grocery list and were really dismayed(actually, distraught) when they not only didn't have Corn Husks, but didn't even have CORN.(!!!) Um, we live in New England and heck, that doesn't even matter, b/c we live in the Modern World where we can buy pears that look and feel(ouch!) like cacti any time of the year for only $4.99 for 22 calories... whaddya mean I can't buy corn one week before Thanksgiving?!
So, we grew our own this year.
(okay, just to put a Happy Ending on that otherwise tragic story, I ended up making a virtual pilgrimage to Amazon and bought dried husks for tamales and had them quick-shipped. So Nana did receive some beautiful corn husk dolls to put on display for Thanksgiving.)
Step 1: Gather Corn and Other Bits of Nature
Pick some ears of corn, plus other parts of the plant that could be used for accessories for the dolls. I also wanted some leaves to create skirts/vests/whatever... "oops! 'scuse me chickie!" (we have "runners" or anarchist chickens that refuse to go in at night and prefer to camp out under the stars in this particular tree.) I also have lots of Autumn Joys out front that I thought would be nice to have to incorporate into our creations. Wow, no bees at night... Easy!
Step 2: It's All About the Corn, Mostly.
Spread your haul out on the table.
Peel back the ears and remove.
Did you know that you could eat raw corn?
(a little chewy, but a lot of people wouldn't even think that you could)
Keep the silky hair, obviously. : )
Put the flowers in a tumbler glass.(after you drain the remaining Laphroaig)
Gather yarn from your knitting basket.
Oh, I'm sorry, you don't have one?...
Get one. It just looks good. An old basket filled with colors and textures and evocations.
Step 3: Let's Get Started!
It's the next day. Sunny. I'm doing this outside!
Spread out your materials. (makes for a nice picture)
Have a big bowl of water for soaking; husks are more malleable when damp. These are still pretty fresh from the night before, but they might dry out a bit since we are basking in the sun.
1. Lay several leaves out, pointy side up.
2. Place silky hair(or yarn, grass, etc.) inside and wrap evenly around with leaves.
3. Tie a piece of strong yarn about 2 " or 5 cm from the top, tightly.
4. Flip over, peeling leaves down over "head", exposing the hair.
5. Tie band to form neck. You can use grass or yarn.
Step 4: Make Arms to Hug and Hold Stuff
Okay, that first picture looks a little scary. It's early; she's still a little green. But aren't those home-grown pumpkins behind her gorgeous? :D
I. Gather 3 leaves
II. Tie 1 end
IV. Tie other end
V. Divide Green Lady in half to make room to place arms up into.
Step 5: The Finishing Touches
Let's add a shawl, and some accessories to turn her from a scary thing into a fair maiden.
a. Gather a few leaves(deja vu... this won't be the last time)
b. Wrap them around her neck and secure with a blade of grass
c. Add wool yarn to give her a headpiece(don't try this with actual bits of nature or this poor creature will look like she's wearing a crown of thorns ~ I spared you the pic)
d. Tuck some Autumn Joy into her wrist bracelet
Step 6: Well, She Needs Friends
I tried to make different types. I don't think I have ever done the same thing twice in my life.
Just as a side note (because I NEVER get side-tracked during my Instructables), I had an epiphany a moment and a half ago that making Instructables has me taking notes of what I am actually doing, so the next time I want to make that certain delicious dish and have to just wing-it, again, now I can actually refer back to something that I did before, and make it as wrong as I want to.. But I Take Notes Now! So weird.
I doubled over the silk for a shorter, not-as-witchy hairdo. And wanted to make grass arms. Kinda like as if she were wearing a green shirt under her smock dress.
Step 7: Skirt, Accessories
Add some leaves in the front and back, upside-down and inside-out, tie tightly, then flip down for an adorable apron/skirt.
The porch has gotten a little messy with bits so let's make her a broom and put her to work.
I just used part of a branch from the Anarcho-tree, peeled back the bark, added some corn topper parts and tied it together.
I added a blade of grass to contain her unruly updo while she sweeps away.
Step 8: Now, She's a Looker!
(The last pic is a cute doll my daughter quietly made while I was braiding and twisting and snapping pictures like a crazy woman making corn husk dolls for an Instructable.)
I decided I need a girl with some serious hair, since my previous two were.. lacking.
I wanted tresses of gold.
Look at that Husky Broad!!
Wrapping hair around a smallish book makes for an easy method to create same-length strands.
Cut once, then again, place inside grouping of leaves, tie, flip down and, Voila!!
Isn't it cool how that yarn kinda looks like corn kernels?
Add some braided arms, tuck in and create svelte waist.
Step 9: Oh Yeah, We Need a Boy.
Method is mostly the same as the others.
Shorter hair of course. Something unruly is to be expected.
I didn't braid the arms, in case you didn't want to.
Create belt by wrapping leaf around and tying in back.
This one needs legs.
Separate leaves for legs, and use a middle piece to wrap under and around the back to form crotch.(tuck under back of belt)
I gave him a vest made from a leaf.
Doesn't he look Dandy?!
Step 10: A Happy Family!
Arrange in a nice place to display your hard work.
(not like above pic, it's Under Construction... perpetually... : /)
This is a great activity for Hunterers and Gatherers of all ages!
Have fun and create and please post your pics!!
Naturally, you can make clothes for them with felt, but if you just want to use Bits of Nature that is simply lovely, too.