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Follow these simple instructions and refer to the accompanying diagrams to create your own unique doll.



String or twine
Bowl of warm water
9-12 pieces of green corn husk

**The corn husk you use to construct your doll should be green and not dried. Green corn husk can be purchased from any craft store. You can also use green corn husk you peel from a corn cob yourself. If you must use dried husks, before beginning the construction phase, soak all corn husks in a large bowl of warm water to make them more pliable. Corn husks which are purchased or fresh can be treated in this manner also, though it isn't usually necessary.


  Take four cornhusks and arrange them in as shown.


  Using a small piece of string, tie the straight ends together tightly.

  Trim and round the edges with scissors.


Turn upside down and pull long ends of husks down over the trimmed edges.


  Tie with string to form the "head."

  Take another husk, flatten it, and roll into a tight cylinder.

  Tie each end with string. This forms the dolls arms.

  Fit the arms inside of the long husks, just below the "neck."

  Tie with string, as shown, to form a "waist."

  Drape a husk around the arms and upper body in a criss-cross pattern to form "shoulders."

  Take four or five husks, straight edges together, and arrange around waist. These form a "skirt" for the doll.

  Tie with string.

  If desired, follow the diagram to form legs for the doll. Tie legs with small strips of husks as indicated. Finish off the doll by tying small strips of husk around the neck and waist to hide the string. Small scraps of cloth may be used to dress the doll

TRADITIONALLY: an Indian child would fashion clothing for her doll similar to what was worn by her own culture. Hair would be made from horse hair or animal furs. The doll would have no facial features. To learn why, read the Legends of the No Face Doll.

However, you may decorate your own corn husk doll however you like. Small children will be able to decorate with colored construction paper, crayons and markers. You can attach paper clothing, jewelry, facial features and other items with a small dot of household glue. Older children can make clothing from fabric, additional pieces of corn husk or many other items.

FACIAL FEATURES: such as eyes, ears, noses, and mouths can be drawn on with permanent markers or crayons. Craft eyes, yarn mouths, and more can also be attached to your doll with glue.


MAKE A SKIRT for your corn husk doll out of a fresh piece of husk. Simply wrap around the waistline and tie off with a piece of twine or colored yarn. You can decorate your skirt beforehand with markers or crayons.

COLORED YARN can be bent in the shape of a smile or ears and glued into place for instant facial features on your corn husk doll.

COLOR YOUR CORN HUSKS by soaking them in food coloring to make colored clothing or skin for your cornhusk doll. Soak husks for thirty minutes in a large bowl containing warm water and several drops of your desired color. To make vibrant browns, soak husks in a large bowl of coffee or tea.

MAKE SHOES by dipping the feet of your corn husk doll into a small bowl of acrylic paint. Allow to air dry and repeat, if necessary.

USE SMALL DOLL CLOTHES to decorate your corn husk doll.

SEQUINS, BUTTONS, GLITTER and other craft supplies can be glued to your corn husk doll to make jewelry, eyes, colored clothing and more.

INSERT A PIPE CLEANER into the back of your corn husk doll to put it on display, help it bend into a variety of positions, or to hang it.

INSTANT HAIR FOR YOUR CORN HUSK DOLL can be made with more corn husks, or corn silk, yarn, or twine. Attach with glue.

WATERCOLOR PAINTS will soak into corn husks, and give a deep, rich color to your doll.

A DOLL HAT can be made from a plastic bottle cap.

A PERFECTLY ROUND HEAD can be made for your corn husk doll by placing a few cotton balls inside a piece of husk, instead of rolling husks. Decorate first, and then attach to the body using the above instructions.

Below are Links to the Corn Husk Doll Pages
How To Make Corn Husk Dolls ] [ Printer Friendly How To Make Corn Husk Dolls ]
Corn Husk Dolls and Corn Info ] 

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[ Native Amercian-Kachinas Article ] [ Native American Masks ]
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[ Native American Music-Introduction and Contents ]
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