Corn Husk Dolls

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Corn Husk Dolls Thanksgiving Craft
Total Time 1 hour Ages all-ages

Next time you're shucking corn for dinner, don't throw away the husks -- dry them in the sun for one to three days, and you'll have the makings for a corn-husk doll.

What you'll need

  • Dried corn husks or tamale wrappers (available at grocery stores)
  • Twine or string
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners

How to make it

  1. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 1

    Soak the dried corn husks (approximately 20 per doll) in warm water for about 10 minutes to soften them, then blot them dry. Next, gather twenty 10-inch lengths of twine and tie an overhand knot at one end.

  2. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 2

    Trim the husks so that they are each about 8 inches long. Then sandwich the knotted twine between 4 or so husks and tightly tie another piece of twine around the bundle just above the overhand knot.

  3. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 3

    Make the doll's arms by rolling up a pipe cleaner in a husk (this will make the arms posable). Roll up 2 more husks (without pipe cleaners). Then braid the three together and tie the ends with twine.

  4. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 4

    Take the bundle from Step 2 and peel down the husks (as you would a banana) to create a head and expose the hair. Tightly tie the bundle where the neck should be, then insert the arms.

  5. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 5

    Braid together 3 rolled husks (without a pipe cleaner) for each leg. Then use 2 of the inner husk ends to tie the tops of the legs to the dolls. Trim the remaining husk ends an inch below where the legs are attached.

  6. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 6

    Snugly wrap a single husk around the doll's hips, tying the ends together to secure it. Trim the knot tails.

  7. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 7

    Now it's time to dress the doll. If making a girl, go right to Step 8. For a boy, create leggings by wrapping a single husk around each leg and tightly tying twine around the very top. Then fringe the leggings by making a series of short snips along the outer sides.

  8. Corn Husk Dolls - Step 8

    For a skirt, sandwich the doll's body from the hips up with a few husks and secure them to the waist with twine. Then peel down the husks. For a girl doll, leave the skirt long; for a boy, trim 1 1/2 inches from the waist. Finally, drape husks over the shoulders. Crisscross the ends in front and in back of the doll and sash them around the waist with twine.

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