Corn Husk DollsNovember 6, 2012 at 11:01 am | Posted in crafts, homeschool, printable | 3 Comments
Tags: corn husk craft, corn husk doll, history, printable directions, thanksgiving craft
I love hands-on activities for school – it is much easier to remember learning something if it is fun. Corn husk dolls are a fun way to learn a little bit about the handmade toys used by native Americans, so they are a great project for making around Thanksgiving. The dolls are pretty easy to make, and are surprisingly durable. It took my seven year old son 15 minutes to make his doll unaided.
I bought a 6 oz bag of corn husks at my local grocery store (in the Mexican food aisle.) You need 6 pieces of corn husk for each doll. Since I am helping lead a craft station at our Thanksgiving field trip next week I dumped out the bag to count the husks so I could make sure we bought enough for our group – there were 60 husks in the bag, so I should be able to get 10 dolls from it. The husks need to soak in warm water for 20-30 minutes before using so they will be pliable. It is also helpful to precut eight 6″ pieces of string for each doll while the husks are soaking.
Since you use wet corn husks I didn’t get any pictures of the dolls being made – but I did make up a printable directions sheet. Click the image above or [download it here.] I combined several directions that I found online after I played around with the corn husk for the easiest way to make a doll, and added my own slightly misshapen drawings. :-) I printed the directions on card stock and ran them through the laminator for our field trip group; a gallon sized ziplock is the perfect size for holding an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper if you don’t happen to have a laminator handy (the cheap generic brands are the easiest to see through.)
You don’t have to put a piece across the front in an “x” but it looks much better if you do. I also tried making a doll with rubber bands – unlike twine they deteriorate within a year or two, but younger kids will find it much easier than knotting string, (and really, who is going to keep a corn husk doll much longer than that anyways?)
I used bright rubber bands to make them easy to see on my sample doll. It takes a full 12 hours for the dolls to dry out all the way. You could also braid strips of raffia or husk to make hair for your dolls, and use scrap fabric or raffia to decorate them after they have dried. Older kids would probably enjoy playing around with how the dolls are made, adding more husks to make the skirt fuller, or wrapping additional pieces over the torso to make a cloak or shirt.