Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn Husk Doll

We've all heard about them, and many of us have seen them but do you know how to make them? Here are the directions to make a corn husk doll that one of your characters might find themselves doing for a variety of reasons.


O such beautiful dolls as delight the hearts of the children of to-day, ever peeped forth from the Christmas-stockings of our grandmothers or great-grandmothers when they were little girls. In those times there were not, as there are now, thousands of people doing nothing but making toys for the entertainment and pleasure of the little ones, and the motherly little hearts were fain to content themselves with lavishing unlimited affection and care upon a rag, wooden, or corn-husk baby, made and dressed at home. Since then almost every child tired of, and surfeited with handsome and expensive toys, has been glad at times to get grandma to make for her a real old-fashioned dollie which might be hugged in rapturous moments of affection without fear of dislocating some of its numerous joints, or putting out of order its speaking or crying apparatus; and might in times of forgetfulness be dropped on the floor and suffer no injury thereby. Such a doll is just the kind to adopt for the summer. The fine French doll with its delicate wax or china face, silky hair, and dainty toilets, is more suited to the elegances of the parlor than to the wear and tear of out-door life, and everyone knows that summer holidays spent in the country are far too precious to be wasted taking care of anyone's complexion, let alone a doll's; so it is best to leave the city doll in her city home, safe out of harm's way, and manufacture, from materials to be found in the country, one more suited to country surroundings.
Corn-husks, corn-cobs, and ordinary garden flowers can be made into dolls which, although not quite so pretty nor so shapely as those produced from more costly material, yet possess a charm of their own which the children are not slow to perceive.
Little Indian girls, to whom store babies are unknown, make the most complete and durable corn-husk dolls, and the following directions tell just how to construct them:
Provide yourself with the husks of several large ears of corn, and from among them select the soft white ones which grow closest to the ear. Place the stiff ends of two husks together, fold a long, soft husk in a lengthwise strip, and wind it around the ends so placed as in Fig. in.
Select The Corn Husk the softest and widest husk you can find, fold it across the centre and place a piece of strong thread through it (as in Fig. 112), draw it in, tie it se-
curely (Fig. 113), place it entirely over the husks you have wound, then bring it down smoothly and tie with thread underneath (Fig. 114); this will form the head and neck.

To make the arms, divide the husks below the neck in two equal parts, fold together two or more husks and ins e r t them in the division (Fig. 115). Hold the arms in place with one hand, while with the other you fold alternately over each shoulder several layers of husks, allowing them to extend down the front and back. When the little form seems plump enough, use your best husks for the topmost layers and wrap the waist with strong thread, tying it securely (Fig. 116). Next divide the husks below the waist and make the legs by neatly wrapping each portion with thread, trimming them off evenly at the feet. Finally, twist the arms once or twice, tie, and trim them off at the hands. The features can be drawn on the face with pen and ink, or may be formed of small thorns from the rose-bush. Fig. 117 shows the doll complete, minus its costume, which may be of almost any style or material, from the pretty robe of a civilized lady.
Source: How to Amuse Yourself and Others ©1887

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