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DIY Corn Husk Flower Child Doll

Corn husk dolls were made by Native Americans way back in the day, as a way for little girls to have a friend they could take with them everywhere. After making one today, I can’t believe I ever stopped playing with dolls – they are SO much fun.

What you need:

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Dried corn husks or tamale wrappers (you can find them in the international section at your supermarket)
Pipe cleaners (I got mine  at A.C. Moore)
Twine or string
Little fake flowers
A hot glue gun

What you do:

First, soak your husks in warm water for about ten minutes. This will soften them up, allowing them to be pliable. Blot them dry.

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Take about 20 pieces of twine or string (10 inches long each), and tie them into a knot at the end. This will be your doll’s head! I tied mine twice just to make it a tad bigger.

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Take 2 corn husk layers and place them underneath your string, with the knot at the bottom. Place 2 more layers on top and then tie a piece of twine above your knot.

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Peel the husk layers down, revealing the doll’s hair. Tie a piece of string beneath the large knot, creating a neck. Place this aside.

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Time for the arms and legs! Take three corn husk layers and roll each one up, lengthwise, with a pipe cleaner in the middle of one. Tie together at one end with a piece of twine. Then braid the pieces together and secure with twine on the other end. Trim your pipe cleaner if it’s too long. This one braid will act as both arms. Repeat this step two more times, once for each leg. You don’t need to include a pipe cleaner for the legs unless you’d like them to be posable.

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Open up the front flap of the first piece you made and position arms and legs in place. Close the flap and secure everything in place by tying a string around the doll’s waist. Wrap the string around a few times to make sure it’s secure!

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Now for the flower crown! Cut a piece of string about 5 inches long. Cover with tiny flowers, using hot glue. Leave an inch of space on either end so that you can tie it around your doll’s head!

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Tie the crown around your doll’s head and she’s all finished!

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

The best part about corn husk dolls is that you can play with their hair! I even did a little fishtail braid on mine. :) I love how she looks like she’s jumping for joy and throwing flowers in the air here:

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Have fun!

DIY Corn Husk Dolls

Photos by Brigette.

More DIY projects we love!

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Claudia -October 25, 2012, 10:19AM

This is adorable!! My mum would make dolls out of Banana Leaves when she was a child! I love making dolls


sarah -October 25, 2012, 11:49AM

so adorb! reminds me of making this kind of thing in girl scouts


Samantha -October 25, 2012, 8:01PM

Oh my goodness, these are absolutely adorable! I’m definitely going to make one of these <3

Concerned -October 26, 2012, 2:54AM

Firstly, I would like to declare that cultural protection is not an attack, on the author of the Cornhusk doll post or to the Free People company. I only hope to prevent the preservation of stereotypes and offense to other Native American readers.
This is a message about the most recent post about cornhusk dolls. It is extremely offensive that your blog has chosen to use the terms “were made” and “way back in the day”.
These past tense grammatical phrases educate your readers that Native Americans no longer exist, no longer make cornhusk dolls, and are no longer a living culture.
This would not be an issue if you did not take advantage of Native American culture to validate your DIY project. Simply post a DIY about cornhusk dolls and you do not need to associate it to a culture. This would offend no one. Cornhusk dolls were not made just for “girls to have a friend”. They often reflect a cultural creation story or spiritual idea that is very close to the values of many tribes. You have educated your readers incorrectly and have wrongly represented a culture that you do not belong to.
You might ask why a “trivial” post on a blog about DIY’s can be so offensive or deserving of sensitivity. However, it will preserve this stereotype for your audience. This how stereotypes have been preserved for so many years. If you wouldn’t post about a DIY to make a Pope hat or wear a religious uniform while partying, then please take care while posting about religious Native American traditions. Cornhusk dolls are a religious matter and deserve to be treated with an appropriate level of respect. My religion is not a trend, is not a product, and it is not a DIY. I urge you to change the language of your post.

fp brigette -October 26, 2012, 10:21AM

Hi! I am so sorry that you were offended by the wording in this post. I absolutely did not mean to take advantage of Native American culture or to be insensitive in any way. The reason I mentioned the culture to begin with was to show where these dolls originally from; to credit the culture with the creation of such a beautiful thing. It surprises and saddens me that this mentioning did the opposite for you. I in no way meant to say that Native Americans no longer exist — the phrase “way back in the day” was referring to the fact that these dolls have been around for quite a long time. I am so inspired by Native American culture and wanted to share the inspiration with others. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

Meghan -October 29, 2012, 5:31AM

Although I see your point and respect your right to discuss your views freely, I don’t believe that Brigette intended to put a negative light on the Native American culture, as she has stated above. From reading her brief post, I did not take away all of the issues mentioned in your post, but rather an appreciation for the culture (which we all know is still alive and well). Rather than thinking that others are attacking you, you might want to look again and see the context through which it is used and understand the other parties’ side before jumping to conclusions of your own.

Julia -November 23, 2012, 12:43AM

I love making dolls. I use to take flowers and flower buds to make cute dolls in dresses. I am going to make some of these dolls to decorate the house.

binanouna -January 17, 2013, 5:29AM

wooooooooooow ♥

binanouna -January 17, 2013, 5:30AM

I love it

tiesha -March 4, 2013, 12:36PM

will yuo help me with dolls makers

Anonymous -September 21, 2013, 4:45AM

Its okay

Samantha ♥ -September 29, 2013, 8:54PM

Definitely worth a try! I really love this idea. You did a lovely job :)

Katlyn -April 19, 2014, 3:42PM

This is so adorable! I need to make a corn husk doll for school and this really helped me thanks!

Katlyn -April 19, 2014, 3:43PM

This is so adorable! I need to make a corn husk doll for school and this really helped me. Thank you!

Jessica -June 19, 2014, 4:44PM

I love this. I’ve been wanting to make one of these since I first saw this post; today I have the materials & am finally going to make one! :)

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