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Gardening projects for kids: Cornhusk dolls

by Timber Press on June 27, 2012

in Craft

The following project is an excerpt from The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids, your guide to getting kids outside, dirty, and having fun. Don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a set of kids’ garden tools, sunscreen, a copy of the book, and more!

You and your kids can use dry cornhusks, either from a three sisters garden or from a regular corn crop, to make dolls, animals, and even action figures. One mother and garden-based science teacher described the spontaneous creation of cornhusk action figures as her biggest garden craft surprise and joy. As imaginations were sparked, she would hear banter about corn ninjas, corn brides, and corn witches. Here was an activity that had delighted kids for hundreds of years, a solid part of our cultural heritage, still doing its magic today.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 10 dry cornhusks
  • Handful of dry corn silks
  • Soaking bowl filled with water
  • Scissors
  • Thin string
  • Dried flowers and twigs
  • A felt tip pen (optional)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Roll corn silks inside of a cornhusk to create the head.
  2. Wrap 1 long husk over the head and tie below the head to form the neck. Allow the corn silks to stick out from each side, making hair.
  3. Roll 2 husks together and tie them off at each end to create 1 long piece. Slip this piece under the neck to create arms. Now tie below this piece to hold the arms in place.
  4. Cut a hole in a large husk to create a tunic. Slip this tunic over the head and tie it off at the waist.
  5. Add skirt husks all around the waist and tie from below. Fold skirt husks down and add a sash along the top of the skirt to finish it off.
  6. If you want to make pants instead of a skirt, divide the skirt in half and tie off each half along the bottom to form legs.
  7. Decorate your doll however you like. You can draw on a face with a felt tip pen, add flowers to the hair and clothes, make tools from twigs, or do anything else you come up with.

(Photo credit: Whitney Cohen)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Arlene Johnson July 18, 2012 at 4:23 am

I am so pleased to have found childrens projects through TimberPress. I have 2 grandchildren, ages 6 and 9. They love making things for family members for the holidays. Thank you.

2 Brian Ridder, Marketing Coordinator July 18, 2012 at 10:18 am

Thanks for saying hello, Arlene. Good luck with the gardening projects for your grandkids!

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