Native Americans used cornhusks to make spiritual messenger dolls. Early settlers in the Colonies painted faces on cornhusk dolls and made them into toys.
- Save some fine-grained inner cornhusks and store them in a dry place.
- Soak dried husks in warm water to make them easier to handle.
- If you want, dye them with regular fabric dyes (they pick up the color, but slowly).
- For the head, make a ball out of a cornhusk, fold two husks over the ball, and tie off for the neck with cotton string or heavy thread.
- Make arms by rolling husks into a tight tube or braiding three husks together, then put the piece through the middle of the doll.
- Make a dress by folding husks over each shoulder and crossing them at waist level.
- Tie the waist with string and cover with a narrow cornhusk.
- Trim the skirt so she can stand up.
- Glue on corn silk for hair, and make a bonnet out of a husk.
Illustration by Margo Letourneau