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Make Thanksgiving Corn Husk Doll Place Cards for your Thanksgiving table!
Corn husk dolls have to be one of the oldest crafts in North America. Simple to construct with just a few supplies this is an easy fall craft to make once you get the basics down. With just corn husks and twist ties or wire you can make a bevy of these little beauties. Slip a name under their hands and use them as place card holders for your Thanksgiving dinner. As corn is in season in late summer and fall plan a few extra meals around it then gather up all those husks and set some time aside for this wonderful craft.
Fresh corn is easy to buy from the market or road side vendors when it is in season. Buy corn with all the husk still on and when you are ready to eat the corn remove the husks and the corn silk and set aside. You will be throwing out any outer husks that are dirty or marked or any silk that is black or dirty.
Cut off the tops and bottoms of the husk so the individual husks will lay flat, they will be about 6 to 8 inches long.
As they dry they will curl inward and some will curl into spirals. You will need some of these spiral husks to make the arms. You can start working with the husks in a day or two when they have started to dry out but are still light green and pliable but if you squeeze them no moisture appears. If they dry out completely just dip them in water and let sit for 5 minutes to moisten.
Take a husk and rolling it up squeeze it into a ball shape about the size of a marble. Place the ball in the center of another husk that you have flattened out and smooth it over the ball then take a twist tie and tie it at the base. Chose which side will be the face. Wrap a husk tightly sideways right under the head hiding the twist tie to make a neck. Make the top tighter than the bottom and secure with a twist tie.
Look for a husk that has twisted. Take two twist ties and knot them together. Slip the twist ties into the twisted husk so the ties do not show. Cut the excess husk and bend the very ends to look like little fists. Place this behind the neck of the corn husk doll about half an inch down from the head. Make sure you face is frontward.
Take a 6 inch corn husk and cut it in half to make two 3 inch strips. Fold each of these strips in half sideways and criss-cross them across the top of the doll on each side to form shoulders and a top. Secure with a twist tie just under where you would like the waist to be.
Take three or four smoothed flat husks and pinch them slightly in the middle. Place them equally around the doll over lapping where you want the waist to be. Using another twist tie, tie them at the waist. Gently pull the tops of the husks down to form a skirt. Hold the skirt in place with two twist ties joined together at the bottom of the skirt (these are temporary).
To make the dolls hair and cap take several strands of corn silk and twist them in one direction. Do this three times so you have three twisted strands. Braid these three strands together.
Take a piece of husk about 3 inches long and fold it in half sideways. Place the braid around the head so the ends of the braid are loose at the back of the neck. This will be her pony tail at the back. Place the folded husk just behind the braid at the front of the head and over the hair at the neck and using a twist tie gather both the braid and the husk together tightly. You can take a small strip of husk and tie a knot over the twist tie to hid it. Trim any excess hair and husk.
Let the doll dry standing up in the sun for a few days, the colour will change from light green to pale cream. When the doll is completely dry remove the twist ties from the bottom of the skirt and trim the skirt with a pair of scissors so the bottom is flat and she will be able to stand straight.
To make a wreath take a husk and split it in three lengthwise. Starting about 1 inch in braid them together and leave an inch at the end. Where the braid starts and stops join together in a loop and attach with a twist tie. Cover the twist tie with a small strip of husk. Trim the ends of the wreath to make it look like a bow. Let this dry in the sun. Bend the dolls wire arms so she can hold the wreath.
The second doll is holding three stalks of dried grass that look like a bouquet.
To use these on your table as place card holders either write, or print out in script on your printer, the names of your guests and cut the names in 3/4 inch wide strips. Make a birds beak cut in the end of the strip and using a glue stick, glue the start of the strip to the doll behind her hands.
If you are making several of these dolls as place card holders or for other decorations make all the their heads at one time so you will have a uniform size to all your dolls.
Once you have put one together you will see how quick and easy it is. These are a simple and lovely fall craft to make.