Sunday, March 2, 2008

Early American CornCob Doll Tutorial

Hello everyone! Hope you are all having a blessed Sunday! I had intended on today's tutorial to be on how to make hard tack. However last night I realized I was out of one of the ingredients so I came up with a whole new tutorial. This was the first time I have ever made one of these dolls and it was so fun and easy. This is a perfect safe project to do with your children as you explain to them that earlier pioneer children used to play with these. Here is a bit of history on these wonderful little dolls;
In the earlier days of our country, corn was used for a variety of things. Corn was eaten by the pioneers and also fed to the livestock. All parts of the corn plant were used. The cornstalk was used to fashion corns stalk fiddles; the corn husks were braided into primitive chair seats, baskets and rugs; the corncobs were ground into feed or fertilizer OR were used to make dolls.
One of the most popular uses of the corn husks was the making of traditional corn husk dolls, a craft the settlers acquired from the Native American Indian. The corncobs were made into 'play-pretty' dolls. Very few early American families could afford store-bought dolls,but almost anyone could make a primitive corn husk or corncob doll.
1 dried out corncob; corn removed
scrap piece of homespun or calico
scrap piece of stained muslin
corn husk for bonnet (cheesecloth or fabric also works)
sewing thread
spices (optional)
Lets begin!
Begin by tearing your muslin into an inch wide strip. Wrap the strip around the cob from top to bottom. I used two strips tacking it off with thread where the strip ends. At the top only,hand sew a gathering stitch and pull tight. Tack thread down. Cut out two rectangles of your dress fabric. Sew up the two sides by hand or machine. Turn the edge under on the top edge of the dress and sew a gathering stitch. Pull tight and tack to the doll. Now is where you can get creative. Stitch a face or leave it plain; I grubbied my face with spices. I cut a small piece of cheesecloth and tied it to the doll loosely; making sure you don't cinch the waist in too much. If you are using dried shuck for the bonnet cut a small 1 inch wide piece and tie it on with twine. I added a little sprig of dried flax in her apron. Enjoy your Early American CornCob Doll :) As with all my tutorials all I ask is that you do not sell these directions. Please share with others freely as it was freely given to you. May God Bless You All.


Homespun Heart Primitives said...

Thank you Jill! I love your tutorials. Mmm, maybe my granddaughter and I can make this one.

Primcyn said...

Jill, this is just adorable and I love it! thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas,,,will have my hubby save me a couple of those corncobs we have left from feeding the squirrles!

Terri said...

I totally enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you! My dad always used the term "play-pretty". Have never heard anyone else use it before. Brought back memories. :-)

SympleTymes/PrimitiveRose said...

Oh wow Thank You JIll this is a wonderful tutorial!I also linked it to my blog too.I hope I can find a corncob I live in Fl we et them at Thanksgiving time well even thats Indian Corn.I will get one some how some way..They look fun
Thank You again od Bless you

yorkie's primitives said...

Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial. I love this doll! My granddaughter is always wanting to help me and this is perfect.

Donna said...

I can see I will be drying out corn cobs tonight!! lol!!! I just bought some to throw on the grill...and told everyone if they toss there cobs...I'm tossing them!!! lol!!! I love thease...and what any easy peasy way to make some wonderful little prairies!!!! I can feel a Sunday project comming on..and I have sooo had no motivation!!! Lol!! thanks for the motivation sweetie... now lets hope it stays!!! At least til tomorrow!!!lmboff!!!