One more doll…I promise. Just one.

You’re probably thinking, “Does this woman think about anything else besides dolls?”  Why, yes.  I do.  But this is a different KIND of doll.  The kind I’ve longed to make for quite some time now.  And last year at ChristyFest, I realized that dream.  And since my dreams are sometimes small, a busy Monday seemed like a good time to share.  Or not.  You be the judge!!

It all began with the above pretty lady.  My aunt gave her to me years ago.  Her usual appearance in our living room is Christmas time!  This is the fine art of making corn husk dolls at its best!  Lots of detail.  A bit of glitter.  A cute sled piled high with presents.  Add a little fake snow for her to stand on with a paper tree behind her and you have a nice holiday scene! 

But I wanted to know how in the world these dolls were made.  I found a book.  I got busy with other “stuff”. No corn husk doll.  Because I procrastinated.  Not because I didn’t have the materials.  If there’s one thing we don’t lack around this farm…it’s corn husks.  I gather them to make tamales with.  I gather them still hugging huge, fat ears of corn that I dry to grind for cornmeal, which later morphs into cornbread.  But sadly, no corn husk dolls.

Ruby May the doll, on the Christy shelf, beside the Christy Schoolhouse and the Christy books. Yes, seriously. I’m big on themes! 🙂

So last summer, when The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center asked what events we wanted to feature on the Friday event of ChristyFest and making a corn husk doll was one of the choices, I jumped at the doll making!!!  Finally!  Someone who could teach me how! 



Our Corn Husk Doll Teacher was THE best! Her instructions were simple and it was a hands-on project.  One of our special guests for the festival was Emily Hope Webster, who played Ruby May in Christy.  And since Ruby May/Emily had beautiful, long red hair, I grabbed a handful of the corn silks and created instant hair for Ruby May, the Doll! Yep, I’m a genius!

Ruby May, the Doll, 2011

This year, we again had a corn husk doll maker teaching classes and our special guest, Shellie Tomlinson, tried her hand at making a doll. And she did good!!!!  Actually, I’m not sure there IS such a thing as a bad corn husk doll, but Shellie’s rocked.  Marilyn Mitchem, who was one of our featured speakers also made a doll, who she christened, Shellie.  We are SO original, us Crispy Critters!!!

The lovely Shellie and her doll…uh, Shellie..did you name your doll?!!!



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5 Responses to One more doll…I promise. Just one.

  1. servetus says:

    It’s a lot of fun! I made one in Girl Scouts 35 years ago — it’s still around and in decent shape.


    • The Queen says:

      I don’t know why I find them so intriguing, but I do! Wow! And you still have it!


      • servetus says:

        it wasn’t a very sophisticated one — it doesn’t have clothes or anything, just tied together with string and some features drawn on the face with ink pens, I guess. But it’s held up really well. For some reason the corn husks didn’t get fragile — they got tougher.


  2. heartfelt says:

    I’ve never made a corn husk doll, Queenie, but they do seem sweet and very old fashioned. It’s funny that you’re discussing dolls again since, just today, a customer asked if I had every mad a Hollyhock doll when I was a child. She was reminded of them when she came across our Hollyhock plants for sale.Sadly, I had not had the pleasure, but would love to learn. Something I could do with the grandchildren. Do you have any pointers?


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