Make a Handkerchief Doll

screen-shot-2016-11-19-at-3-45-54-pmMaterials needed:

  • 1 Lg. Man’s Handkerchief (Today we will have to put lace around the outside. In the olden days the man’s hanky was made as pretty as the lady’s but larger.)
  • 4 pieces of 1/2 inch ribbon (Blue=boys Pink=girls) or whatever choice you may make. Thin rope or twine was used as well.
  • 6 inches x 6 inches of light material (head) stuff with cotton or straw. Head should be about 2 inches round with neckline hanging in order to make wrap with ribbon.


  1. Lay the handkerchief out to form a square. Take head after stuffed and put it at the center of the hanky just below the top. Enough room should be present in order to cover toward face of head. Wrap ribbon around neck area and the first step is completed.
  2. Next take tips of upper handkerchief one at a time and pull up from middle section of the point below. This will make the first arm. Tie a piece of ribbon at the shoulder joint. Repeat for 2nd arm.
  3. The third step is the easiest. Take a piece of ribbon and tie it around the waist. This makes the hanky look like it has a body.
  4. The last step is to make a face or not. Many times in old the dolls had what we call prayer faces. Closed eyes sewed on by hand with just a basic stitch. As time moved on in history of course doll faces became more involved.

The History of the Handkerchief doll has been known for years especially in the more religious rites they were known as the prayer doll. Little girls were given these dolls to take to church with them and if they dropped them no sound would be heard to disturb the congregation.

As time passed more dolls and larger dolls were being made. The other dolls that were made at this early age were the pillow case doll and the pioneer doll. The first one being made very much like the handkerchief doll.

The Pioneer doll had arms and legs made from material as well as the trunk and head. Dolls like Raggedy Anne and Andy came along quickly to please many a child. Today Dolls are made from different types of rubber, plastics, Porcelain, and various other materials

Just as a fact to remember the prayer doll could have been made out of straw as well as with material.

Corn Husk Doll

The Indians were the first to make the corn husk doll. Corn husks were dried, tied, and fashioned into men, women and childern. All additional features were made of corn husk. Faces were painted, and sticks were used to make arms and sometimes legs.

The corn husk doll you make will differ from the original Indian design. This doll is created with yarn, which when properly tied, produces all of the parts of the body. Your creativity and imagination will transform these characterless shapes into your favorite storybook figures. Use other materials to create clothing and glue on facial features.

Things You Need: 12 corn husks yarn, string or cord

Get the husks from 2 or 3 ears of corn. Soak them in water until they are soft and easy to bend.

  1. Put together 3 corn husks that are the same length and fold them in half.
  2. Tie a string one inch from the fold to make a head.
  3. For the arms, cut two corn husk leaves about 5 inches long. Tie strings 1/2 inch from end to make hands
  4. Carefully part the husks of the body and slide arms through into place.
  5. Tie string around the body just below the arms to hold them in place.
  6. Paint or use markers to make a face and clothes on the doll. You may also use scraps of material to make clothes for your doll.
  7. For boy doll, follow the same steps as above, then slit the corn husks from the bottom to 1/2 inch below waist tie. Tie strings around bottom of each “leg.”

Build a Kite

Have you ever wanted to build a kite? Well, here is a simple kite you can make yourself!

A kite consists of these basic parts:

The Spine. The up-and-down, or vertical stick that you build your kite around.
The Spar. The support stick(s), that are placed crossways or at a slant over the spine. Sometimes they are curved or bowed.
The Frame. The joined spine and spars, usually with a string connecting their ends, that form the shape of the kite and make a support for the cover.
The Cover. The paper, plastic, or cloth, that cover the frame to make a kite.
The Bridle. One or more strings attached to the spine or spars, which help control the kite in the air.
The Flying Line. The string running from the kites’ bridle, where you hold to fly the kite.
The Tail. A long strip of paper or plastic of ribbon that helps to balance the kite in flight. Not all kites need tails.
The Reel. The object you use to wind your flying line, to keep it from getting tangled or flying away.

Diamond Kite


  • butcher cord or thin garden twine
  • scotch tape or glue
  • 1 sheet of strong paper 40 inches x 40 inches(102cm x 102cm)
  • 2 strong, straight wooden sticks of bamboo or wooden doweling 35 1/2 inches & 40 inches (90cm and 102cm)
  • markers, paint or crayons to decorate you kite.

1. Make a cross with the two sticks, with the shorter stick placed horizontally across the longer stick. Make sure that both sides of the cross piece is equal in width.

2. Tie the two sticks together with the string in such a way as to make sure that they are at right angles to each other. A good way to ensure that the joint is strong to put a dab of glue to stick it in place.

3. Cut a notch at each end of both sticks. Make it deep enough for the type of string you are using to fit in to. Cut a piece of string long enough to stretch all around the kite frame. Make a loop in the top notch and fasten it by wrapping the string around the stick. Stretch the string through the notch at one end of the cross-piece, and make another loop at the bottom. Stretch the string through the notch at one end of the loop at the bottom. Stretch the string through the notch at the other end of the cross-piece. Finish by wrapping the string a few times around the top of the stick and cutting off what you don’t need. This string frame must be taut, but not so tight as to warp the sticks.

4. Lay the sail material flat and place the stick frame face down on top. Cut around it, leaving about 1 inch (2-3cm) for a margin. Fold these edges over the string frame and tape or glue it down so that the material is tight.

5. Cut a piece of string about 48 inches (122 cm) long. and tie one end to the loop at the other end of the string to the loop at the bottom. Tie another small loop in the string just above the intersection of the two cross pieces. This will be the kite’s bridle, the string to which the flying line is attached.

6. Make a tail by tying a small ribbon roughly every 4 inches (10cm) along the length of string. Attach the tail to the loop at the bottom of the kite.

7. Decorate!


  • A properly located pivot point is generally located slightly ahead of the center of gravity.
  • Cut away from you!
  • Spray can glue is really good for patching up paper kites.
  • Stability is improved by the use of an effective bow and a flexible tail.
  • Hold your kite up by the string when you are finished to see if it is balanced. You can balance it by putting more paper on one side.
  • Kites are different each time you make one, so slight adjustments might need to be made for each kite.

One favorite American burden carrier was made quickly from a square pice of canvas or waterproofed silcloth, known in the New England as a “summer cloth,’ which folded into a knapsack. Apples or grain could be carried in a summer cloth, but so could water or milk. The word summer ha nothing to do with the season, but stemmed from the ancient word sumpter meaning burden or burden-horse. Farmers in the north country still keep a square pice of waxed sailcloth in their wagons to carry water for their horses, for a buck will dry out leak, but a canvas bucket will always hold water. The drawing shows how to fold a summer cloth, in place of pins a plain torn from a thrown tree will do the hob of fastening the material. Indins have been known to make such an arrangement of birchbark, which will not burn as long as there is liquid on the inside, and will boil water over an open fire!
Diary of an Early American Boy – Eric Slone

What is waxed canvas?

Waxed canvas is a densely woven cotton fabric that has been saturated with wax, giving it an extra layer of protection against the elements. The waxed coating is made from either a paraffin or beeswax. There are many tutorials available on-line that teach you how to make your own waxed cloth.