How To Make Yarn Dollies

The use of poppets is both an ancient and popular tool for sympathetic magick.  The poppet is usually crafted to represent the person for whom the spell is being cast and is infused with the caster's intent and energy.  Often they are filled with such items as healing stones, herbs, trinkets, etc to enhance the potency of the spell.  

Corn dollies were originally created from the husks of the corn harvest.  It was believed that the corn spirits would reside in the dolly, which was kept inside the home, through the winter until the next harvest when it was ploughed into the first furrow of the new season.

And thirdly, a form of conjuring requires a physical form into which to create a golem, a creature manifested for a distinct purpose or set of tasks.

A yarn dolly is a great tool to be used in all of these (plus many other) rites and rituals.

To craft a yarn dolly is very easy and requires only a couple of items.  You'll need yarn in the color (or colors) of your choice, scissors, any accessories you wish to add such as ribbon, etc, and a sturdy piece of cardboard.  The larger the cardboard the larger your dolly will be.

Begin by wrapping the yarn around the cardboard once and tying a solid knot where they meet up top.   This will keep the yarn from slipping and your dolly from becoming unraveled later.

Now you want to wrap the yarn around the cardboard.  I would make at least 100 loops (that's right, one hundred) for a good sized dolly.  If you make it too thin your dolly will be very floppy and you will have a hard time adding anything to it such as herbs or stones.

 Also be careful when you're wrapping not to wrap it too tight so that the cardboard becomes bent or distorted.  While this won't ruin the dolly it will make your individual loops very uneven.

Once you've wrapped a good amount of yarn cut the string from the spool and make another knot, securing this end.

Now cut another length of yarn and push it beneath the main bulk.  Tie this string very tightly at the top, pulling the entire bunch together.  Then bend the cardboard enough so that you can slide the whole thing off.

 At this point I generally like to make a second knot at the top just to make sure that the entire bunch is securely tied.

Now take another piece of yarn and create another knot toward the top, forming the head of the dolly:

 Again, I make a couple of knots here for added security.  The size of the head is completely up to you.  If you plan to craft a face on it using buttons, etc take that into consideration when choosing the size.

Then you want to separate two sections on the sides to be the arms:

And now create the body by tying another piece of yarn below the head.

Starting to take shape, eh?  

How you craft the arms is completely up to you.  For this dolly I chose to braid them, making them a bit more rigid.  To do this simply cut the loops at the end of the arm and braid them, tying them off at the end just as we have for the head and body:

I cut the strings on the end after tying it off to give it a more uniform "puff" after the knot.  Do the same with the other arm.

If you want your dolly to appear as though it is wearing a skirt, now is a good time to stop.  You can cut the ends of the skirt loops if you'd like for a different look or leave it as is.  If you'd like your dolly to have legs then simply separate the remaining loops into two equal parts and either tie them off at the ends or braid them then tie them off.

Now you can choose to decorate them or leave them as is.  I chose to leave mine alone for two reasons.  One, I lost them as soon as they were finished.  Why, you ask?  Because of reason two:  My son snatched them up and wouldn't let me have them back.  I had to settle for taking his picture with them.

Happy crafting!

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