Living Like Little House in the Big Woods ~ Homemade Dolls

by Merissa on January 5, 2011

in Living Like Little House

I promised, and here it is. A whole series about frugal living based off the Little House books! My tenative plan for this series is to run each book for about 2 weeks. I'll be doing 3 different posts each week about crafts, frugal living, recipes, and more. There will be fun things to do, fun giveaways, and hopefully we might all learn something!

Of course I need to start at the beginning, where it all started, The Little House in the Big Woods. I've actually been to Pepin and the site where the little house was in Wisconsin. It helps you get a true sense for where these books really were based and when you read through them you can picture all the things that Laura talks about. Lake Pepin, the big woods, the little cabin where they lived.

We are going to start this series off with a little craft.

"Mary was bigger than Laura, and she had a rag doll named Nettie. Laura had only a corncob wrapped in a handkerchief, but it was a good doll. It was named Susan. It wasn't Susan's fault that she was only a corncob. Sometimes Mary let Laura hold Nettie, but she only did it when Susan couldn't see." ~ Little House in the Big Woods p. 20-21

Since I was homeschooled we got to do a bunch of different craft projects that I might not have gotten to do in public school. Mom did a whole series with on based on the Little House books because we loved them so much. So, naturally, one of these crafts was to make a corncob doll. Once I realized you could make your own dolls we had a whole bunch of different dolls. Dolls made with pipe cleaners, dolls made from yarn, paper dolls we cut out from magazines....and so on. To us it didn't matter that they didn't come from the store, they were perfect anyways. I'm pretty sure I had a whole family of yarn dolls and the pipe cleaner dolls were special so they got to live in the dollhouse, the yarn dolls only got to visit sometimes.

Here's how to make your very own corn cob doll with your little girl!

Here is a picture of what you need. A scrap of fabric for the dress. A dried corncob, a dried piece of corn husk that was hung over a chair while drying, and a few pieces of string or ribbons.

Wrap the fabric around the corncob leaving room for a head on one end. Tie it securely with a string or ribbon.
Put the folded, dried corn husk over the other end of the corn cob to make the bonnet. Tie in place with a string or ribbon. Tie securely but not too tight, you don't want to break the husk!
And that really it is! Now you have your very own corn husk doll!

Make sure you read the entire Living Like Little House series!

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10:20 pm

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle January 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Awesome! Thanks so much.


2 Marly January 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm

AWESOME Start to a great series!!! : )


3 Rachel October 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I have a Question , You said about the little house replica in pepin. What state and where is pepin?


4 Merissa October 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Pepin is located in Wisconsin.


5 Brenda January 7, 2013 at 6:44 am

Great website! Our family is currently reading the Little house on the Praire series. Thank you for your website.


6 LAC June 30, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I’m going to make these for my granddaughter who is three. I wonder how she will react to the corncob doll since she loves pumpkins and has kissed them when I have given them to her! I wonder if she will kiss the corncob doll I can’t wait to find out!


7 jody November 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

Love this! We are enjoying a rainy, cold day here so this is a great project for us to do! Thanks for sharing!


8 Vicki March 6, 2014 at 12:29 am

Thank you so much for sharing!! My 2 little girls and I are currently
On the 2nd book and have been this past week been living w/out
Running water or electricity (due to a severe storm that caused a tree
To fall on our power pole) anyway the girls are actually enjoying their
Adventure !!


9 karen July 31, 2014 at 10:57 am

Those yarn dolls bring back the best memories for me! In the early 60’s my mom made them and I thought they were SO special! The only time I got toys was birthday and Christmas. Mom made them in red and white and green and white for Christmas packages, instead of bows. She was a very young farm wife living on a 11$ a week milk check so she had to be thrifty! Thanks for the memories!


10 Jorane March 29, 2015 at 12:20 am

This is adorable. I’ve loved the Little House series since I was young (I believe I was 5 when the series was first read to me) and I’m so glad I found your blog!


11 Jo Ann Golla March 14, 2016 at 3:23 pm

How long does it take to dry out the corn cob? I would like to do this with my daughter however her school project is due in 3 days! Any suggestions? Thanks!


12 Merissa March 14, 2016 at 3:56 pm

I’ve not actually timed it because I’ve only used old corn cobs that are already dried but I’m pretty sure it takes longer than 3 days. I’m not sure if there is a way it could be dried quicker without it becoming too much of a fire hazard either. (Unless you have a dehydrator? That may work…) Sorry I can’t be of more help!


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