Reed Corn Dolly

reedcorndollythumb.jpgTraditional corn dolly making uses stalks of wheat or barley, but anything else long and flexible enough should work - I used five stalks of common rush (Juncus effusus) to make this.

Five Stalks

It is possible to make these with other numbers of stalks - 4 stalks will give a more angular look. 3 stalks doesn't work - it's just the same as braiding/plaiting. More than 5 stalks gives a rounder, more bulbous result, but if you use too many, it becomes hard to knot them at the start - and difficult to keep them all radially organised properly.

Only One Thing To Do

These really are very easy to make - there's only one operation to remember - you take the last reed you crossed, then cross it over the next two reeds, then repeat.

Whenever I go out walking and find suitable rushes, I like to make these and leave them on top of rocks, fenceposts, tree stumps and other places where people will discover them.


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1. On Sunday, August 25, 2013, 07:20 by Brad

I love this oneI'll have to do some research to see if/which similar reeds grow in Louisiana.;

2. On Sunday, August 25, 2013, 12:33 by Graeme Broster

Love the socks...

3. On Thursday, December 5, 2013, 04:13 by Devon

I remember making these with extra long paper straws. We made Christmas ornaments with bells inside at the Newark Art museum in New Jersey. Thanks for reminding me how to do it. Cheers.

4. On Thursday, July 31, 2014, 09:14 by Sheridan

I have desperately tried to make one of these but failed. The video you made is a little quickI was wondering if you could help me by explanation.It's in the small details like rotation after every operation etc. I regularly visit the stone circles in

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