There is a lot to fear these days. With the increase in Covid-19 cases, the new darkness of standard time, and the election unfolding in a few days, anyone could use an additional outlet to release some anxiety. It’s the perfect week to turn your journal into a handful of eerie dolls.
Worry dolls, or muñecas quitapena, are native to the highlands of Guatemala, and legend has it that if you whisper your worries to these tiny dolls before bed and put them under your pillow, your worries will go away when you wake up. .
They are traditionally made of wood or wire and decorated with fabric and other materials. It’s easy to make your own version of these humble little dolls with a little newspaper and some household items. Keep them safe in a homemade envelope or small bag. Who knows, you might even sleep a little more soundly by venting all that extra worry before bed.
Cut a strip about two inches wide from the newspaper, from the bottom of the page to the center crease. Cut a third of the strip you just made, then cut it horizontally into two long rectangular pieces. You should now have three small pieces of newspaper. This is what you will use to make two marigold dolls.
Using the toothpick, wrap the larger piece of paper around it (but not so tightly that you can’t pull it out). Put a small amount of glue along the end and finish rolling. Carefully remove the toothpick and cut the paper cylinder in half. These will be the two parts of the body.
Follow the same steps to roll up and glue the two small pieces of newspaper. It will be the weapons. You should now have four small rolls of newspaper all together.
Using the toothpick, make an imprint on the two large rolls of “body” newspaper a third of the way from the top. Put a small dot of glue in the indentation and place one of the smaller “arms” on top of the glue, perpendicular to the body and push gently.
Crumple up a small piece of newspaper and tape it on top and let it dry. Once attached, cut the arms a little shorter to have a tiny “t” shape. You now have the base for two marigold dolls.
Now is the time to decorate! Use a marker pen to color the hair, face, arms and body of each doll. The head and arms must be one color and the lower body another color. Be sure to change the colors to make your dolls unique.
With your embroidery floss or string, wrap an “x” shape around the arms and body, leaving an unwrapped tail. Continue to wrap around the arms and body until the newspaper underneath is covered.
Tie the yarn in a knot with the tail piece, cut off the excess yarn and push the strings with the toothpick to hide the ends.