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Let's Make Voodoo Poppets!

makeavoodoodoll

Voodoo Poppets

Okay, so I have covered how to make a Voodoo doll out of two sticks and Spanish moss in my other hub How to Make a Voodoo Doll.

But what about Voodoo Poppets?

The making of making of dolls, poppets, fetishes, and ritual effigies has taken place since antiquity. Human-like forms made of clay, stone, cloth, wax, roots, and wood meant to contain the essence or power of particular spirits can be found from early paleolithic cultures to contemporary society.In ancient times, dolls were used as representations of a deity, and played a central role in religious ceremonies and rituals. Effigies, for example, were used in religious rituals to represent an undesired person or spirit and burned to destroy the unwanted element. In traditional European pagan cultures, corn dollies were made of straw and associated with harvest customs. Native American Kachinas dolls were meticulously carved from cottonwood root and painted to represent figures from Hopi mythology. Voodoo dolls are believed to be used by slaves as spiritual tools of empowerment and protection. In many early cultures, dolls were used for fertility purposes. Today, Voodoo dolls and poppets continue to be used in magick and ritual.Poppets can be used for healing purposes, promoting health, finding love, creating happiness and good luck, for protection, for binding, cursing, and to manipulate energy in numerous other ways. Poppets comes in several forms, including wax, cloth, paper, wood, root, and clay. This article covers some of the different types of Voodoo poppets and also provides instructions for making your very own Voodoo poppet doll.

How to Make a Voodoo Doll Out of Anything

Ways to Make Poppets - From: Voodoo Dolls in Magick and Ritual

Here are some ways you can make poppets - from wax to paper to wood and more.

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  1. Wax PoppetsTo make a wax poppet, coat you hands with a few drops of essential oil, and mold a shape out of softened wax and adorn it with stones, beads, or draw names or symbols into the form. You can add hair or nail clippings or some other personal effect of the person it represents.
  2. Root PoppetsRoot poppets can be made out of naturally shaped roots that look like figures, or they can be carved out of root vegetables like potatoes. In the past, they have been made out of mandrake roots or ginseng which can look amazingly human in form. Mandrake poppets are also called fetishes. Superstitious people were so afraid of the appearance of mandrake roots that they would draw a circle around it or tie a dog to the plant to protect themselves when the root was pulled from the ground. It was believed that the mandrake could kill a person from the screams so powerful. The root was worn around the neck. Men and lesbian women should carry with them the feminine, White Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum var. vernalis), or the substitute, White Bryony (Bryonia dioica).
  3. Clay PoppetsClay poppets are molded out of any number of types of clay. In New Orleans, a traditional type of Voodoo doll involves constructing the doll out of the clay from crawfish holes. Create a hollow space in the clay to place personal effects of the spell recipient, or fill with special herbs or drawn symbols and then seal. Paint or adorn the clay accordingly.
  4. Wood PoppetsWood poppets can be made in a number of ways. One way is to simply nail a couple of pieces of scrap wood together. Another way is to carve a figure form out of soft wood. Glue hair to the head or yarn representing hair, and paint the wood with acrylic paint. You can paint symbols, names or paint clothes, or a face. You are limited only by your imagination.
  5. Paper PoppetsPaper Voodoo poppets are the easiest of all of the dolls to make. They are quick, yet effective. The next chapter provides detailed instructions for making your own paper Voodoo dolls. Make one, and then use it in spells that call for Voodoo dolls.
Poppet pattern

Poppet pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 1: Gather Materials

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • pattern
  • scissors
  • cardstock
  • black and white nylon thread or waxed beading thread
  • hemp cord
  • leather
  • needle
  • regular sewing needle
  • fabric glue
  • thin leather
  • fabric scraps
  • straight pins
  • Spanish moss
  • 2-5 buttons
  • patience & creativity

INSTRUCTIONS

This tutorial assumes you know how to sew a basic stitch. I like to use blanket stitch when sewing felt, but this is just a personal preference.

STEP ONE

Pick out a pattern and cut it out on card stock.

Poppet Pattern

Poppet Pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 2

Place your pattern on your piece of leather. Pin the pattern to the leather with your straight pins.

Poppet Pattern

Poppet Pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 3

Cut out the pattern, leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat, so you have two sides.

Poppet Pattern

Poppet Pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 4

Unpin the paper patterns. Cut the leather down the middle of each side (optional).Artist hint: leather has two different looks. one side is smooth and the other side is rougher. also, one side is typically lighter than the other. I decided to make one half dark and the other half light. This is purely aesthetic and not necessary, but I think it makes him look cool. it is also a sort of take on the traditional new orleans harlequin dolls that are made using half black and half white material (but that's another tutorial).

makeavoodoodoll

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 5

Place the patterns together and sew around the entire edge of the Voodoo doll. On one side of the doll sew all the way up the middle.On the other side, starting from the head, sew halfway down. From the bottom, sew halfway up. You should have an opening on one side of the doll where you will put the stuffing. You can leave the feet and arms open if you want. I sewed the hands on mine, and left the feet open.

Poppet Pattern

Poppet Pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 6

Take the Spanish moss and stuff your Voodoo doll with it. If you want, you can turn the pattern inside out first. This is entirely optional and depends on how you want him to look.Mojo magick hint: If you intend to use this Voodoo doll ritualistically, now is the time to place other herbs and items inside to make him magickal and powerful. Because I want mine to bring business success to his ultimate possessor, I placed some sage inside and infused it with sage essential oil, about 15 drops. You could also place a piece of fool's gold or a coin inside him. This guy smells awesome!

Poppet Pattern

Poppet Pattern

How to Make a Voodoo Poppet: Step 7

Sew the opening closed. Tie the feet closed with the hemp cord. If you left the hands open, now is the time to tie them closed also.Artist hint: It looks cool to leave a little Spanish moss coming out of the feet and hands.Decide which side you want to use as the front and sew the two buttons on for eyes.Congratulations!You have made your very own handmade Voodoo doll poppet!

The Voodoo Doll Spellbook

makeavoodoodoll

Now What?

Once you have made the basic poppet, you can stop here or keep going by making the poppet male or female, dressing it in clothes, or otherwise decorating it.Here is a picture of a businessman poppet made from this very pattern.

Lucky Gambling Poppet

Lucky Gambling Poppet

Lucky Gambling Poppet

Bayou Swamp Ju Ju Poppet

Bayou Swamp Ju Ju Poppet

Bayou Swamp Ju Ju Poppet

Bayou Swamp Baby

Bayou Swamp Baby

Bayou Swamp Baby

Swamp Baby

Swamp Baby

Swamp Baby

Reader Feedback

Denise M Alvarado (author) from Southwest on September 10, 2014:

If folks are interested in a really intense class for making some serious Voodoo dolls, check out http://www.crossroads-university.com/doll-baby-con...

VivekS on July 08, 2010:

Wish I had tested my creative talents on them rather surfing the lenses all day long. Inspiring and good show of stamina.

anonymous on January 16, 2009:

i like this poppet! i like the ""gingerbread"" pattern ones like this.thanks.

psychfaerie on August 26, 2007:

This was awesome! Thanks for the info!