Voodoo That You Do

by Taryn

I’m sure there are months of the year more dreaded than February. In fact, Christmas-related suicides are probably much more frequent than Valentine-related ones, but there is an astounding amount of angst surrounding February 14th. People tend to feel quite strongly about this holiday. There’s no in-between; we either love or hate it--and logic would say this depends largely on whether we’re part of a couple at the time. And does anyone know (or care) if there really was a priest named St. Valentine who secretly performed marriages for soldiers who were forbidden to marry, or if the day was created by greeting card companies seeking to rob us of hard-earned money?

Either way, the date continues to inspire powerful wishful thoughts, both of love and revenge. Chances are, these strong feelings are directed at someone in particular, so what better way to channel this current of emotions than the construction of a voodoo doll? There’s nothing like creating a ritual effigy of the object of your affection--or aversion, as the case may be--to ring in yet another Valentine’s Day.

Disclaimer: Craftygal, Inc. does not condone the usage of voodoo curses or spells, and does not take responsibility for any consequences resulting from such an activity (unless, of course, they’re thoroughly brilliant and good, in which case, we’ll assume full credit).

So where do we begin? Well, the nice thing about this craft is that there’s no wrong way to do it. It’s important to note right off that choosing the supplies is equally as important as the construction. Because this is an external representation of your feelings, both the supplies and the construction process should reflect your own unique style. If, for example, you prefer to sew, just draw the pattern of a 9-inch body on two pieces of fabric, sew them together, stuff it, decorate it with symbols, and stick it (if you will). The process described here, however, is loosely based on the voodoo dolls of New Orleans, which gives you a lot of creative freedom. I’ve fashioned a Valentine-themed doll to demonstrate just a few of the available options.


Skeletal structure - Traditionally, twigs from local trees are used, but you may find scrap wood or Popsicle sticks more to your liking.

Binding - twine, string, or ribbon

Stuffing - moss, raffia, cotton

Decor - buttons, feathers, glitter, pompoms, sequins, candy

Fabric of your choosing

Fabric pen or metallic paint marker

Stickpins with colored or black and white heads

Glue-gun (optional)

1. First, create a cross with the twigs or sticks. Tie with twine or glue until somewhat sturdy.

2. Cover the "skeleton" with some type of stuffing. For the Valentine's Day inspired doll pictured here, I used shredded love letters from my ex. What could be better?!

3. Next, cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover it completely. Lay it over the doll in a diamond shape--one corner at the bottom, one at the top, etc.

4. Wrap the fabric around the doll with one hand, tying ribbon or twine around the torso area with the other. To make it look more body-like, tie it in an x-like shape, as in this example). Also, be sure to tie around the "arms" and the base or "foot" area.

5. Now embellish it with your chosen decorations. To see examples of the kind of variety that can be achieved, check out this page. For this special occasion doll, I've chosen some especially cheesy "conversation hearts" and heart confetti.

6. With your marker of choice, draw Symbols of Great Meaning. For a list of symbols to draw (and some examples of spells) see this page.

7. If you choose black and white pins, they will represent positive and negative energy. If you choose multi-colored pins, you may imagine what each color represents to you and use them accordingly. Then all you have to do is focus on the symbol you drew or an area of the doll, and pretend you’re an acupuncturist!






























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