Making straw dolls is another craft you can do for Candlemas. (Like the Brigid’s Cross – Tutorial here >>) The straw dolls are called Brigid Dolls. – After St Brigid of Ireland. She symbolically represents fertility, fortune and the awakening nature. According to pagan custom, Brigid Dolls are crafted on Candlemas and placed into little “beds” next to the fireplace, to welcome light and fortune to the home.
How to make a Brigid Doll
natural straw like wheat stalks (available here*)
yarn (available here*)
alternatively you can use wheat drinking straws (available here*) but they are often times too sturdy and a bit too wide.
Tie about 14 straws together on one end. (If you are working with wheat stalks, cut off the ears and cut the stalks all to the same lenght)
Suggestion: Soak the straw in warm water before you start making the doll, to make it bendable.
Bend all the straws upwards.
Turn the straw upside down and tie it togehter again. Leave 1 – 2 inches to the end. That is the head of the doll.
Take another 6 straws and tie them together in the middle.
Place the small bundle between the straws of the body. Slide it upwards. Those straws are going to be the arms.
Secure the straws together again underneath the arms.
Tie the straws of the arms at an appropriate length and cut off the straw.
Decorate the straw doll with the wheat ears or dried herbs. Lavender works really well for that.
Weave some straws together in the middle with yarn to create a kind of “fan”. It’s important not just to tie a bundle of straws together. It should be flat and spread out.
Add this “straw-fan” to the back of the straw doll and cut off the ends to create an arch to form a high collar.
A Brigid Doll is placed into a “bed” or a little manger next to a fire place (or a candle), to attract fertility and fortune into the home.
Candlemas Decorations (Imbolc) with a straw doll and Brigid’s Cross.
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