How to Make a Voodoo Doll Key Chain

Written by raven demers
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How to Make a Voodoo Doll Key Chain
Voodoo dolls can represent more than a target for sorcery. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Voodoo -- a word meaning "spirit" or "creator" -- shares its origins with those of cultures in West Africa with thousands of years of history and development. The use of fetishes such as voodoo dolls is portrayed often in media, and one dangling from your keys can make a direct statement about your own spiritual practices. A voodoo doll key chain can easily be made in about an hour once you have the materials gathered.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 1/2 yd muslin
  • 2 buttons
  • 28.4gr. fibre fill or cotton
  • 1/2 inch of steel chain
  • 1 key ring
  • 1 spool of black thread
  • 1 sewing needle
  • tailor's chalk
  • black, yellow or red yarn
  • 2 to 5 pearlescent beads
  • scissors
  • printer paper
  • gingerbread man cookie cutter (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find a representation of a human shape. A gingerbread man cookie cutter is the right shape and size for this project. Trace the outside of the cookie cutter on a piece of printer paper and cut out the pattern. If you are unable to find a suitable cookie cutter, a clip art image printed from the Internet will also suffice. Simply cut the image at its outer edge. Whichever method you choose, your figure should measure approximately two inches from head to feet; a smaller doll may go unnoticed and a larger one may be cumbersome when pulling from a purse or pocket.

  2. 2

    Fold the muslin in half lengthwise, pin both halves together and lay the pattern down on the fabric. Use tailor's chalk to replicate the pattern on the muslin with a quarter-inch seam allowance around the whole project. Remove the pattern from your workspace.

  3. 3

    Cut both halves of the muslin so they are identical. Determine which piece of fabric will be the front and which the back.

  4. 4

    Sew the two buttons on the front piece in place of eyes, and sew on a mouth. For added decoration, sew on the pearlescent beads at random places along the doll's front and back to simulate the appearance of pinheads sticking from its body.

  5. 5

    Lay both halves of the body facing inward so all edges match. Sew the edges together along the arms, torso and legs, leaving the head unstitched. Fold the length of yarn back and forth on itself to create several zigzags. This will be the doll's hair. Place the yarn along the back of the head's fabric with most of the length facing inward. Stitch the loops of yarn along the edge of muslin, taking care to ensure that the hair will hold. A second or third reinforcing stitch along the hairline will keep the yarn in place and minimise damage to the doll.

  6. 6

    Turn the doll right-side out and stuff it with fibre fill or cotton. Fold the edges of the head in a quarter of an inch to match the seam of the rest of the doll's body and pin in place. Place the chain at the crown of the head, stitch it securely in place and use a whip stitch to sew the head together along the hairline. Repeat this step to help reinforce the seam. Loop the key ring onto the other end of the chain, and add your keys.

Tips and warnings

  • Cut out the shape of a heart in red felt and add it to the chest of your doll for greater dramatic effect.
  • Choose a fabric colour to best represent the skin colour of the individual or entity you wish to portray.
  • Make basic clothes for your doll as appropriate.
  • Given its use as a key chain, avoid using your doll for ritual or with intent to represent a specific person.

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