Apple Dolls

I remember making my first Apple Head Doll one summer long ago when I was 8 or maybe I was 10.  I can't remember exactly when.  But what I do remember is how fascinating the process was, and the pride mixed with excitement I felt seeing my little lady take shape.

Flash forward several years, many more than that if I'm being honest, and apple head dolls have become an essential part of my historical demonstration bag of tricks. What started as an alternate activity for events when the old standby of spinning was taken, or hearth cooking was impractical, is now my favorite go to activity, and the public response has been fabulous.

The people I meet at events seem just as fascinated with the little ladies and gents, as I did as a child, and I never tire of their reactions.  Many share disbelief that it's really an apple, then express wonder and curiosity.  Others become nostalgic for a long lost doll sharing stories from their childhood.  A few  find the dolls "eerie" or "creepy" especially in their  undressed unpainted form.  I can't help but giggle inside and think to myself. "You think that's bad,  you should see my studio when all the body parts are hung up to dry.  Now that's creepy!"

However, the most frequent reaction by far is " How do you do that?"  So for those curious souls I offer the following tutorials on the making of an apple head. My process has changed a bit over the years, and I'm keeping a few secrets for myself, but the links below will give you a head start on the way to your own apple head doll.