The Art of Darkness

DIY Voodoo Kit

May 11th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Voodoo SachetA while back Bonni Reid mentioned this peculiar vintage ad for “voodoo kits” which contained, quote, “Haitian doll, hand-carved mahogany needles to stick in doll, chicken feathers, voodoo dirt, list of awful voodoo curses.” After being rendered momentarily speechless by the ad copy, it occurred to me that a DIY kit would be sort of fun to put together.

Although popular culture nearly always depicts voodoo dolls as being used for evil purposes, actual practitioners generally use them for positive goals such as healing illness or sparking romance. A kit with a doll (or components to make one), pins, and other accessories would be a novel gift to celebrate someone’s new job or other life-changing event. (Depending upon the amount of stock you put in the efficacy of “magic,” you may wish to include a note indicating the belief that using the doll for malign ends will result in karmic backlash.)

Starting with the doll, you can either sew a simple cloth rag-doll or make a more “traditional” one from sticks and Spanish moss.

For the former, either hand-draw a basic human shape for use as a pattern, or look around for simple cloth doll patterns such as this or this. Fabric can be anything from basic muslin to silk brocade, depending on how primitive you want the doll to look and/or the tastes of the person you’re making it for. Add facial features, a heart, and optional “targets” with embroidery or fabric paint, then sew, turn (optional), and stuff. For the one in the photo up there, I wanted a very rustic look so I used a rough natural cotton and ran the seam along the outside so that the edges would eventually fray.

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