Make Dr. Facilier’s Little VooDoo Helper From Yarn

Make a little yarn doll decoration based on one of Dr. Facilier’s little helper, and celebrate the anniversaries of ‘Princess and the Frog’ and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. All images: Lisa Tate

Disney’s Princess and the Frog turns 10 in November.

This Disney masterpiece introduced us to Tiana, who was not only Disney’s first African-American princess, but was the first princess with a story set in the 20th century United States. While other princess dolls had carriages and horses, the Tiana doll could have her own awesome car. This was also a return to the classic 2D animation after Disney had embraced computer animation, which was perfect for the movie’s setting: New Orleans. No matter what viewers felt or knew about New Orleans before seeing this film, Tiana, Louis, Raymond, and even Facilier had them leaving the theater loving that city.

Tiana isn’t the only New Orleans resident celebrating a Disneyland birthday in 2019; as the corner stone of New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion turns 50 this year.

With carnival season and Mardi Gras preps in full swing, let’s make a little tribute that combines the mystique of the New Orleans, with the anniversaries of both Princess and the Frog and Haunted Mansion: a Dr. Facilier-style voodoo doll.

This doll is based on the standard yarn doll, with a few “voodoo” twists added.

For the doll itself, you’ll need:

  • Light Green, turquoise, and tan yarn
  • One  wooden dowel (a chopstick or short pencil will work)
  • Thin magenta ribbon
  • Two large plastic buttons
  • One Styrofoam ball
  • Toothpicks and round wooden beads (three or four each)

For the body:

Take a several strands of the tan yarn (about 5″) and make a bundle. Tie a tan strand around the top end. Through this whole project, make sure the ties are good and tight.

Separate a few strands off on each side for arms. Tie the larger middle bundle where a waist would be, then separate it into two legs. Tie each leg close to the very end, then a little higher up for the ankles. This makes “feet.” Tie the legs together a little about the feet with a strand of tan yarn.

For the hands, cut a few small strands or green yarn (about and inch long) and place at the end of the wrist before tying them off. Cut them to the desired length the “hands.”

Tie piece of the magenta ribbon around the waist area, and another around where the ankles meet.

Body steps: make the legs, arms and body from one bundle, and add some green stands for the hands.

For the head:

Push the wooden piece down into the body at the neck (this will help hold the head on). Secure it with a glue gun, if needed.

Take about the same amount of green yarn as used in the body and tie it over the body at the “neck.” Push the ball gently down on the wood.

Bring the yarn up and over the head, securing the strands with a glue gun as you go. Cut a few strands of the turquoise yarn and tie it in a short bundle. Push them down in the top of the head. Bring the green yarn up and around the turquoise and tie it off. Wrap piece of magenta ribbon around the top tie.

Add a Styrofoam “head” and pull some green yarn up around it for the head.

To finish off the doll, use some black and pink paint to draw on a “sewed” mouth.

Paint the buttons in pink, orange, and purple colors (as shown) or in any bright color. Run yarn through the holes, and tie in the back. This will make them look sewn on the face. Glue them to the face with a glue gun.

To add some pins, paint toothpicks silver, and add pink, red, yellow, or other bright colored wooden beads at the end. Stick a couple in his head and tie one in his hand.

Finish him off with some button eyes and toothpick pins.

Set this little guy up for carnival season or to watch over the home, but don’t ask him about the Shadow Man. He’s got friends on the other side.

Image: Lisa Tate
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