Cattail Dolls-2

Take broader leaves and fold over the shoulders to form clothing and tie in place around the waist.

making cattail doll

Fold the broad base of a leaf over the head to form a hat and tie in place.

cattail doll-4

Here’s a view from the back

P1040100 (Medium)

Now the basic doll is complete.  Use your imagination to create different types of dolls.  Here are some of mine;

Cattail Dolls (Medium)

P1010645 (Medium)

Including a Christmas Angel

P1020052

Cattail Ducks and swans

I am now starting to harvest Bulrush/Reed Mace/cattail leaves to dry and make into dolls, but one of the things you can make with the fresh leaves are ducks and swans.

You will need to leaves for this project;

First tie an overhand knot at the pointed end of the leaf and flatten it to form the head and beak.


Trim the beak to shape and then put a 90 degree fold lower down to form the neck (the length of neck dictates whether you make a swan or duck).


Decide how long you would like the body and then make another fold.

Continue wrapping the leaf around to form the body (adding in the second leaf when necessary).

Finally use the outer edge of a leaf the tie around the body to keep the leaves in place.

Due to the large cellular structure of the leaves they trap a lot of air which allows them to float. Primitive boats have been made by lashing bundles of leaves together.

Reed Mace/ Bulrush/ Cattail tooth brush

If you are walking near a river or lake at the moment you may find the remains of the Reed Mace seed head stem.

They look like this.

The seed head stem which remains after the seeds have been dispersed by wind, is covered in fine stiff bristles.

Some native cultures would use these as a primitive toothbrush and are quite effective at cleaning your teeth.


Soon the new flower heads will appear and this will be the time to collect the pollen and make bread……keep watching for this one!

Reed Mace/ Bulrush/Cattail

In America the Reed Mace/Bulrush is called “cattail”. The Latin name for this plant is Typha Latifolia. The word Typha means “a cats tail”.

Other uses for the leaves include what were traditionally children’s toys made by the native people of North America.

The Cattail duck

and Cattail dolls


I used Birch bark to make the buckets for the “Milk Maid” at the back of this picture.

Here is a seasonal Cattail doll; a Christmas angel