Walnut People

I first saw these sweet tiny folks in a Waldorf classroom.  They are super easy to make and provide wonderful play for a crisp Autumn day!
You will need the following supplies:  a strong tacky glue, walnuts, acorn caps, 1 inch wooden balls with an 1/2 inch hole (I used what I had on hand but it is nice to pick a wooden ball in relationship to the walnuts you are using), 1 inch wooden discs and scrap pieces of woolen cloth (I used clothing from a thrift store).
Step One:  Squeeze a dollop of glue on a wooden disc.
Step Two:  Place a walnut on the disc so that it sets securely. This is the plump body!
Step Three:  Apply glue to the edge of the wooden ball and set on top of the walnut.
This is the head.
Step Four:  Pick out an acorn cap and apply glue to the outer rim of the cap.
Place on top of the wooden ball as the hat.
Step Five:  Cut out a small rectangle of cloth.
Hold it up to the walnut figure to estimate size.  I like to round the corners.
Step Six:  Using a running stitch, gather the cloth.

Step Seven:  Tie thread around the neck of the walnut figure.  It is simple to make trees by gluing pine cones to a wooden disc.  Look for pine cones with a flat bottom.

Here’s a little fellow with a cape that is not gathered.  Have fun!

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  1. Gremlina says:

    these are adorable! Thanks for the directions. Looking forward to having your blog as a resource.

  2. Ginny says:

    These are fantastic! I love them! Thank you for sharing!

    • Sally says:

      I love Waldorf inspired things – they are always so simple but enchanting!

  3. Cori Spencer says:

    Sally you are the best thing that has happened to my teaching career in quite some time I thank the Fairies for you :)!

    • Sally says:

      Thank you! Big hugs!

    • Sally says:

      Thank you!!

  4. Coralie says:

    Beautiful idea!! I was thinking about peg dolls but these little nut people would be perfect with Autumn nature interests currently happening in class. Thank you!

  5. Louise van der Meulen says:

    I can’t wait to try these in the classroom!

  6. These little people are awesome, they will become a welcome addition to my natural experience environment, and the children will love making them. Thank you for more wonderful ideas.

  7. shelly says:

    We are going to make some little people with pine cones today. We will add them to our story garden, it’s a combination of your story table and the fairy doll house. Thanks for your ideas. I love them.

    • Sally says:

      What a fun idea! Making characters out of natural materials will really engage the children.

  8. Nezha says:

    I love your ideas, it’s inspiring, I will try it in my classroom. I won’t be able to use the walnuts ( free nuts policy) I will use small pine cones instead.
    Thank you so much.

    • Sally says:

      What a great idea! There is so much you can do with things found in nature!

  9. Sarah smith says:

    Any suggestions for a nut free version?

    • Sally says:

      Nezha had a great idea using pinecones! Any natural material will work and be just beautiful! Anyone else have ideas?

  10. Deborah says:

    I love this idea. I am new to your blog and I can say your ideas are new and refreshing. I was thinking of using some river rocks for the body. My children are really into investigating stones at the moment. Thank you for this storytelling idea.

    • Sally says:

      River rocks would be beautiful for the body and it sounds like you are following the children’s interests. Lovely!

  11. Laura Fitzgerald says:

    As usual Sally you are sharing a beautiful material that is introduced in such a charming open ended way that inspires your students to enter into the world of enchantment. I have created similar “props,” and introduced them in a similar way and watched both “tough,” children and TEACHERS……. melt as they connected with this amazing world of make believe. You can take these dolls anywhere and use them as extensions for any type of lesson that you want.

    Life can be very difficult at times for both young and mature alike, these little guys can take us to beautiful places when reality becomes a bit to much and quite honestly keep faith and hope alive during personal setbacks. You are a treasure!

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