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Little Twig People








Have you seen the little people who live up in the trees? Little twig people who dance and swing and bob about, who nod and bow and flutter hither and yon; some astride funny twig horses, others dangling head down, many waiting to run a race when a stiff breeze comes along, and all as merry as merry can be, tossing their long, thin arms and legs in the air just for the fun of it. Perhaps some of these queer folk are outside your window now, and it may be near enough to the ground for even the littlest boys and girls to reach if they stand on their toes. Here are several of the twig people who came down and posed for their photographs. We will give each one a name.


is Miss Daffy-down-dilly, who has just come to town and is feeling very bashful about it.


is Jack-be-nimble Jack-be-quick, who thinks he can jump over any candlestick, high or low.


is the Little Crooked Man who ran a crooked mile.


is Little Miss Muffet, who is so terribly afraid of the spider.


is Peter White, who follows his nose wherever he goes.


is Doctor Foster, who went to Gloster in a shower of rain, and he is stepping very high to avoid falling into the puddle we have all heard about.


The little twig people do not look quite as real when separated from the tree as when you see them dancing in the breeze, so it is necessary to help out their appearance with paper heads and hands and feet.


Use care in selecting your twigs, for they are not all alike. Some are quite choice and unique, others more commonplace and less amusing. Suitable ones may be found in plenty.










Fig. 136—The black bands on the twigs show where they should be trimmed off. Fig. 136—The black bands on the twigs show where they should be trimmed off.
Fig. 137—Fastening the twig. Fig. 137—Fastening the twig.


When a small branch is broken from a tree or bush, you will find that some of the twigs attached look like queer, crooked, little legs, and some, just the right distance above, seem made for arms. Then comes the long neck that is joined, perhaps, to the still larger branch or to the trunk of the tree. Sometimes there are several arms and several legs too many and you must look closely and decide which are the real ones; then cut off the others.


You will know the real


Arms and Legs


for they are always the funniest ones and the most suggestive of comical action.

Cut the long neck down in proportion to the rest of the body and trim the arms and legs off to the proper length. Remember that one inch of the neck of the dolls must be inserted in the head and allow for that in cutting the long stem.


gives a branch as it looks when taken from the tree, and the black bands on the twigs show where they should be trimmed off to bring the little figure into proportions. The parts left white or in outline, below the bands, are to be cut away. There are two legs to this branch and three arms, one of which must be dispensed with. The left arm must remain and it matters but little which of the right arms is selected. In this case the lower one is marked to be cut.


Now comes the making of the


Heads, Hands, and Feet


These must all be double, for, to hold them on, the twigs are pasted between the two halves. In some cases, where the neck is quite thick, you will find it best to shave off a little at front and back to flatten it, so that the neck may lie easily between the two parts of the head and not push the face out of shape . This is seldom necessary, however, unless the doll is unusually large.


, , , , , and give the heads of all our little troupe sufficiently large to be copied. shows the hands and feet.
















Fig. 138—Daffy-down-dilly. Fig. 138—Daffy-down-dilly.
Fig. 139—Little Miss Muffet. Fig. 139—Little Miss Muffet.
Fig. 140—Jack-be-nimble. Fig. 140—Jack-be-nimble.
Fig. 141—The Little Crooked Man. Fig. 141—The Little Crooked Man.
Fig. 142—Peter White. Fig. 142—Peter White.
Fig. 143—Doctor Foster. Fig. 143—Doctor Foster.


Use a heavy brown wrapping paper for the heads and draw the faces simply with pen and ink in broad lines, or, if the children want to color them, they can use water-colors or colored pencils. In any case the features should be strongly marked, that the character of the face may not be lost.


Fig. 144—Hands and feet. Fig. 144—Hands and feet.

You can make the hands of paper like the face, or of dark brown paper (not tissue), to match the dark brown arms. White hands will give the effect of white gloves. Make the feet brown or black, or use bright colored paper to represent colored shoes.


Daffy-Down-Dilly


is quite a tall girl, standing eighteen inches high in her heel-less shoes . Her head, shown in , measures three inches from top to chin; this does not include the swirl of hair which rises in a peak above the head. Her hands, A , are two and a quarter inches long from wrist to tip of middle finger, and her feet, B , are two and three-quarter inches long.

Fig. 145—Daffy-down-dilly. Fig. 145—Daffy-down-dilly.

These are the proportions. Of course, for a smaller doll they should be smaller.


Fold a piece of wrapping paper, making it double, and on the paper draw Daffy's head, copying the one in , or making an original head if you prefer. The back hair may be drawn in or painted if the children insist upon having an all-around doll. If the neck is thick shave it off as in . Draw two hands on double pieces of paper and two feet on double pieces of paper, and cut them out. Daffy's hands are the color of her face, and her shoes are black.


Now cover the inside of the back of the head with paste, lay the neck on the head and cover that too with paste . Then fit the front of the head to the back and press it down until the two halves, with the twig between, are pasted firmly together. In the same way paste on the hands and feet. Make Daffy's dress of yellow tissue-paper, the color of a daffodil. Cut a circle for the skirt with a small hole in the centre and slit it down the back;' then draw it through your hands to shape it and make it hang nicely.


Cut out a little waist with pointed sleeves, like , and a pointed collar, like . Make the waist double with the fold at the top, cut a hole for the neck, and slit down the back. Use green tissue-paper for the collar.










Fig. 146—Waist of Daffy. Fig. 146—Waist of Daffy.
Fig. 147—Collar of Daffy. Fig. 147—Collar of Daffy.


Put the waist on the doll, gather it at the belt line, front and back, and paste. Paste it also at the neck and along the under edge of the sleeves. Paste the skirt to the waist at the belt, bring the edges of the slit together at the back, lap them, and paste. Wrap a strip of the yellow paper around the waist for a belt, then put the collar around the neck, and fasten with a touch of paste.


Jack-be-Nimble


Fig. 148—Jack-be-nimble. Fig. 148—Jack-be-nimble.

came from the elm tree. He is ten inches tall from his cap to the sole of his shoe . You will find his head in . C is the pattern for his hands, and D the pattern for his feet, which are made of brown paper. His brilliant costume is fashioned of orange-colored tissue-paper. Cut the coat like , making it double, with the fold at the top of the high flaring collar. Cut a hole for the neck and make a small slit down in front, then turn back the points of the collar at the neck. To avoid slitting the coat all the way to the bottom, put it on little Jack before you adjust his head. His neck can be slipped through the hole without trouble; then the edges of the coat are pasted together. Each leg of the short trousers is made separately, of an oblong piece of tissue-paper. This is gathered at the knee and waist line and pasted in place . If the stripes on Jack's cap are painted orange color and his pointed shoes are also orange, the effect of his bright costume will be still more glowing.









Fig. 149—Pattern of Jack-be-nimble's coat. Fig. 149—Pattern of Jack-be-nimble's coat.
Fig. 150—Each leg of the trousers is made separately. Fig. 150—Each leg of the trousers is made separately.


The Little Crooked Man


belongs to the fir-tree family, and as he is clothed only in his little rough suit of brown bark, you can see how the twigs grow that form his arms and legs. These are in such positions and have such peculiar curves he would look as if running even without hands and feet, but the proper adjustment of hands as well as feet emphasizes the action. Both are turned in the direction in which he is going, and one foot is lifted while the other rests on its heel, giving the stepping-forward effect.

Fig. 151—The Little Crooked Man. Fig. 151—The Little Crooked Man.

You will find the Crooked Man's head in . His hands are cut from brown paper, like C , and his feet, which are also brown, are like E .


Little Miss Muffet


Fig. 152—Little Miss Muffet. Fig. 152—Little Miss Muffet.

the largest of the dolls , is twenty inches high. Her head measures four inches from top to chin and four inches across at its widest part. Her hands are made of brown paper, like F , and her high-heeled shoes, like G , are black. Her head is tilted to one side and the thumbs of both hands turn in.

You can make Miss Muffet's dress any color you like, the brighter and gayer the better. Cut the skirt and waist as you did for Daffy-down-dilly, but do not point the sleeves. Make an apron of two squares of white tissue-paper—a large and a small one. Use the large square for the skirt of the apron and the small square for the bib. Gather the top edge of the large square and the bottom edge of the small square, and paste to the dress at the belt line; then make a white belt and tie in a bow at the back.


For the hat, cut a circle of tissue-paper the color of the dress, put a little paste in the centre, and pinch it down on the top loop of Miss Muffet's hair, tipping it a little to one side. This will give a crown. Turn up the brim at the back and lift it in front to stand out straight. Fringe a small piece of black paper for a feather and paste it to the crown of the hat.


Peter White


Fig. 153—Peter White. Fig. 153—Peter White.

is sturdy compared with the other people . He came from the cherry tree and is ten inches high. The main stem, to which the smaller twigs are attached, forms his neck, body, and left leg, and is so large that both neck and ankle had to be shaved off somewhat before his head and left shoe could be pasted on. Originally the twig that forms his left arm extended beyond the joint at the elbow, but it was cut off, and the smaller twig was allowed to remain to give the comical bend to the arm which adds greatly to the appearance of the haste and the swinging arms of a pedestrian.

Peter White's head is given in . His brown hands are cut like H , and his black shoes like I .


This doll is the only one whose head is in profile, but it shows that when the shape of the twig suggests it, a profile is very effective; and it is usually the easiest for children to draw.


Doctor Foster


is also ten inches high . His head, with smiling face, is given in . His brown paper hands are cut like J , and his black shoes like E . He wears his trousers quite short, that they may not get wet in the famous Gloster puddle, or if they do they will dry quickly. The trousers are made of wrapping paper, double, of course, and pasted together at the edges after they have been adjusted. They are cut like .









Fig. 154—Doctor Foster. Fig. 154—Doctor Foster.
Fig. 155—Doctor Foster's short trousers. Fig. 155—Doctor Foster's short trousers.










Next: Visiting-card Houses

Previous: Toys Made Of Common Kindling Wood



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