How to Make a Poppet

Now, I’m going to be upfront:

  • This post was written during the process of making a poppet for cursing. While this post can be used for ANY poppet for ANY purpose.
  • Is image heavy; many of the photos are shaky. This is common when I photograph my spell work. I don’t know why but I have my suspicions.
  • Features photographs of charged ingredients, sigils, and spells.
  • Talks about curses
  • Features a mini how-to break glass safely.
  • This is an attempt to be traditionally neutral. I do things different than others and thus my own methods bleed through. Remember to work within and adapt to your own cultural background, paradigm, and practice.
  • Trigger warnings: blood, glass, curses, Gov. Rick Perry, poppets, sigils, spells, energy, charged items, etc. I’m sure there are others I’m missing but there you go.

This is a follow along using simple ingredients. It starts with how to make the poppet, talks about filling it, making the face and personalizing it, and then finishing it up. Away we go.

First step is to get your materials.

I really like using felt for poppets. It’s thick, comes in a wide variety of colors, comes in a pretty good size, is easily found, and cheap.

So grab two pieces of felt (I know there’s only one here but I had two), scissors, writing utensil (chalk or pen), sewing needle, thread (maybe different colors, maybe not), pins, a piece of cardboard (this one’s from the bottom of a shopping bag but any piece of cardboard, like one from food cartons), and your filling (more on that, later).

Now that you’ve gotten your materials, pull out your cardboard and sketch half of your poppet’s design. You can skip this step and just sketch on fabric but I like making a template to use in case I want to make more poppets this size and shape. But if you do want to make the template, sketch it out like so:

Now mine’s pretty stylized, but that’s set for my particular practice. I sketched mine in chalk then again in pen. We sketch only half because of how we’ll cut the fabric. Go ahead and make it a bit bigger than you want it to be because of seam allowance.

Once your happy with the design, cut it out and lay the template on the folded edge of your folded felt (both sheets). See in the photo how the fabric is folded over? There you go. Now trace the template out on the felt. I used chalk.

 

 

Since I’m happy with how it came out on the felt, go ahead and cut it out. Remember to not cut the folded edge and to cut all sheets of felt. You want two sides of the poppet.

 

Ta-da! Pretty cute right? I like making my poppets big and fat. There are reasons I do this, but those reasons are specific to my practice.

Now put those pieces together as evenly as you can, pin them, and sew the edges. How you sew them depends on your practice and preference. Some folks like to sew with intent and purpose, literally sewing the spell in. I sometimes will hand sew them then machine sew over the hand sewing to strengthen the seams. Sometimes I machine sew first then hand sew. Other times I’ll do one or the other. With this particular poppet, because I was working quickly, I simply machine sewed it.

Make sure you leave space for you to stuff the poppet with!

And here he is sewn together but for the head, which is where I’m going to stuff him. Where I stuff the poppet varies. Again, this might be a personal practice thing, but I leave open the spaces I want to effect first. With his poppet, I want to affect the mind, thoughts, and actions so I left the head open. If I wanted to make  a fertility doll, I would leave the legs and crotch area open and fill from there.

 

Don’t forget to have someone help you if you need it! Having someone skilled in sewing can help out or answer questions. Any familiars, spirit guides, etc. can help as well. Also, don’t forget to eat and drink. Sometimes making a poppet is an all day affair. Kiki here decided she wanted to watch me work.

Now that break time is over, take a moment to feel proud of yourself. You made a poppet.

Look at this guy! Now, you can either decorate first or stuff ’em first. Let’s talk about decorating.

Decorating can happen in all sorts of different ways. Painting, drawing, embroidering, etc. I chose to embroider. Here I used white to make a pair of eyes and a smile which is fitting for my target. I also embroidered a red star that represents my target.

Stuffing is a huge part of poppets and what you put in your poppet depends on your purpose, practice, and preference.

Now the purpose of this poppet is to curse someone. My cursing base is red pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. On top of that I added poison ivy (to poison, irritate, and annoy), deer’s tongue (to control the tongue), peppermint (to cool the passions), broken glass (to make him feel as sick as his behavior makes me feel), and blood (my own, to give it life and power). I dripped anise empowering oil over it to boost the power.

  

Other ingredients you can use follows:

Herbs, plants, and spices – the more exotic and everyday:

 

 

You can also use things like infused oils.

Depending on how much time you have, you can soak and dry your fabric, ingredients, stuffing, thread, needles, etc in oils for extra power. You can also drip oils over the fabric as I did with this poppet to empower it.

 

Other ingredients can be leftover candle wax. This is especially useful it you did a spell on the target previously and now you want to continue or enhance your work. Take that left over candle wax and put it in the poppet.

I keep my left over candle wax in a mug on a shelf.

Sigils are also common, popular choices. You can write on the inside of the poppet or the outside. Making up new sigils for each poppet is time consuming but usually worth it.

This particular poppet doesn’t have any sigils on it, but here’s an example of the Necromancer’s house protection sigils:

 

Now you can also include dirt, metal bits, sandpaper, sand, wood, and broken glass. I recommend with these items to wrap them separately in a piece of fabric then putting them inside the poppet.

Keep in mind what you’re putting in there and be careful! You don’t want to cut yourself.

I keep my broken glass in paper bags in my storage room, like so:

A note on working with glass. Let’s say you have half a cup or bowl left from dropping it and you want to use it in spell work. Here’s how you can safely break the glass.

Put your glass on a rag then the rag on a thick folded towel. Don’t use your favorite or best ones as the glass might cut. Also, have a plastic bag or bucket nearby.

Get another rag and put that on top. Double it up if you can but make sure all the edges of the rag touch the other rag and have a good clearance on all sides. Now fetch a hammer.

Now smash. Be concise about it. Don’t just go to town. Make controlled strikes. Once you’re satisfied with the breakage, carefully transfer your glass to where-ever you intend to put or store it then take all the rags and towels and shake them over the trash. Then put them in the plastic bag or bucket and carry them to the laundry room to wash them clear. The other option is to toss them out.

So you’ve made your filling decisions but there’s still so much space! I typically stuff my poppets with scraps of material color coded to my own symbolism. This poppet’s limbs where stuffed with black felt coated with the herbs listed above.

Here’s an image of the poppet mostly stuffed:

 

Once I was happy with the stuffing, I left enough space to finish my spell. I threaded red thread and outlined the eyes of the poppet (so my target can see the harm he’s done and open his eyes) and crossed over the mouth (to silence him). Like so:

 

Then I finished stuffing his head, folded the fabric over, stitched up his head as shown above.

And this is what he looks like complete!

 

Hope this helps some folks!

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