I know this is probably not Hoodoo, but it is what the public think of as Hoodoo/voodoo.



Well, in the UK we use these little chaps and very old examples have been found.  I have used these for healing rituals and also to bind someone (a coven sister was being bullied/harassed at work, once we worked our stuff, she was ok).

A poppet is an archaic spelling of the word puppet which came from the Middle English popet (Doll or small child) and Poppet is still used as a term of endearment for a cute kiddie.

In British Folk magic the poppet would have been made from fabric, wax, clay, a root or dough or some other craft manufacture.

This post is not on the ritual side of making a “poppet” (a British “Voodoo” doll) but on the actual construction of one.


You will need:

2 cups of Plain Flour
1 cup of table salt
1 cup of water

A personal concern


1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (makes it a little easier to knead, I like to use an oil of the correct ritual correspondence, not used any High John oil here yet, but will do)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (makes the finished product harder, remember hard=brittle so if you drop the little feller he may smash, no good of you are trying to help someone!!)


Put plain flour, salt and any, or all, of the optional ingredients into a mixing bowl and gradually add the water, mixing to soft dough. This should be neither too sticky, in which case add more flour, nor too dry, in which case add more water. When mixed remove from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead for 10 minutes to help create a smooth texture during this kneading I would visualize the person who the dough is going to be, if doing a group work the whole group could chant/meditate on the working. If possible it is best to let the dough stand for approximately twenty minutes before beginning a project. Unused dough can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container or cling film, for up to a week. If you do want the dough to rest make it before the main ritual, a few nights before and this will allow the dough to cook (magically speaking), so pop it in the fridge and take it out before the ritual.



Place some foil on an oven tray or use a non stick tray. I have a silicone baking sheet that works well. Take a small ball of the dough and flatten it out place the personal concern into it and make close the ball, effectively making a capsule of dough, now build the little person from the rest of the dough and incorporate the concern/capsule into the body e.g. I’d put hair in the head of the model, blood in the body, nail clippings my the hands, you get the idea.

The model does not need to be a perfect replica of the person, but we should be able to see if it’s male or female, again, I think you know what I mean ;-). Once it is built it needs to be cooked.



The drying of your work can either be done naturally in the open air, or it can be baked in an oven. However it is not recommended that you have your oven hotter than 100C (200F/Gas Mark 1/4) as this can cause unsightly bubbles and cracks in your pastry (not good for healing work, not so bad for a curse, lol). Personally, I tend to start at 50C and after 30 minutes increase to 100C. The drying time needed for each piece varies according to size and thickness, but an average time for natural air drying is 30-48 hours, whilst oven times are generally reduced to 3-4 hours. These figures are only offered as a rough guide and remember that both sides must be dried out. When your little person is dry, turn off the oven and leave it inside to cool down.



Well, this is where the real ritual work starts, you have to make the little chap come to life……….



The last time I did this I made the dough, built the little man and cooked him, then took him to the ritual and we woke him up there.

Once you make him, treat him well, if you are trying to heal someone that last thing you want to do is drop their poppet or smash them!!

Food colouring can be painted on before they are dried to add some colour. Or adding an Egg glaze (an egg sacrifice) will make it a darker shade.


Have fun.



Tags: British, Hoodoo

Views: 921

Replies to This Discussion

Fabulous! Hoodoo does indeed use these - most assumptions about voodoo using them are as a result of either confusion with hoodoo, or references to New Orleans voodoo (which incorporates elements of hoodoo). And, hoodoo picked it up from European folk magic, so it's entirely unsurprising.


Hoodoo has a tradition of creating these sorts of poppets, often calling them "doll babies." Doll babies are most often sewn from cloth and stuffed with curios, or bundled from twigs and sticks, with curios incorporated into the wrapping. The making of wax and dough doll babies is less known, but not unheard of (particularly in the Appalachian parts of the South, with a stronger British Isles influence).


Many hoodoos often use actual sewn dolls for these purposes as well. My grandmother never made a toby that she didn't then turn around and sew into the back of one of the many, many porcelain-faced dolls she owned. She often seemed deeply crazy, wandering around her house talking to dolls, but she was actually maintaining the relationships necessary to keep mojo hands working well.


Good stuff, Gray! Thanks!

I love the idea of sewing the Toby into a doll. Fantastic! Your Gran sounds like the kinda lady I'd have love to have known.


This reminds me of the ancient Greek "Kolossoi", clay poppets made mostly for binding magic. :) Take a look here: http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/GP.html


I absolutely LOVE the similarities!

Real interesting article Stef! The similarities are great. Sympathetic magic is spread through every culture, and every time I hear of another I just wanna get baking! (",)
Grayson have you ever disposed of a poppet in water? I know I have, returning the clay [ or salt dough] to the earth. The spell works as the poppet disolves

Thats a nice idea Seren, strangely most of my magic "debris" goes in the river at the bottom of my valley, But the poppets I have made I have always buried and let them moulder back to earth. I shall try water next time.



I use the muddy water at a lakes edge, its very effective
What a good idea, I was thinking of the tide line on a beach but it would have to be a deep hole to stop it being found, but at least there are lots of people digging on beaches. But the mud idea is good, gotta try it.
Grayson, this is fabulous!! Thank you for the recipe :D
I have just realised that I decided to put this post up because all my others were cooking posts! And without thinking I add a recipe! Can this poof ever come out of the Kitchen????? (",)

I'm late to this discussion, but better late than never!  I have a few questions:

Do we wake the doll babies in the same manner that we wake our tobys?  Only by addressing the baby by the "target's" name instead of referring to it as "toby"?


Also, would it be feasible to work in certain herbs or roots along with the Personal Concerns?


I guess what I'm really wondering is if we treat these baked dough babies in the same manner as their cloth counterparts?  Logic is telling me yes, but this is a new technique for me, so I want to be certain that I get the facts and how-to's straight before I try anything!

Hi Rachel, a short simple answer; yes. LOL
The poppet is a UK thing and I was taught our way of doing it, but I have tried it the Toby way, and it certainly felt good.
As for adding herbs to the dough, it works for bread and pizza dough, so why not for our little poppet?
One thing that may be worth a shot would be adding seeds, so as the doll breaks down in the earth the plants grow, adding strength or permanence to the spell. I think I feel a spell coming on ;-)



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