This is an authentic Wampanoag cradleboard created by Julia Marden, Aquinnah Wampanoag Nation

 Wampanoag cradle board thanksgiving craft many hoops   

Materials for cradleboard:

8 1/2” x 11” piece of heavy paper or poster board


Paper punch


Ribbon, raffia, yarn or leather lacing

Colored pencils, crayons or markers.

Materials for doll:

Styrofoam ball - small

Popsicle stick

Old panty hose or knee high stockings in flesh tone.


Wool, yarn, or embroidery thread for hair

Included below are a printable template and a design cover ready to color. Also the instructions are in PDF format.


Instructions for cradleboard:

Print the PDF file “Cradleboard cardboard template”. Tape the template onto the back of heavy paper or poster board and cut out. Before removing the template punch the holes and lightly score and fold along fold lines. To punch hole in the bottom of cradleboard, fold bottom flap inward then punch.

Print PDF file “Cradleboard with design template” and cut out. Using a glue stick, glue the printed design onto the heavy paper template. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Re-punch holes so they go through the glued on design.

Color the design. If using a marker test it on a scrap to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed. Just a note: for colored pencils, the best are Berol Prismacolor.

Line up the top holes and tie with ribbon, raffia, yarn or leather. Then tie the bottom holes.

Instructions for doll:

Take a small styrofoam ball (doll’s head) and insert a popsicle stick partway into the bottom. Cut a piece of panty hose or knee highs and stretch over the styrofoam ball. Tie underneath around the popsicle stick. Glue some wool, yarn, or embroidery thread to the top for hair. Slide the doll into the cradleboard.

As a note: There are no instructions for painting a face on the doll because traditional Native American dolls don’t have faces. The reasons for this vary according to the tribe. But in general, it is considered that the face makes the doll too real and thus too human-like to be treated as a toy.


 Click on PDF file for full size template

Cradleboard template

C:\fakepath\Cradleboard cardboard template.pdf 52.8KB Jul 29, 2013 2:28 PM


 Click on PDF file for full size design ready for coloring

Cradleboard design for coloring

C:\fakepath\cradleboard to print with design.pdf 85.5KB Jul 29, 2013 2:29 PM


  Click on PDF file below for instructions

Instructions for Cradleboard and Doll

C:\fakepath\Baby in cradle board craft project.pdf 29.4KB Aug 01, 2013 3:35 PM