Poppets are a form of sympathetic magic. They are dolls made in the image of an animal, person, and so on. The more the poppet looks like the animal or person, the more powerful it will be (meaning if you are working magic for a friend or pet then the poppet should be shaped like a person, a cat, a bird, etc). You can even stitch or glue a picture of the individual or animal onto the face of the poppet.
Poppets are made of cloth, wax, or corn husks and filled with herbs (these tend to be associated with your intent) and items belonging to the person, animal, etc.
There are many different ways to make poppets, and I have provided examples of each below.
To make a poppet you will need cloth, herbs associated with your intent, scissors, a marker or pen, items belonging to the individual you are creating the poppet for, two pictures of the individual, and candles associated with your intent.
Use an article of old clothing that you don't plan on wearing anymore (if you are making it for you), or use an old article of clothing that belongs to the person you are making the poppet for, if you can get them.
Cut two pieces of it into the shape of a little gingerbread man. Once cut out, stitch the poppet pieces (the two halves) up and leave an opening at the head. Fill the opening with extra cloth for stuffing, a picture of the individual, items belonging to them or some hair. Then, finish stitching up your poppet.
Below is an example of a cloth poppet made to help heal a sick friend.
If possible, do this on a Monday - the day of healing.
Before creating your poppet, cast a circle and ask your deities to assist you in your purpose. However, this is not necessary, so if you do not use a circle or work with deities, do not fret!
Now, cut out two pieces of cloth in the shape of a gingerbread man (if your making it for a person), or a cat (for a cat), and so on. Once cut out, stitch the poppet up and leave an opening at the head. Fill the opening with cloth, a picture of the individual, items belonging to them, and healing herbs (these can include ginger, garlic, parsley chamomile, etc). Once this is done, finish stitching up the poppet and then attach the second picture to the face of the poppet.
Light your two candles (these should be red for health and black for healing disease), place the poppet in between the two candles, and sprinkle a circle of salt around the candles and the poppet. As the candles burn down, visualize them destroying the illness of your friend and their health and strength returning. You can also say a chat or verse associated with your intent. Do the above mentioned spell everyday and visualize healing energies been sent to the individual as you do so. Do this daily until the candles are completely burn out.
Corn Husk Poppet:
Start with the head of your poppet and make a ball with the husks so that it looks like a small dolls head. Use twine to tie around the neck of the poppet so that the head holds its shape. Make a small pouch at the center of the poppet, about where its chest would be, and then use that as a place to fill it with the items.
Now, tie it shut and section off the arms and legs and tie them with twine so that they hold their shape.
Attach a picture of the person to the poppets face with glue. The picture should be of the individual that the poppet was made in the image of.
Husk Poppet For Binding:
Take a few moments to focus on all the bad things this person has done and said to you or others. Visualize this as a gray cloud forming around the poppet. Now, pick up the black ribbon and slowly begin to wrap it around the poppet, as you do so visualize it trapping that gray cloud within the poppet so that it (and the person you made it in the image of) can bring no more harm to either yourself or others.
When you are done wrapping the poppet, and sealing the gray cloud of negativity inside, place the poppet in the box and bury it somewhere far away from your home, in a place that it will not be disturbed.
Using a candle warmer, or an old sauce pan that you no longer plan on using, melt candle wax or a few candles. Do not melt the wax into a liquid. You want to get it to a point that it is warm enough to be pliable and easily shaped. Once there, be careful not to burn yourself, and carefully begin to shape the wax into the form you need it to take. A small gingerbread man for a human, a dog for a pet dog, etc.
You can use a small amount of essential oil on your hands to make it a bit easier, lavender essential oil is a nice choice for this, or you can use one associated with your intent. Just be careful and do not use too much, especially if you have sensitive skin.You can also work personal items, herbs, etc into the wax as you mold it.
You can also add small items to add a face, heart, etc. You can also take a pin or your athame and carve your intent into the wax poppet. Once you are done, you can light the wick and let it burn; symbolically releasing your intent.
References & Resources
The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. - Written by Raymond Buckland.
Poppets: How To