I've made and used poppets in magick for some time now and find them to be very useful when something a bit stronger than a simple herbal spell is needed. Having something tangible to use to empower your needs, in combination with a traditional spell, can be quite potent.
I recently was having an issue with something that was causing me some considerable anxiety and so I decided to work a poppet spell to remove that fear when I needed it to be gone, thus enabling me to function effectively and without the nerves, which my poppet friend kindly cleansed me of when it was needed. The following spell is for the removal of anxiety, but this can be altered and modified to whatever your personal needs might be, such as a need for money or to heal a cold virus, etc. Be sure to adjust your colors and herbs accordingly.
What you will need:
Fabric, for the poppet body in a color appropriate for the issue
Herbs, appropriate for the issue to be resolved
Candles, again in an appropriate color for resolution of the issue
Spell, a written spell isn't essential for this, but it adds to the potency of the poppet
For my poppet's body I chose a natural cotton, in the color pink, which I always find to be calming. You can use a color based on traditional magickal associations (for example: green for money, or blue for healing an illness) or one that you choose on your own based on how it makes you feel. There are no hard and fast rules with this. You can even purchase a pre-sewn empty poppet body, available in various basic colors and ready to be filled with herbs, from a magick shop but I prefer to make my own as it empowers the poppet that much more, coming from my own hands.
It's traditional to use an odd number of herbs in a spell and the usual magickal numbers are 3, 7, and 9 as well as multiples of these numbers. Personally, I like to keep things simple and so I tend to not adhere to this. For the most part I use only four herbs when I can, one for each of the elements, but considering how nervous I was in this instance, I used far more herbs than usual for this! For my fear-calming poppet, I used lavender, rose petals (blue roses, as those are my favorite roses and always make me happy), passionflower, yarrow, scullcap, vervain, thyme and a dash of cinnamon. I don't add any oils to the herbs that I prepare for poppet magick as they can leach through the fabric and make a mess.
Lavender: brings peace and banishes sorrows.
Rose: calms personal stress and heals emotional imbalances
Passionflower: calms troubles and brings peace
Yarrow: stops fears and grants courage
Scullcap: encourages peace and relaxation
Vervain: brings peace and calms emotions
Thyme: gives courage and removes all ills from one's past that have caused the fear
Cinnamon: helps ensure success in a spell and increases the spell's potency
Double your fabric and draw an outline of a human body on your fabric, a bit chubbier in size than normal and cut it out. Either hand sew or machine sew the pieces together, leaving a section on one side open and turn right side out.
Grind your herbs of choice, based on your personal needs, and be sure to remain conscious of your intentions the entire time you do this. Attuning to the vibrations of your herbs and enchanting them is always critical in maintaining their power throughout this process. The herbs need not be ground to a powder, but refrain from using any sharp or twiglike pieces as they can tear or poke through the fabric body, and keeping the herbs fairly small makes it easier to stuff the poppet. Sew your poppet closed.
Once your poppet is finished, hold it in your power hand (this is your dominant hand, the one you write with and which holds the most magickal power for you) and clearly state and visualize your intentions. Place the poppet on your altar, cast your circle and light the candles you have chosen in appropriate colors and in a quantity that feels right to you. If you've written a spell to accompany the empowering of your poppet it should be done during the spellwork period of your circle ritual. Again, this isn't essential. The poppet will work even if you simply visualize it working and light your candles while meditating on your needs.
And as a reminder: spells that draw something to you (in this case, a sense of calm, courage and peace) should always be performed during the waxing moon and those to banish things you don't want should be done during the waning moon. (If I had chosen herbs to quell fear rather than promote a sense of well-being this would have been the correct time to work that spell instead). In this case, this spell was worked at the full moon with the Goddess at her most potent and powerful.
Put the poppet in a safe place and take it out only when needed. I am of the belief that, like my magickal tools and implements, my poppet should never be handled by anyone else so as not to introduce the energies and beliefs of that person, especially those folks who tend to poo poo anything not of the mundane. Personally, I prefer to keep things pure and unmuddied, but this is a personal choice.
When you no longer need your poppet, carefully take it apart stitch by stitch and bury the opened cloth body and the herbs in the ground and thank the Divine for their help in your spellwork.