I love the rustic, old-fashioned charm of just about any craft involving corn husks, but wreaths are one of my favorites. Corn husks are easy and fun to work with–not to mention free if you save and dry your own. If you don’t have your own, this is the time of year to buy them by the bagful, cheap, at farmers markets to use in crafts (and tamales) all year long. (Retail craft stores are the worst places to buy corn husks–the price is marked up by the time they get to a store.) I made this wreath for free, of course, because I dry my own corn husks. (See how to dry corn husks here.)
To make a primitive corn husk wreath, all you need are corn husks, some twine and scissors, and a wire clothes hanger. Often when crafting with corn husks, you need to soak them to make them pliable to work with, but for this wreath, all you’re going to do is bundle them to the wire hanger, so there’s no need to do that. In fact, for this craft, you will actually make them more difficult to work with if they’ve been soaked.
If you want, you can use a store-bought metal wreath frame, but why spend money on something you’re going to cover up? Just go find a wire hanger in your closet and stretch it out into a circular shape for a “homemade” wreath frame. Look how handy that is–it comes with a hook to hang the wreath and everything!
How I made this corn husk wreath uses a very basic wreath-making technique of attaching twine (or wire, if you prefer) to the wreath frame then laying down piece after piece, looping the twine around each piece as you go. Start by tying the twine to the base of the hook on the hanger, which will give your corn husk pieces something to bump up against as you begin going around the circle. Place the first piece down at a 45-degree angle. Loop the twine around the husk and the wire, tighten, then move on to the next one.
You are not tying or knotting the husk onto the frame, just looping the twine around it to fasten.
As you go, each piece is held in place by the piece before it and after it on the continuing loops of twine.
You’re working on the backside of the wreath as you go around the circle of the frame. Here, the next piece goes down on top of the twine, which is coming out from under the frame after tightening the previous piece.
With the piece at a 45-degree angle to the frame, pull the twine up and over the husk leaf then back under the frame.
This makes a loop around the piece.
Now tighten it down.
You can use this same technique (and a wire hanger) to create wreaths using evergreen boughs, twigs, etc. Wire works better for evergreen boughs and twigs, but I like twine for corn husks as the colors blend together, making the twine disappear, and husks don’t require the strength of wire to hold them in place. Twine does the job just fine.
When using wire wrapped on a small spool, you pull the wire on its spool around and around the frame as you attach the corn husks. Using twine, I cut lengths of it. When one length runs short, I just tie the end to a new piece of twine and keep going.
Push the attached corn husks together as you go, making sure to keep the frame as full as possible so you’ll have a full wreath. Sometimes I attach one corn husk leaf at a time, sometimes two.
Look how filled out it is becoming!
Making a corn husk wreath is a messy job. I would have done it outside, but it was a little chilly.
When the wreath is finished, tie off the twine on the hook of the hanger. I went ahead and wrapped the twine all the way up the hook before knotting it off to make the hook blend in with the husks.
Then I tied on another loop of twine to hang the wreath on my front door.
(Hanging it straight from the hanger hook is a little difficult because there’s so much fullness to the wreath from the bundled ends of the corn husks at the back of the wreath. It hangs nicer from a loop of twine attached to the hook.)
The loops of twine that attach the husks, viewed from the backside of the wreath.
Corn husk wreaths are really quite sturdy and will last a long time if you don’t put them some place where they’ll get smashed. You can hang them inside or outside, and they make great (free or cheap) gifts that people are thrilled to receive because they’re so cute.
I prefer corn husk wreaths plain, in the beauty of their primitive simplicity, but you can use wire or more twine to attach seasonal items, ribbon, etc. (They’re not just for autumn!)
Go make a wreath!
More corn husk crafts:
Make a Corn Husk Doll