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
Beautiful. I love this idea. I think I’ll ask some farmers for corn husks after all.
On October 14, 2009 at 1:44 am
Kathleen in Michigan says:
I am not a big fan of rustic decor, but I love this wreath!
On October 14, 2009 at 3:42 am
Nice and rustic look for my farm
Beautify for fall!
On October 14, 2009 at 5:13 am
Oh I like that and so easy! I’ve never tried making a wreath, but oh my it looks easy!!! I started some drying last week, they should be about done by now……..and then a cedar one for Christmas! Thank you!
On October 14, 2009 at 5:31 am
On October 14, 2009 at 5:32 am
Suzanne that is beautiful! I’ve never tried making a wreath with corn husks before but now that I’ve seen how you did it I’m going to make some for sure. We moved onto our little farm too late to have a garden but there’s lots of corn sitting in the fields around here so I’m going to see if I can talk one of the farmers into selling or giving me (better yet)enough to make a wreath. Next year I’ll grow my own! Thanks for the clear instructions and great idea.
On October 14, 2009 at 6:32 am
[email protected] yarns says:
I love it.
On October 14, 2009 at 7:00 am
Oh, my….I am in love with your blog, and your wreath is wonderful in its beautiful simplicity, and your front door….OH MY! Thanks for the clear instructions, and now I shall run over to look at how you got the husks ready for this wreath!
On October 14, 2009 at 7:37 am
That’s an awesome wreath! Great job and tutorial!
On October 14, 2009 at 8:40 am
As will all the other ladies that have commented – WE ARE ALL GOING OUT TO MAKE A WREATH!!!
All Hail Suzanne!! LOL
Seriously thanks for the idea your awesome!
On October 14, 2009 at 8:55 am
Katy ~ The Country Blossom says:
I love that wreath!!! :shimmy: It’s beautiful!!!! 🙂 I would love to try this sometime!!! Thanks for sharing it with us!!! 🙂
On October 14, 2009 at 10:17 am
Beautiful wreath…have to look for some corn husks somewhere…in our area corn never has a long enough growing season for the cobs to mature….but maybe I would have corn husks…right?? will have to plant some next year or buy and eat enough corn to have husks, loved the corn husk doll and now the wreath….hummm…who would have a large corn field within driving distance……
On October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Bev @ The 3 Clutters says:
Once again….very very cute!
On October 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm
This is the first time I have seen a wreath made out of corn husks, very nice. I like that rustic natural look too. :shimmy:
On October 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm
Beautiful! Great idea and looks so easy!
On October 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm
I love that! Thank you for sharing the instructions!
On October 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm
Patricia Herman says:
I love this type of wreath. Your instructions make it easy enough to do. I might give this a try this weekend.
You are so talented Suzanne.
On October 19, 2009 at 9:29 pm
[email protected] says:
You always make it look so easy. I love the rustic, country look and I’m definitely gonna have to try once I find some corn husks.
On October 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Sherry Leigh Rowell says:
I just found your website while looking for some great fall decor ideas. Love the wreath! Never would have thought of using a coat hanger, of all things, for the base of a wreath. Also, Im in the process of making the corn husk angels from your site as well. I have been drying my corn husks since end of June and am ready to get started.
On August 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm
On September 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm
Thanks so much for this great tutorial!!! My girls and I are going to making these today, I hope!
On September 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm
:purpleflower: That is beautiful–I am going to try on thie week.
On October 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm
I was wondering about how many corn husks it took to make that size wreath?
Thanks for this post.
On March 7, 2011 at 10:00 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Tina, I didn’t count them. I’d say 50, but they weren’t full husks. I had a bag of husks from the farmers market and some were split. It does take a lot to make it full!
On March 7, 2011 at 10:20 am
Tammy B says:
New to your site….must say I love it!! I live in CORN country so this is a craft I will tackle during corn harvest, I also put up lots of free corn and now I have a project to use up all the free husks!!
On March 30, 2011 at 10:29 am
Suzanne, how do you get your dried corn husks to be so nice and flat? Mine always curl up into thin strips as they dry. I do cut the hard end off as I husk the corn, is that the reason?
I want to make a wreath like yours but my husks are too narrow to look good.
On September 22, 2011 at 6:49 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
brookdale, when I made that wreath, I was drying the husks outside. I’m drying them now in my Excalibur dehydrator. Both ways, I leave the hard end on while it’s drying. I think that helps retain the shape.
On September 22, 2011 at 6:59 am
Oops! Didn’t know that. They must take a longer time to dry, leaving the stem on. Oh well, better luck next year. Is there a use for skinny rolled up corn husk leaves, other than the compost pile?
On September 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm
First time poster! May be a lame question, but I have a couple of ginormous dried corn stalks (you know the ones everyone uses to decorate for Halloween?) in my garage. I had this project in mind when I bought them but now that I look at them they are really intimidating. Also, I see that you recommend drying your own husks…but what if they are REALLY dry and *cough* dried on their own? Is this still doable for this project? Any suggestions would be really helpful in getting me started. 😀
On March 3, 2016 at 2:50 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
Dried on their own is fine, as long as they aren’t moldy.
On March 5, 2016 at 5:28 am
Update: I just realized reading through some of the other posts that the corn husks used in projects are from actual ears of corn and not from the stalks. Anyone tried to use the husks from corn stalks with success or am I looking at something going into the compost pile. Fortunately, they were only $3 each so no major money spent.
On March 3, 2016 at 4:58 pm
Hi, this is my first time posting…. I’ve been making these wreaths and absolutely love how they’ve turned out, I have one hanging on my front porch for about a week now, I live in Florida and it’s rather him this time of year and I’m noticing small black spots on some of my husks, is there a way once dried to protect them from the humidity?
On August 29, 2017 at 12:27 pm