Fresh Corn Husks Make "Whimsical" Table Top Holiday Trees

Make Holiday Trees Using Fresh Corn Husks

Just for fun, I am sharing a little experiment I have been playing around with the past couple weeks.

The original idea was sound enough - attach shredded fresh corn husks to a cone shape and let their natural tendency to curl and twist as they dry create a fun little table top tree.

My experimental tree actually worked out quite well. It can be a "frightful" tree for Halloween; or as was originally intended, a holiday tree - as Haley over at Zen of Making pointed out in an Instagram comment - a "Whimsical" holiday tree!

Fresh corn is plentiful here in the PNW during September and October - in fact it probably is for most readers living in North America! So if you find these fanciful little trees as charming as I do, why not pick up a few styrofoam cones and add "branches" to your trees after each corn on the cob feast!

The bits of shredded husk start twisting and curling within half an hour after being cut and attached. Fun for the kids to watch! Usually the shredded bits have reached their full potential as twisty branches within a couple days.

So - here is how to make "Whimsical Holiday Trees" and more importantly - a few tips for how NOT to do it the hard way!!!

Make Holiday Trees Using Fresh Corn Husks

Strip the husks from fresh corn. (For a 12" tall tree you will need husks from about 8 to 10 ears of corn.)

Cut off the thick end (the part that was attached to the corn cob) and the pointed end. So basically - cut a nice 4" long piece out of the center of each husk.

Now shred it so that it resembles a grass skirt. Shred to within 1/2" of the top edge.

TIP: Thicker outer husks tend to dry straight while thin inner husks tend to dry in the most mischievous curls! I usually do not use the very tough outside husks.

Make Holiday Trees Using Fresh Corn Husks

Use straight pins to secure the little "grass skirts" onto a styrofoam cone. Over lap the ends about 1/2".

TIP: If you are using styrofoam cones, leave the plastic in place - keeps unwanted particles at a minimum..

TIP - the picture above is a very good example of how NOT to attach "grass skirts"!!! Rows of "grass skirts" are placed widely apart. Don't make this mistake! Place your rows very close together - 1/2 inch is about right. Closer even better!

Make Holiday Trees Using Fresh Corn Husks

Place the rows of "grass skirts" any further apart and once the corn husks have dried, you will find big gaping holes which reveal the cone!

Of course, additional "grass skirts" can be pinned in place to hide the gaps!

Make Holiday Trees Using Fresh Corn Husks

As you can see - I had to add bunches of them!!

Here are a few more tips! Also learned the hard way!

1. Use double "grass skirts" for better coverage

2. Be sure the bottom row of shredded corn husks is pinned right at the very bottom edge - not more than 1/2" from the bottom edge of the cone.

3. A really good camouflage trick would be to cover the cone first with a nice tight wrap of corn husks! I'll try that idea on tree number two!!

4. When you get to the top of the tree, create a cone from a grass skirt and pin it to the very top.

5.  FYI: Corn husks can be saved in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Now I would love your input!!!

Ornaments or no ornaments? What kind of ornaments? Would you decorate these or leave them plain? What would you decorate with?  Glitter or no glitter? Snow or no snow? Spray paint? Metallic?  

I would LOVE to hear what comes to your mind!!

What a great experiment.

What a great experiment. These are truly incredible. I only wish that I had seen it earlier. Thank you so much for sharing this idea.

You are welcome, Holly.  And

You are welcome, Holly.  And thank YOU for stopping by and noticing!!!  We seem to be able to purchase fresh corn almost year round these days in our markets, but if that isn't so where you are, book mark this for September!  One thing i love now about this project is that is will take you from harvest through winter!

These are super fun and cute!

These are super fun and cute! I'd love to see what they look like with a coat of white spray paint! Do you think the curly ques would stay curly, or be weighted down by the paint?

Thanks for sharing! :)

Hi Kathryn!  I am glad you

Hi Kathryn!  I am glad you like the little corn husk trees!!  

The answer to your question:  I don't know?  But I have some extra husks around here that I have tied onto dried chile pods and  if I can locate a can of spray paint, i will test it and let you know!!  I am thinking a light coat of acrylic spray first to seal the corn husk from the moisture in the spray paint might also be a good idea. Will keep you posted!

What a great idea! Will try

What a great idea! Will try this for sure, especially since we have so many corn fields around my home. Grandkids will love it! As far as ideas, the first thing that came to my mind were a few whimsical painted fall ornaments with a bit of glitter here and there through out the tree. And for the Christmas holiday, how about penguin and snowmen ornaments with red and green glitter. My creative mind is zipping! Love the tree. Thanks for sharing!

Penguins!!!  Never thought of

Penguins!!!  Never thought of penguins!  I am leaning toward some kind of sparkly snow like glitter - sparingly - so the sparkly bits wink at me when i walk past.

Very cool! What do they look

Very cool! What do they look like when they dry out? Do they still cover the cone base?

Avital.  In the top image the

Avital.  In the top image the corn husks ARE dried out.  So what you see is what you will get!!! :-) With age they slowly turn the lighter shade of golden beige associated with dried corn husks, but the curling occurs quickly and retains the shape.

Oh, my goodness! What a cool

Oh, my goodness! What a cool idea! My grand kids will love this!!! Actually my best friend will love it too! Dinner and craft party comin up! Thanks so much for sharing your photos and tips!!! I am thinking definitely YES to a glittery spray!!!!!

Thank you Julie!!!  I have

Thank you Julie!!!  I have been toying with the idea of a glittery spray.  Somrthing light to just add a tiny touch of sparkle here and ther.

Have fun with your grand kids!  Be sure to have lots of husks ready!