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Fresh Corn Husks Make "Whimsical" Table Top Holiday Trees
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 21:27
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!!!
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.
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!
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!
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!!