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How to Repurpose a Corn Stalk

Repurpose corn huskFor the last month we’ve had a corn stalk adorning our porch post so this week I thought about repurposing it into Thanksgiving and (gasp!) Christmas crafts. Now the funny thing is, our neighborhood squirrels have not plundered the corn cobs for some reason. I even ripped one off, shucked it and left it on the lawn. I don’t get it. But, that did leave me with the husks and cobs to upcycle.

There are several crafts you can make from repurposing the parts of the corn stalk (husks, cob, kernels and seed pods).

DIY Crafts Made from Corn Stalks

1. Corn Husk Dolls – I’ve always wanted to make a corn husk doll, so this was my year! They’re actually very easy to make and totally customizable. My intent was to make a wreath of corn husk dolls (fashioned to look like my family members). I’ll get back to you if that happens. In the mean time, here is a link to a video on how to make corn husk dolls.

2. Corn Husk Breaded Broach – I also have good intentions to make this corn husk broach. Click the link for the tutorial. Once you see the photo, you’ll want to make it!

3. DIY Corn Cob Pipe – I’m not advocating that you actually make a pipe, but in another month or two, your snowman may want one, just sayin’. To make essentially a faux corn cob pipe, cut 2″ of corn cob and remove the kernels. Next, look for a stick that will serve as the shaft of the pipe (there’s probably a real term for that). Then get out your drill and drill into the side of the corn cob so you can tightly insert the stick.

4. Indian Corn Christmas Tree – This Christmas craft came about by accident while I was making a corn cob pipe. After I plucked out a couple inches of kernels, I thought, “hey, this looks like a Christmas tree.” Funny when that happens. So I went with it.

Indian corn craft

I decided to make a Christmas Tree decoration by upcycling the corn cob and a tuna can. Both needed to be stray painted. All I had was green chalkboard paint, which means I could write a Christmas greeting on the tuna can that I used for the base.

spray paint corn cob

To spray paint the corn cob effectively, reuse a coffee tray (if you have one). Stick a long tack up through the bottom of the tray and into the bottom of the corn cob. This will hold it upright and you can spray paint from all angles at once.

*Don’t forget to mask off the corn cob where you picked off the kernels. This should look brown link a tree trunk. My masking tape is green so it’s hard to see in the photo.

There you have it…Indian corn cob repurposed into a Christmas Tree decoration!


Christmas tree made from a corn cob

Indian corn holiday decorIdeas for Decorating a Faux Christmas Tree:

1. In the photo above, I used red breads and attached them with white-head pins. Okay, that sounds gross, but you know what I mean – pins with a white ball on the end.

2. If I had silver rick-rack I would probably have used it.

3. I also seriously considered glue and glitter. Actually, I worked an another recycled craft project today (coming soon!) that used glitter hot glue sticks.

4. You could make little red balls with used tissue paper and hot glue them on your faux Christmas tree craft.


What embellishments do you use for Christmas crafts?

“How to Repurpose a…” series will continue every Friday. Please let me know if you have suggestions on something to repurpose. I’d love to take on the challenge! 

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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4 Responses to How to Repurpose a Corn Stalk

  1. Jon Maroni November 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    Eve, I love the Christmas tree you have made here. Since this stuff is in abundant supply this time of year this is a perfect kid gift for a parent or grandparent, and it is super cheap.
    Jon Maroni recently posted…The ACA and You- What It Means for Your FinancesMy Profile

    • Eve November 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks, Jon. I’m so glad this is a useful project for you! Kids can have fun picking off the kernels and “decorating” their corn cob.

      • Jon Maroni November 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

        Indeed, we live in an area surrounded by farms so corn stalks are readily available. I’ve passed this on to several parents I know and they loved it. Thanks again.
        Jon Maroni recently posted…How Can I be a Generous Consumer?My Profile

        • Eve November 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

          Thank you!

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