This DIY wood bead Indian corn is so easy to make and such a fun and unique addition to your fall décor! All you need is a hot glue gun!
I’ve got to be honest that these days I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to COVID news anymore. It stresses me out and I’ve opted just to not go out unless I really need to. I order my groceries in and when I feel like I need to get out among the living I go to plant nurseries. Afterall, I love plants and I get to be around people who also love plants while being outdoors.
And so when I decided that I really wanted some Indian corn for a project I’ve been knocking around in my head I first looked online. While I found a lot of Indian corn seeds, including these really pretty purple corn seeds, I couldn’t actually find already grown Indian corn! And since I want it this fall as opposed to months after planting and harvesting I decided to make it fake!
Making Fake Indian Corn on a Budget
I figured I could either try to make fake corn that looked real, or I could just embrace the craftiness of the whole project. And in the end I decided that I LOVE the idea of Indian corn that maybe from a distance you wouldn’t think twice about. But up close you’d sneak a second peek to see just how this fun stuff was made.
So I dug through my craft stash fully intending this project to be a stash-busting and crazy cheap. And while I was at it I decided that I didn’t want to have to bust out any special tools or gear. If you have a pair of scissors and a hot glue gun, well, this is one super inexpensive fall craft that actually is a lot of fun to make, too!
What You Need to Make Wood Bead Indian Corn
Since this project was a stash buster for me I used things I already have on hand. 12mm beads worked out well, but I do wonder if I would have liked the look of 10mm beads a little more. Maybe I’ll give smaller beads a go in 2023, but if you give it a try, send us a pic? I’m dying to know how well they work!
To dye my beads I used the colors Marigold, Sunset Orange, Charcoal Gray, Wine, Eggplant, Apple Green. Marigold is more yellow and sunset orange is a bright orange that was too bright for this project. I wound up adding a little bit of orange to the marigold dye for my orange colored beads.
In the supply list above, I’ve linked to everything at Amazon. You can save a LOT of money by shopping locally. You can get raffia and twine between $1-3 at dollar stores, craft stores, or big box stores. I buy RIT dye at Hobby Lobby because it’s the cheapest place at only $2.99 a bottle.
- Hot Glue Gun
- Mason Jars
How to Dye Wood Beads
Another quick admission here, I really, really struggled with the decision to dye my beads. Initially I wanted to keep my beads natural light wood. Since I used all but 8 beads in my craft stash (hurrah!) for this wood bead Indian corn I’ll have to buy some more beads to give that a go! That crafty to do list for fall 2023 just keeps a growing! :)
Pour a few fingers of hot water and add a splash of RIT dye into a glass jar. Add the wood beads and continuously stir for about 60 seconds and remove. Place wet beads onto a clean paper towel.
The color of your beads will lighten as they dry but you can still kind of gauge if you like where the color is going. Add a splash of another color if you want to shift the tint or just place them back into the dye if you want them to be darker/more saturated in color.
Preheat your oven to 200℉. Move all of your wet beads onto a cookie sheet and bake about 30 minutes. Roll the beads around halfway through as they bake so all sides dry out. Keep a close eye as once dry the beads will scorch where they are touching the cookie sheet.
Using Twine to Make Bead Indian Corn
Cut 7 pieces of jute twine that are approximately 12 inches apiece and one piece that is about 6 inches. Gather all of the pieces and tie the short twine around the long pieces. Tie an overhand knot and pull very tightly. Twist the bunch of twine around and knot it again on the other side, pulling it as tight as you can so that the twine locks together on itself.
Prepare the twine for beading by rubbing each end with glue and allowing to dry to firm up like a needle or wrap tape around the ends to form a pointy end.
Find the piece of twine that is most naturally in the center and put it off to the side. On the remaining 6 pieces of twine run 12 beads apiece. Push the beads down to the knot of the bottom. String the end of the twine up through the bottom of the last bead strung on. Push that bead down and pull the twine up to lock the bead into place.
Lastly string 10 beads onto the center piece of twine you set aside. Do not lock the last bead in place.
Begin hot gluing the beads together to form a corn cob shape. First glue together two of the outer strands.
Next glue the center strand in place, moving the beads up a bit so that you have about an inch from the bottom knot.
Continue gluing the beads around the center strand until all are secured to form your ear wood bead Indian corn.
Making Indian Corn Ends from Raffia
As you can tell in the photos I initially created my beaded corn by adding the raffia corn husk before gluing the beads together. Honestly it works just as well to glue your raffia in the beginning or at the end…
Gather a small bunch of natural raffia. Take a piece of jute and wrap it around several times to hold the bunch together. Apply a healthy amount hot glue to the end of the bunch to hold it together. Push it onto the center strand, or into the center of the corn cob if already formed. Hold into place until the glue sets.
Wrap one of the jute cord pieces from the cob around the top of the beads and over the raffia. Secure the end with a dab of hot glue. Cover any gaps or odd spaces by gluing loose beads into place.
Trim the jute twine sort on the bottom end and leave them longer on the tops. Trim the raffia and top jute to create a nice plume of corn husks and this ear of wood bead Indian corn is done!