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Cornhusk Wreath

Humble corn husks take a decorative turn when dyed a rich burgundy shade and looped around a wreath frame. The resulting display makes a radiant Thanksgiving welcome.




  • Liquid Rit dye, in Wine;
  • Corn husks (50 for 18-inch wreath)
  • Paper towels or kraft paper
  • 18-inch straw wreath form,
  • Floral U pins,
  • Satin ribbon (optional)


  1. Step 1

    In a large bowl, prepare a dye bath with a ratio of 2 teaspoons of dye to each cup of warm water.

  2. Step 2

    Working in small batches, soak husks until they reach desired color. (You may need to swish the liquid around to dye the husks evenly.)

  3. Step 3

    Remove husks, and lay them flat on paper towels or kraft paper; let dry slightly.

  4. Step 4


    While husks are still damp and pliable, begin making the wreath. Tear husks in half lengthwise along their natural striation. Working in rows and overlapping as you go, loop each husk and anchor its ends to the wreath with a U pin. Continue until the form is covered.

  5. Step 5

    Hang from a loop of ribbon.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2011



Reviews (12)

  • llbelling 10 Feb, 2013

    I grow native american corn so this was a perfect fit for the different varieties of corn husks I have. I used the Rit dye at full strength into about a 1/2 a plastic shoe container full of water and let it soak for almost three full days so the color is vibrant and well saturated. It will take about 5 hours of work to fill in an 18" straw wreath but it is well worth the effort, the wreath is just beautiful and unique. I plan on entering it in the state fair.

  • supermom219 5 Dec, 2011

    This totally NOT a project for an afternoon !! and YES, double the dye and YES, wear gloves !! I made a mess but it did turn out quite nice. I made mine in Royal Blue for Chanukah !! I also added some tulle in bunches to help fill in some spots. I would recommend to the Martha Stewart family to "add" a time line to all it might be helpful if you want to take on a new project.

  • cbslack 30 Nov, 2011

    Forget the dye. Use plain husks (soaked until pliable) and spray paint later. No matter how strong the dye and how long they soak, the husks come out muted. It's not a bad look, but it's just muted. I spray painted mine, and it's beautiful. The texture of the husks comes through, and the paint should increase the life of the wreath.

  • cbslack 25 Nov, 2011

    Thanks for the very helpful tips! A few more suggestions:
    1) I doubled the amount of "scarlet" dye, as I wanted a brighter red.
    2) I used about 75 corn husks (torn apart to make 150) rather than 50, so my wreath is nice and full.

    Question: Ideas for preserving and/or weatherproofing, such as spraying or painting it with something? Or just leave it alone?

  • Johiattkim 19 Nov, 2011

    Thanks for the tip, Tracy...I was starting to wonder if I was doing something wrong with the dye not taking...another one of those projects I thought I could do in an afternoon that will now take much longer :)

  • PerennialLady1018 18 Nov, 2011

    I'm also wondering about if the dye would stain my door if placed outside where the rain/snow would get on it?

  • Bernadodat 17 Nov, 2011

    I get mine at HEB, I am from Texas though, tamales are BIG over here in South Texas. Your supermarket store should have them. I made many in different colors, I just need to finish the rose one, The color is so vibrant, I love it!!!!!!!!!! I too started in the inside and worked my way out. If you have a facebook check it out. :)

  • kathleenwarren 17 Nov, 2011

    where do you get the corn husks?

  • tracy_mcreynolds 17 Nov, 2011

    OK, folks, I just made this. Some tips: 1) let the husks sit in dye for 24 hours; 2) when applying the husks start in the center of the wreath-complete the circle and then move outwards - over lapping the husks slightly (the husks shrink as they dry); 3) place the Upins at the far bottom of the husks and hide them well...with shrinkage they will show if you don't. Learn from my booboos and your wreath will be gorgeous! Mine is so lovely..I'm actually impressed with myself!

  • LizGidz 16 Nov, 2011

    Looks beautiful. Just wondering if you put the wreath outside, would the dye run on my door, in the rain or snow?

  • BUUZBEE 16 Nov, 2011

    Beautiful wreath.... I'm wondering how much ribbon I will need to buy though?
    I'm thinking of making one in green also... I'll have to find out what green dyes look the best!

  • sandy7828 15 Nov, 2011

    Saw this on your show today LOVE it....I can't wait to try this with my daughters....