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Jewel-Toned Swag

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2005


Greet guests with the prettiest hues from fall's palette by hanging a cluster of artfully arranged dried corn on the front door. Choose mini ears in multiple colors for an elegant, eye-catching look.

Find dried ears of corn with peeled-back husks at farmers' markets. You'll need about 12 miniature ears for this project.


  • About 12 miniature dried ears of corn with peeled-back husks.

  • Steaming kettle

  • Raffia

  • Hot-glue gun

  • Door knocker or wreath hanger


  1. Hold husks over a steaming kettle for about 15 seconds. (Keep your hands away from the spout or wear gloves.) Pull husks down over kernels. Curl back some husks, or remove them as necessary, to expose kernels.

  2. Tie three strands of raffia to the stem of each ear, and double-knot; secure knots to husks with hot glue.

  3. Braid three ears together, stopping after 1 to 3 inches. Add remaining ears, one, two, or three at a time, by twisting the raffia from the new ears together with one of your three main strands and braiding another couple of inches.

  4. Continue, alternating the number of ears you add. Braid remaining raffia. To hang, loop braid through a door knocker or wreath hanger and secure with several pieces of raffia. Finish with a wide ribbon.

  5. Use these instructions to make a decorative Thanksgiving placeholder. Follow step 1 (above). Snip one husk at base of ear; hold flat. Let dry. Using a nib dipped in gouache, calligraph the name of a guest on husk. Once dry, hot-glue husk in place. Carefully resteam to shape

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