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Project Tutorials >

Spun Cotton Indian Corn Ornaments ~ An Autumn Craft Tutorial

These petite Indian Corn ornaments are easier to make than you'd think! They make a charming addition to autumn feather trees and also look stunning hung in small clusters.  A simple painting formula and a few specialty supplies are all that's needed to create a whole bushel.  Let's begin!

Supplies: Spun Cotton Corn, Paper-covered Wires, Crepe Paper in Apricot/Light Apricot, .5mm size Deco Beads, 1/8" Velvet Ribbon, Stamp Pad in Gold, Paints (Gold and Various Colors), "Liner" Paint Brush and "Flat" Paint Brush, Clear Drying Craft Glue like Alleen's, Scissors, Tin Foil, Skewers/Pipe Cleaners, Pin, Corn Husk Template

Printable pdf: Click here to download a free pdf of Corn Husk Template (Print at "actual size.")

Step 1: Prepare Crepe and Paint Wires

Cut a piece of crepe paper measuring 8"x10" and place it on a piece of tin foil Apricot side up.  Using a gold stamp pad as a stamp, press color all over the crepe in a random fashion to deposit traces of gold ink.  The goal is to make golden accents, not to cover the crepe entirely.  Flip crepe over and stamp Light Apricot side sparingly.  Let dry.

Use a flat paint brush to paint several paper-covered wires gold on all sides.  Let dry.


Step 2: Paint Corn

Use a pipe cleaner or skewer as a handle. 

The general idea is to paint small "kernels" all over the corn in 5 or 6 different colors.  If this seems daunting, don't be intimidated: when sections are broken down into a simple formula, you'll be amazed at the result you can achieve! Here's an easy technique with photos:

-- Use a flat brush to paint a medium shade all over the corn, we chose a metallic taupe. Let dry.

-- Use a small liner brush to paint brown squares randomly all over the corn.

-- Use the liner brush to paint an orange square just to the left of the brown squares.


-- Use the liner brush to paint yellow squares just to the left and directly above each orange square.  If some areas don't allow this because a different color is already painted there, that's OK! It adds interest and makes your piece more corn-like.

-- Use the liner brush to paint a white square below each orange square.

-- Use the liner brush to fill in a few dark red squares for interest.  The corn will have areas where it seems like a lot of the base color is showing -- these are god areas to add a dark red square.  Let dry.


Step 3: Make Stems and Hangers

Using a very narrow paint brush handle, twist a gold-painted wire around the handle 5 times to make a tight spiral.  Trim ends and set aside.  This will act as the corn's stem.

Using the same narrow paint brush handle, twist a piece of gold-painted wire two times around the handle to for a double circle, then twist ends around each other three or 4 times to secure.  Trim ends leaving at least 1" below loop and set aside. 

Step 4: Make Husks

Cut three husks using the Corn Husk Template.  Use a pin to create a hole in the top of each husk.  Poke several times to create a hole large enough for the hanger to slip through. 

Using a "cupping" technique to shape the crepe: hold the husk between two thumbs and index fingers with bottom side facing you, gently press your thumbs into the crepe while simultaneously pulling it back toward you with your index fingers to make a cupped shape.


Make a twist at the end of the husk by gently rolling the point between your thumb and index finger.

Bend top of husks at a slight angle.  Set husks aside.


Step 5: Add Deco Beads

Paint an even coat of glue all over the corn.  Pour deco beads over glue and tap off excess.  Let dry, then brush off any excess deco beads with a dry paint brush.


Step 6: Add Husks, Stem and Hanger

Slide stem onto hanger and position loosely below the hanging loop.  Slide the first husk onto the hanger and position below the stem.  Slide another husk onto the hanger and position it below the first husk.  Slide the third husk on to the hanger and position it below the first and second husks.  Try  placing the hanger into the corn to assess positioning and make changes as needed. 

Place a few drops of glue into the hole on top of the corn.  Place hanger into hole, make any positioning adjustments, and press down so husk, stem and hanging loop are closely and tightly positioned.  Let dry.  You may need to hold the hanger in place until the glue has set up enough to keep the desired positioning.


Step 7: Add Ribbon Hanger

Cut a 9-1/2" long piece of velvet ribbon.  String through hanging loop, bring ends together, tie a knot and trim ends as needed.  You may wish to refine the husks by coaxing the crepe to lay closer to the corn or re-twisting an end.


Tips:

-- When choosing paint colors, look to nature for inspiration.  Even corn that seem to be more uniform in color are actually made up of several shades. 

-- Don't discount the unexpected: Do a search on "Glass Gem Corn" and be dazzled!

-- Instead of deco beads, clear glass glitter also gives a beautiful and classic finish.

-- Completed ornaments are about 2-1/2" long, not counting ribbon hanger.

-- As always, display proudly!



Brown Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

Brown Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

$6.95

Clear German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

Clear German Glass Glitter ~ Fine Grit ~ 2 oz in Jar

$7.95

White Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

White Paper Wrapped Craft Wire ~ 0.6mm ~ 8" long

$6.95

Gloria Doublette Double Sided Crepe Paper from Germany ~ Apricot and Light Apricot

Gloria Doublette Double Sided Crepe Paper from Germany ~ Apricot and Light Apricot

$2.75

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Orange ~ 1/8" wide

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Orange ~ 1/8" wide

$1.49

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Autumn Orange ~ 1/8" wide

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Autumn Orange ~ 1/8" wide

$1.49

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Mulberry ~ 1/8" wide

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Mulberry ~ 1/8" wide

$1.49

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

$9.95

Ribbed Spun Cotton Corn or Pine Cones for Vintage Crafts ~ 2" tall ~ 8 pcs

Ribbed Spun Cotton Corn or Pine Cones for Vintage Crafts ~ 2" tall ~ 8 pcs

$5.95

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Fawn Brown ~ 1/8" wide

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Fawn Brown ~ 1/8" wide

$1.49

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Light Honey Gold ~ 1/8" wide

Tiny Velvet Ribbon Trim in Light Honey Gold ~ 1/8" wide

$1.49

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