How-To: Dyed Cornhusk Wreath
Dotting woodland paths and roadside foliage with glimpses of deep purple, pokeberries have found their way into our workshop this autumn as the source of dye for a variety of natural fall crafts. Our nursery specialist, Jessica J., recently paired a splash of pokeberry dye with dried cornhusks and stalks to create the wreath above at our Autumn Bounty Festival. We couldn't wait to deck our doorstep with this colorful DIY, so Jessica gave us her how-to for making a custom cornhusk wreath.
What You'll Need:
3-5 corn stalks with leaves and husks
Wire or twine
Pruners or scissors
Hot glue gun
1. Submerge the corn stalks in water and soak until pliable. Remove from water, then strip all leaves and cobs, setting aside for later.
2. To create a wreath base, choose a stalk and gently bend between the nodes (joints) to create a circular shape. Bending at the nodes may crack the stem. Cut off any excess stalk that may be too thick to bend.
3. When you've formed a circle of the desired size, secure the ends of the stalk together with wire or twine.
4. Use the leaves set aside in step 1 to wrap around the stalk for added bulk and stability, securing with wire or twine as needed.
5. Before wrapping the last leaf, attach a second stalk with wire or twine and bend in a circle to match the existing form. Wrap with additional leaves to hold the stalk in place.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the base reaches your desired shape. Note: the base will be completely covered by the dyed husks, so focus on a consistent, sturdy shape rather than appearance!
7. Remove the husks from the corn cobs set aside in step 1. Wearing gloves, dye the husks by rubbing berries directly onto the husk. You can also create a softer pink dye by wetting the husks. Lay the husks out to dry on a flat surface. Note: pokeberry dye is water soluble and will wash off clothes and hands.
8. Once all the husks are dyed and have dried, apply hot glue to the wide end of a husk and attach to the front interior of the wreath base, then wrap outward. Use additional glue as needed to help the husks wrap securely.
9. Repeat step 8 until the entire base is covered with husks. For added depth, wrap a layer of larger husks first, then overlap with a smaller layer.
10. Hang your wreath indoors or in a sheltered location outdoors (since the dye is water soluble), and enjoy a pop of fall color!