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Decorating with Indian Corn for Thanksgiving – Indian Corn Decorations

Fall is the time for decorating with Indian corn. These rustic ears of ornamental corn are the perfect addition to any Autumn decorating project.

Rustic and colorful, this variety of corn has been around for centuries.

Keep reading to get some tips for using it in fall decorations.

Basket with pumpkins and ears of Indian corn with text reading "Indian corn decorating ideas."

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What is Indian corn?

Indian corn, also known as flint corn or calico corn, is one of the oldest varieties of corn. It has long been associated with harvest decorations and Thanksgiving.

Native Americans taught the early colonists how to cultivate Indian corn.

This type of corn has kernels, which come in a wide range of colors including white, blue and red. The shells are very hard, like flint, which gives this type of corn its traditional name.Ears of Indian corn in many colors.

Since the ears are natural, it gives each one a unique look. You can even grow Indian corn from seed, just like you can normal corn.

According to folklore, Indian corn was named after the Native Americans. However, the rustic ears are not only found in North America. Indian corn was grown throughout China, India and South America for centuries.

The color and texture of Indian corn adds an instant rustic look to your fall decor. Decorating with Indian Corn is an easy and inexpensive way to bring the colors of fall to your rooms and entryways.

Glass gem corn

There is a special type of Indian corn that makes a dramatic addition to any decorating project. It is called “glass gem corn,” and as the name suggests, it looks almost like glass jewels.Glass gem corn on burlap.

This type of corn became an internet sensation in 2012 when a photo of sparkling cobs was posted to Facebook.

According to the company that sells the seeds, the ears produce gorgeous translucent, jewel-colored ears, each of which is unique.

If you can find it, add this type of Indian corn in any of the decorating project below to give a more glamorous look to the decorations.

Is Indian corn edible?

Although Indian corn is generally used as a decorative item, in theory, it can be eaten.

The seeds of Indian corn have to be chucked from the corn cob to be used. Once removed, they can be used for popping into popcorn, or ground to make what is known as masa.Indian corn popped into popcorn.

The ground masa, or corn meal is then used for lots of dishes including grits, polenta, tamales and masa cakes.

If you do try to eat this Indian corn, you will find that it is not sweet like the typical ears of corn. It has a starchy texture and tastes a bit like hominy.

How to decorate with Indian corn

Indian corn is just one natural element that can be used in fall decoration. There are dozens of others that you can use as well. One of the great things about ornamental corn is the variety of colors that the ears produce.

Years ago. it was common for our ancestors to eat Indian corn. Now we generally decorate with it.

I especially love the texture that Indian corn adds to decorations. The ears can be used in wreaths, door swags and as accent pieces for table decorations and centerpieces.Scarecrow, pumpkins, Indian corn and basket.

Consider Indian corn an add-on to other elements in your design. Add the ears to give height, texture and a place to sit other items for the project.

Here are some creative ideas for using ears of decorative Indian corn.

Indian corn door swag

No round up of Indian Corn Decoration ideas would be complete without a project for a door swag. The shape of the ears is perfect for them!

Just grab three long ears of Indian corn with stalks attached. Wrap a piece of raffia around the center of the stalks to secure them.

Add several sprigs of faux fall leaves and attach to the area of the stalks. Hang on a door hanger on your front door. Presto! A door decoration made in just minutes that looks fabulous.

The vibrant red color of this door is a perfect back drop for this Indian corn door decoration that pairs well with the colors in the leaves and ears of corn.&

Indian corn door swag on a red door.

Indian corn on door meaning

Indian corn used on a door can signify many things. This can vary depending on the cultural and regional context, but here are a few common interpretations:

  1. Harvest and abundance: In many cultures, Indian corn is associated with the harvest season and abundance. Placing Indian corn on a door or as a decoration can symbolize a bountiful harvest and the hope for prosperity in the coming year.
  2. Autumn and Thanksgiving: Indian corn is often used as a decoration during the autumn season, particularly around Thanksgiving. It can symbolize the spirit of gratitude for the abundance of the season.
  3. Protection and warding off evil: In some Native American cultures, Indian corn was believed to have protective properties. Hanging it on a door or at the entrance of a home could be seen as a way to ward off negative energies or bring good luck.
  4. Cultural and decorative significance: Indian corn can also be used simply for its cultural and decorative value. Its vibrant colors and unique appearance make it an attractive decoration for doors, particularly in rustic or country-themed decor.
  5. Tradition and ritual: Some individuals or families may have specific traditions or rituals associated with Indian corn. For example, they might hang it on the door as part of a family tradition passed down through generations.

Harvest lantern decoration

As with most ornamental Indian corn decorating ideas, this pretty display is easy to put together.

To make the project, you’ll need four mini pumpkins, a bunch of Indian corn, a lantern with candle, some straw and a few rounds of cut wood.

Use the rounds of wood to give height to the pumpkins. Light the candle, position the Indian corn and sprinkle on some straw. Easy peasy but looks as though a professional put it together!

Indian corn display with lantern and pumpkins.

Indian corn fence decoration

What a lovely way to decorate a rustic wooden fence! Do you have a picket fence around your property? Decorate it for fall with double ears of Indian corn.

Just tie two ears of Indian corn together and position them over the space between the pickets. You can decorate just one area of the fence, or go all out with bunches positioned between every few pickets for a more dramatic look.

This fence display is very easy and makes a great looking swag.

Picket fence decorated with Indian corn.

Use lots of baskets

The rustic color of natural baskets compliments the colors of Indian corn in a very pleasing way.

This simple basket is filled with orange fall leaves and faux seeds. Contrasting smooth and warty skinned pumpkins along with rustic Indian corn gives this table centerpiece a still life look to it.

So impressive and yet it’s put together in just minutes!

Indian corn basket display.

Harvest vignette for your table

Bring together a harvest vignette that the kids will love using mini pumpkins, small scarecrow figures, a basket wagon and ears of Indian corn.

The look is rustic, colorful and whimsical. The only problem will be keeping the kiddos from playing with it.

No need to worry! It will take the play time in stride since the vignette can be put back together in any number of ways.

Scarecrow vignette for fall.

Indian corn porch decoration

The rustic look of Indian corn makes it an easy addition to any fall porch decor idea.

To get this look, just tuck a few ears of Indian corn in with some pumpkins, pine cones and a planter filled with Dragon’s Breath celosia for a harvest themed fall look for your front steps.

See the rest of the front porch decor project here.

front step autumn decor using pumpkins, celosia, Indian corn and pine cones.

Indian corn table decoration

I love the muted tones of this table decoration. Since Indian corn comes in so many colors, you can put together a table decoration by choosing ears of corn and leaves that match.

Then highlight the whole scene with a block candle and mini pumpkins of a contrasting color.

The beauty of this design lies in its simplicity!
Indian corn table display using a block candle.

Harvest display for Fall

This pretty harvest display uses so many of the items that we associate with Autumn.

Indian corn is tied to a rustic wooden fence with coleus in the background. Ornamental kale, apples and mums bring in more pops of color, while the white and orange pumpkins coordinate well with the colors of the Indian corn.

The whole look just screams fall.

Harvest display using indian corn, Kale and applesIndian corn and yarn pumpkins

One of the most versatile things about Indian corn is the variety of colors that it produces. This makes it the ideal quick add on for other decorating projects.

In this simple table decoration, quartets of yarn pumpkins are grouped on two sides of a bunch of yarn tied Indian corn ears that compliment their color.

Change the color of yarn to suit the Indian corn and your decoration is ready for the Thanksgiving table in just minutes.

Indian corn with yarn pumpkins.

Thanksgiving cornucopia

The cornucopia is also known as a horn of plenty. It has always been a symbol of abundance and nourishment.

The item takes the shape of a ram’s horn which is often overflowing with flowers, nuts, pumpkins and other symbols of harvest.

The length of a cornucopia makes it a great item to embellish with ears of Indian corn on a table top or outdoor scene for Thanksgiving.Cornucopia with pumpkins, leaves and Indian corn.

Instead of buying a cornucopia, bake one. Find out how to make a baked cornucopia centerpiece here.

Make a bird or squirrel feeder

The squirrels and birds will love this one if you hang it on a fence pole!

To make this Indian corn wreath, just cut ears of Indian corn in half and poke a hole through the center of each cob piece. Thread a piece of wire or a wire coat hanger through the center so that the ears form a circle.

Tie three ears of mini Indian corn ears with stalks together with a piece of jute and attach to the top of the wreath.

Hang on a fence post or your front door.

Share this post about Indian corn on Twitter

If you enjoyed learning how to decorate with Indian corn, be sure to share this post with a friend. Here is a tweet to get you started:

Fall is the time of the year, when you start seeing Indian corn at the grocery stores. Find out how to decorate with it on The Gardening Cook. 🌽🎃🌿🍁🌽 Share on X

Indian corn circular wreath.

More ideas for decorating with Indian corn

Don’t stop at just these few ideas. There are so many creative ways to use Indian corn in your fall and harvest decorations. Here are a few more.

Indian Corn Decorations – Ideas for Decorating with Indian Corn

From door wreaths to fall vignettes and decorated pitch forks, these projects are quick to assemble and put to use one of Mother Nature's decorating supplies - Indian corn!

No matter which way you use Indian corn in your decorating projects, this natural element is sure to add a rustic appeal to your home, both indoors and out.

Pin these Indian corn decorations for later

Would you like a reminder of these ideas for decorating with Indian corn? Just pin this photo to one of your Autumn decorating boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.Ears of Indian corn with a wood background and words reading "decorating with Indian corn."

Admin note: This post for decorating with Indian corn first appeared on the blog in October of 2013. I have updated the post to add new photos, lots of new ideas for Indian corn decorations and a video for you to enjoy.

Have you tried decorating with Indian Corn? How did you use it? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tuesday 4th of October 2016

Just curious if the corn will cut easily lengthwise for the bird feeder? What did u use to cut it?


Tuesday 4th of October 2016

Hi Anna. Corn cobs are hard to cut for sure. I use a very sharp carving knife from Cutco cutlery. I have to rotate the corn as I cut to go all the way through. A meat cleaver would work too. Carol

Linda at Mixed Kreations

Thursday 22nd of October 2015

I'm seen the Indian corn in the stores, but have never bought any. I love these different ideas for decorating with it. Great collection!


Thursday 22nd of October 2015

Thanks LInda. I think I might make a swag for my door this year.

Renee Fuller

Monday 19th of October 2015

I love Indian corn!


Monday 19th of October 2015

Me too. It's so festive and crafty!


Monday 19th of October 2015

Thank you so much for featuring my Indian Corn Swag on your blog! :) What lovely ideas for decorating with Indian Corn for this time of year. Fall is my favorite!


Monday 19th of October 2015

My pleasure Shasta. I love the swag. I changed my door this year to one with an oval glass panels, so I am on the hunt for swag decor!

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