Instant Autumn decorating with Indian Corn.

I’m sure you’ve seen it.  Pictures on the Internet or in magazines of 3 cobs of Indian corn tied together like a nice little hanging package. What could be easier? And in fact many sites label their photos as “Easy fall decorating!”, “So simple!”, “Even an artichoke could do it!”.

It’s at this point I refer back to one of my favourite phrases which is “The Internet is a Big, Fat, Liar”.  I was even going to start a web page called that but I was too busy looking up whether or not bananas actually have brain cells let alone opposable thumbs for tying knots.  According to the Internet bananas probably invented knots and will both cure and give you gout.

I think by now we’re all aware that most of the pictures on Pinterest are about as achievable as saddling a pig.   We realize when we see a home made entirely of of crystal chandeliers and a single wood pallet that it probably isn’t something we could do on our own, but it sure is pretty, albeit weird, to look at.

But when you see something like 3 cobs of corn tied together with a string you figure, now THAT’S something I could tackle. I’ve built my own chicken coop, installed my own heated floor, redecorated my entire home to the point that it’s been featured in countless magazines.  I’m handy, I’m crafty, I do STUFF.  I’m gonna bundle the shit outta that corn.




Here’s my corn in a wood box because I couldn’t bundle it.  Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times I tried to tie 3 stalks of Indian corn together.  No matter what I did or how I did it, the bundle came out looking like it was done by someone with toilet paper stuck to their foot and dandruff on their shoulders.

Luckily sticking corn in a box like this and putting it on the counter is beautiful and after some experimenting turned out to be my preferred way of displaying my Glass Gem corn for the season. Just fold up the husks so the ears are showing and put them in a wood cheese box or other small rustic box. I even kindda like cardboard boxes for this.




Ways to display your Indian corn number 2 is in vases or candlesticks.  I used some of the darker Glass Gem I grew this way and they look great.  Fair warning.  This method is only as successful as your vase or corn will allow.  When you’re putting the corn in shove it a bit to make it stay. You may need to glue it, tape it or turn the corn around.  It will work, you just need to experiment a bit.  I like this method because you can see each individual corn. Also the one on the left looks like a tiny, little hula dancer which makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii.



 Black Futsu pumpkin grown from seeds from Cubits

And then it happened.  Ways to display corn number 3.  The holy grail of Indian Corn display.  I managed to tie 3 pieces of Indian corn into a bunch and have it look like someone who doesn’t drool did it.


Use 3 pieces of corn that are all the same size.

Tie the corn together with string around the husks, not around the neck where the corn meets the husks.

Make the bottom of the ears level with each other, not the tops of them.

To make ’em a bit more fancy just stick a few pieces of grasses or flowers in them.




Ways to display Indian Corn number 4.  And this one was probably the trickiest but I figured it out so you don’t have to.  As you may have noticed, for whatever reason, Indian Corn is expensive to buy.  I think in my grocery store it’s around $10 for 3 measly cobs.  So you probably aren’t going to want to buy tons of it.  It *will* last for years providing you keep the mice away from it but still … it’s  not cheap.  So to create a bundle of Indian Corn like you see above would cost about the same as buying an Indian motorcycle.

To save enough money so you can actually buy your Thanksgiving turkey this year as opposed to renting it, stack the cobs of corn around a small can.  I used a Campbell’s soup can.  It’s a bit finicky but you can do it.  Put your first one or two cobs on the can and tie them on by wrapping string around the can.  Then add your next two cobs. And so on.  Finish it off by wrapping string, twine or rope all around the bundle.

And there you have it.  Easy Fall Decorating!  So Simple! Even an artichoke could do it.

Note: All the corn used in this post is Glass Gem corn.  A translucent gem coloured variety discovered in 2012.  If you read about it in Monday’s post (because you’re awfully fantastic and read all of my posts) and tried to order some but your country had been blacklisted or shipping was outrageous, email Julia, the woman behind the Seeds Trust that has the corn seed.  She’ll help you out.  Shipping to Canada will be around $5.75, NOT the $35 it says it is on the website and most countries haven’t actually been blacklisted; it’s just a website glitch. 



  1. Melissa in NC says:

    I love Fall decorating! I especially enjoy decorating with natural elements. My favs are white pumpkins and weird looking gourds, pinecones, Indian Corn and and twigs with berries.

    I second the comment that your corn in candlesticks and vases are gorgeous and should win and award. Great post.

  2. Susan De Masi says:

    I would love to grow this corn, but everytime I grow any type of corn those nasty gross worms get in there and ruin it. Do you get those, and how did you deal with them?

  3. Karol says:

    My favorite is the cheese box display. I really like the candlestick ones too, but my Bull-In-a-China-Shop grandchildren would have those knocked over before you could say zippitydooda.

  4. Ev Wilcox says:

    I ordered Gem Corn seeds from an ebay seller. Price was $6.95 for 400 seeds, and supposed to be in my mail on Saturday. I will be able to share with my daughter and other gardeners. Be late a year, but it’s ok! Your corn decorations are fabulous as usual Karen! And a tiny bag of seeds would be a nice touch on top of gifts to gardeners-just sayin’!

    • Teresa Jennings Richardson says:

      wow. I paid that last year for 20 kernels–plus shipping. I did get two tiny ears. So I have lots of seed for next year.

  5. Su says:

    once again… lovely ideas… even I could manage this I think

  6. Ruth says:

    “Tie the corn around the husks….”??

    Hmmm… whatever you did, it all looks cute… but I’m partial to the headless hula dancer. My family loves popcorn, so the beauty of Indian corn would not last long around these parts. I’m content to view from afar. :)

  7. Mary W says:

    Forgot to ask, did your cheese box come with that divider since it appears to help keep the ears upright? Or did you wedge it in? Signed, Artichoke in training.

    • Karen says:

      Um … I can’t actually remember Mary W. But I probably wedged something in there. It would have been years ago. ~ karen!

  8. Mary W says:

    I have an old cheese box so that one is DONE. I have a soup can, so CHECK. Old unused candlesticks, CHECK. I can buy the corn much cheaper locally so, CHECK. I want that end table so much but it’s not gonna happen. I do have a long buffet and two thumbs so I can manage the gorgeous centerpiece – my favorite. I want to give a few of these away as birthday presents and will be queen for a day with that gift. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!!!

  9. Julia (mumo3kids) says:

    I can’t stop thinking about a loaf of cheese…

  10. Debbie from Illinois says:

    The Indian corn I used to decorate my porch was ravaged by raccoons this year. They were kind enough to leave all the empty cobs all over the yard. Crap!

  11. Jacquie says:

    Having a Canadian moment over here in Malta. Reading this post and listening to Boom radio at work. 28 degrees though (or 82 in old money) so I think the weather’s a bit different.

    • Karen says:

      Fun! Malta! I’ve wanted to visit ever since I was introduced to Damian from Malta on As the World Turns as a teenager. ~ karen!

  12. Jillian says:

    Awesome displays and great ideas! I love the big bundle on the cool wooden end table!

    I can’t believe how expensive your Indian Corn is! I just bought 3 ears for 1.50 at a farm stand around the corner.
    I tried growing baby Indian corn but it didn’t do so well because of the location. At the time of planting I found out different types of corn cannot be grown close to each other or they will cross pollinate ruining the corn. So the location I had to use wasn’t ideal and I got 2 little ears of pathetic, twerpy mini Indian corn.

    Save your seeds and grow your own next year, you could make a gazillion bucks and have a new career! Heck, I just may grow it and head on over to Canada (30 minutes through Detroit for me, which sucks because Detroit sucks but it would be worth the big bucks and eventually, I could hire a limo to drive me there lol) and sell 3 ears for 9$ to give your grocery stores competition! lol

    Thanks again for the awesome tips!

  13. jainegayer says:

    I LOVE the corn in the box, and in the candlesticks (especially the hula one, it just looks happy) and on the log table and even hanging outside with the lavender (?). Somehow you always take the ordinary and make it better. All of us artichokes thank you. :)

  14. Grammy says:

    It’s all beautiful and creative, but that display of corn in candlesticks should win an award. Gorgeous.

  15. MissChris from SA says:

    I went onto the Seed Trust website and it was broke.

    The funniest thing ever – one of my blog friends from long ago (we have both since stopped blogging) posted your corn on her FB page – I was sooooooo excited to know that one of my friends also reads your blog and obviously enjoys it as much as I do.

    Now, mission is to find those seeds here in SA………………………..

  16. TucsonPatty says:

    There are some things you just almost can’t do…and then you can! (See: riding a bicycle.) You amaze me. (Really, no pun intended.) I might have to try the tying in a bunch trick. I think you can master anything, Karen! Really! Gorgeous corn, again. Thanks for showing it twice…

  17. Wendi Miller says:

    I would order the hell outta that glass gem corn (because it is simply gorgeous!), but I tend to kill any plant that I touch. So I guess I’ll just have to stick with my plan to get a second mortgage on my house so I can buy some Indian corn ;) Beautiful pics, Karen, thanks!

  18. Kathleen says:

    I have turned an ugly shade of green (which is a colour that really doesn’t suit me) with envy… all those cobs of corn! Oh so beautiful and displayed to wonderfully.

    I’m off to email Julia!

    LOL @ “Even an artichoke could do it.” Mine couldn’t… I ate them! :)

  19. Paula says:

    Thanks Karen. I sent her an email.

  20. Cynthia Jones says:

    Why do you decorate for Autumn? Does everyone in Canada do this? The US too?

    Now I have to go see if someone answered my whinge about not being able to buy the pretty gemstone corn from the Seed place.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah, lol. It’s kind of a thing. With all the leaves changing colours and things getting colder, it’s what we do. Potted mums outside, Indian corn, wheat … that sort of thing. Just email Julia. She left a few comments on the post about “blacklisting” and mailing charges. ~ karen!

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        I love it. It’s kind of a Wiccan thing to celebrate the cycles.

        I think it helps us as humans. Or Faeries or Elves, whatever the case may be. (I think you’re an Elf).

        I am just about to paste Julia’s email into my google Compose box.

      • Nancy Blue Moon says:

        I think she is more of a Pixie Cynthia..

        a fairy or sprite, especially a mischievous one.
        a small, pert, or mischievous person.
        Also, pixieish, pixyish. playfully impish or mischievous; prankish:

      • Nancy Blue Moon says:

        Oh yeah Cynthia…We Americans decorate for every season and every holiday…The Canadians just have to copy us cause they’re jealous…lol…

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        Of course she is. The hairstyle makes it obvious. I was lazy in my ethereal categorization. It’s likely Karen would do well in some tights with a leather apron. (I so want a leather apron).
        Pointy shoes made of suede. Chewing on straw with a chook tucked under her arm.

        By the way Karen, never ever go for a guy who looks or acts like a Prince.

        Magical creatures need the male equivalent of themselves in order to find happiness and their mate.

        It’s a question you could ask on any first date. “what magical olde-worlde creature do you think you are?” A knight, prince, elf, warrior, halfling, etc. etc.

        If they answer knight or prince. They’re dropped. That one question should sort out the chaff from the seed.

        Also, check out how they dress. Look for natural forest colours and fabrics. Linen, leather, suede, cotton, vests, flannos.

        Hipsters dont qualify.

        Wow, I could start a dating blog. No?

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        PS The fella was a warrior, but the type of of warrior who would be part of a group and leading the charge with his battleaxe raised and roaring something like “we are Sparaaaa”.

        Only lone warriors who use stealth and respond to protect their own, individually, need apply.

      • pat says:

        We decorate our pants off at Thanksgiving / Fall. Dried corn stalks, ceramic turkeys, lots of dried hydrangeas, pumpkins and gourds (all colours and sizes), bouquets of fresh flowers in fall colours, wreaths made of grape vines with sunflowers and maple leaves tucked in them, we could go on and on. Doesn’t everyone decorate like this? I have coloured dried corn too, but I bought it at Homesense years ago.

    • Elaine says:

      I love to decorate for fall. Indian Corn, bales of hay and different color pumpkins and gourds and mums of course. I made some bouquets called Autumn Harvest in the picture. Definitely autumn decorating is a big thing in the States.

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