Learn how to make an Elegant Metallic Corn Vase for Fall

For me, it is time to start thinking everything Autumn! Indian corn is one of those things that says Fall! I find it is more difficult to find it every year, but if you can’t find it at a farmer’s market near you, look on Etsy! Do you have Indian corn crafts you have done in the past? Do you like to build your own centerpieces for holidays or special occasions? I know I do, and this one turned out so well, I wanted to share it with you!

This is great diy fall table decor that can be made now. The flowers can be rotated out throughout the season, or you can use artificial or dried flowers for this and enjoy it through Thanksgiving!

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Let’s get the political ‘stuff’ out of the way:

If you aren’t familiar with Indian Corn, this is some pictured below. First off, I have done a lot of research and asked some Native Americans or American Indians (some of whom prefer to be called the former, some the previous) their thoughts about “Indian corn”. I have been assured that they are totally comfortable with calling it Indian corn. That is what they call it also.

I have read, “If it’s something that’s true to the culture, and to be proud of, it’s not offensive.” I don’t know if that is true, but it sounds good. Now, if you would like to call it something else, here are some options:

  • Flint corn (because the kernels are as hard as flint)
  • Calico corn (because of the colors)
  • Ornamental corn

Prepping the ears of corn:

two ears of indian corn

Your corn will look like this above. You will want to use Indian corn for this project because it is hard and has low water content and will remain hard and won’t spoil on you through the fall season.

several ears of indian corn one red one being held in a hand
The first thing you will want to do is remove the husks. Pick up an ear of corn and hold it firmly with one hand. With the other hand, twist the husk to remove it. Sometimes, it will not come off easily. If that is the case, it may be that a tough piece of the corn stalk is still attached. Use a knife or a pair of pliers to break it off and the husk will come off with it.
4 ears of indian corn laying on a piece of brown kraft paper

Your ears of corn will be nice and clean looking like this. Even though this corn is hard and tough, you are likely to lose some kernels. You can overlook the lost kernels, or you can use a little glue to secure them back in place. For this project, you are painting the ears, so it may not matter quite so much.

two jars of paint, rose gold and green gold metallic sitting in front of a wicker basket

The two paints I selected to use for this project are both Folk Art by Plaid. I selected Metallic Rose Gold and Treasure Gold in Green Gold color.

an ear of indian corn being painted with rose gold paint

Use any utility paintbrush, dip it into your paint and then dab most of the paint off of the brush before painting the ear of corn. This allows the different colors of the Indian corn to still show as a variety of colors, but all with the tint of the paint color you are using. If you want just the same metallic color on the entire ear of corn, go ahead and be generous with your paint.

3 paper plates with ears of corn on them that have been painted rose gold or green

Here are my ears of corn all painted and drying, ready to proceed to building the vase.

Making the vase:

two hands holding red and green rubber bands around a glass vase and some green and rose gold indian corn on a paper plate

Select a straight sided glass container that is about the same height as your ears of corn. You also want to make sure you have enough ears of corn to go all the way around your vase. ( I made this mistake and originally only had enough to go about halfway around.)

Using two large rubber bands, stretch them around the glass vase at about equal distances from the top and bottom of the vase.

two ears of corn tucked inside of a red and green rubber band against a glass vase

Tuck your dried ears of corn into the rubber bands, alternating the colors working around the glass vase.

someone in a pink apron holding 7 ears of painted indian corn inside red and green rubber bands against a glass vase

You can see your vase with the ears of corn on it is going to be much larger than just the simple glass vase.

a close up of painted ears of indian corn with red and green rubber bands around them with foliage in the vase inside the corn

Your vase is now ready for you to arrange your flowers. I went ahead and added water to my container and arranged my flowers. You can see the top of the glass is showing above some of the ears of corn. When I get my vase where I want it to be, I will fill that in with additional foliage and flowers so none of that is showing. If you have ears of corn with several missing kernels, make sure that you turn those spots toward the glass container so those spots show the least.

Flowers arranged in a glass vase that is surrounded by painted ears of corn and wrapped with rubber bands and sitting on a decorative white plate

Even though you have those two rows of rubber bands on your ears of corn, when you go to move your vase, I suggest you put a plate beneath it so you don’t none of those ears slip out.

Floral arrangement of oranges and yellows in a vase of metallic painted corn cobs tied with green ribbon and two little pumpkins wrapped in yarn set in a living room

The final step is to tie some pretty ribbon around your corn, covering up those rubber bands! I selected a green that has a little bit of a metallic tint to it. Look all around your vase, making sure the ribbon covers up those rubber bands completely and you are ready to display your fall table decor with metallic Indian corn!

Supplies for this project:

Want to know more about the history of Indian corn?

Check out History.com!


If you want more ideas for fall centerpieces, you can find those at 27 Fall Centerpieces!

collage of thanksgiving or fall centerpieces with a sign in the shape of a maple leaf that says 27 fall centerpieces

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