It has become a Thanksgiving tradition for us to make Indian corn necklaces for everyone at our Thanksgiving table.
As we work with the corn, making the necklaces, we talk about how each little kernel is a seed. That if we planted it and watered it, it would grow into a great big corn plant. We talk about how we cook corn, the different things we can do with corn. We talk about how people can grind the corn kernels into corn flour and make corn bread and corn tortillas. I tell them all about the sweet yellow corn we got as kids in South Africa and how we called it ‘mealies’. We discuss how corn is a staple diet of many, many people around the world… there is so much to learn about corn as we make our pretty corn Thanksgiving necklaces.

The kernels are like jewels.

First, we shuck the corn and collect the pretty colored corn beads in a bowl.

The kernels need to be soaked for a day or two to make them soft enough for us to work with.

When they are nice and soft, we thread a needle with strong thread and, using a wooden board to press on, we thread the corn kernels along our thread.

The colors of the corn look so wonderfully rich and earthy and remind us of Autumn’s bounty.

When the necklaces is long enough, we tie the two ends together and wear our handmade, Thanksgiving treasures.

What Thanksgiving traditions do you have in your family?

Blessings and magic,



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8 Responses

  1. What a lovely idea- we always find time to gather and hang some Indian corn at our door in Autumn, but I never thought of using the kernels this way. Thank you for sharing!

  2. These were SO beautiful that we couldn’t wait to try them! My 2- and 6-yr olds were both able to help remove the kernels, and my 6-yr-old could thread her own bracelets and necklaces with a larger needle. (I’m curious to know if you’ve found a quick way to re-dry the kernels after threading them – in their soft state, they tended to easily rip off the thread and/or split when we tried them out.) Thanks so much for posting this! It’s been our most favorite fall craft yet. :)

    1. I’m so glad you and your little ones loved making your necklaces… aren’t they lovey.
      I don’t remember having the same problem but I’m here in Southern California where it’s really hot and dry in the Autumn… perhaps ours dried faster as a result. Maybe putting them in the oven at a very low temp could work… or a dehydrator??

  3. My girls and I wanted to do this after seeing how beautiful your turned out. Is there a secert for getting the kernals off the cob?

    1. Hi Emma,
      Ours came off really easily. Perhaps our corn was older?? Maybe soaking it in water might help.
      Let me know if you find the solution.
      xo Donni

      1. I guess good and dry is the key! Thanks :) Our thanksgiving in Canada is earlier that yours and I was getting worried the cobs wouldn’t dry soon enough, but we are making the neclaces today and and hopfully they will be dry again for thanksgiving! thanks again for the idea!

  4. My daughter & I are eager to make these! I’ve run into a snag, which is, our corn isn’t getting soft! It’s been soaking for 2 days now & still hard… Any tips? Thanks!

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