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How to Dye Corn Husks

You can dye husks on ears of dried corn to make radiant centerpieces or mantel displays, or use just the dyed husks for fall crafts.

Here are step-by-step instructions for how to dye corn husks to use in fall crafts. If you need only the husk (not the corn as well), buy an inexpensive package of tamale wrappers at a Mexican market or online. See how to used your corn husks in gorgeous DIY projects here. 

Materials

• Corn husks
• Liquid Rit Dye in assorted fall colors
• Dyeing container: Good options include aluminum or glass baking pans, ½ gallon jars, plastic dishpans (note: the process will stain, so only use plastic if staining not a problem)
• Hot water
• Measuring cup
• Gloves
• Paper towels
• Prepared surface

Basic Dyeing Instructions

1. Cover work area with plastic table cover or newspaper and have paper towels handy to protect against possible spills.

2. Wearing gloves, mix 1/2 cup of liquid fabric dye with 2 quarts of very hot water. If mixing colors, vary the amount of dye based on dyeing charts

Corn husk dying—prepare materials

Mix 1/2 cup of liquid fabric dye with 2 quarts of very hot water.

3. Immerse husks in dye bath for 15 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Leave in longer if a deeper color is desired.

Corn husk dying—dip husks

Immerse husks in dye bath for 15 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove when desired color is achieved. Hold over dye bath to remove excess color and place onto layered paper towels. Pat the top with paper towels and let dry.

 Corn husk dying—dry dyed dusks

Remove when desired color is achieved and place on layered paper towels to dry.

How to Dye Husks with Ears Still Attached 

Follow basic instructions above, but prop corn so only the husks are submerged. Let husks dry before displaying.

Corn husk dyeing

To dye husks with the ears still attached, prop them so only the husks are submerged.

TIP To prevent dye transfer, seal all finished projects with polyurethane spray.

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