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There are many and varied uses for corn husks. One of the most common is in cooking, where they are often used for wrapping tamales, a Mexican dish made of cornmeal batter and shredded meat. Corn husks are also a favorite for wrapping fish and other types of seafood so they can be grilled.
Other uses include making craft projects, such as corn husk dolls and puppets. Pilgrims, pioneers, and Native-Americans found several other uses for the husks besides making simple toys. They stuffed mattresses and cushions with them, wrapped up leftover food, and used them as kindling for starting fires, among other uses.
While many people are aware of toys and simple crafts that can be made from corn husks and pipe cleaners, home decorating also inspires different uses. They can be made into attractive flowers by folding them in half and attaching the ends together to make a flower petal. Several can be made and then the ends attached at the center. A dried flower can be glued to the center as an accent.
Other uses for corn husks in home decor include making bows. These are made the same ways as flower petals and then attached together at the ends. The center is then wrapped with an additional husk that has been folded in half lengthwise. It is then glued or stapled from the back and the excess trimmed, or the remaining length cut in half to make the tails of the bow. A tiny pine cone or dried flowers can be glued to the center as embellishment. Corn husks also make great wreaths and centerpieces.
A little imagination can create many other uses for corn husks. When corn on the cob is peeled, the husks can be saved and dried for future use. Packages are also often available in grocery stores, although they are sometimes labeled as tamale wrappers.