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What are Some Uses for Corn Husks?

Corn husks, beyond their traditional role in tamales, are incredibly versatile. They can be woven into eco-friendly crafts, used as natural wrappers for grilling, or even steeped to create a soothing tea. Their fibrous texture also makes them excellent for composting. Intrigued by their potential? Discover how these agricultural gems can elevate your culinary and crafting endeavors. What will you create?
Sherry Holetzky
Sherry Holetzky

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.

An ear of the corn, including the husk.
An ear of the corn, including the husk.

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.

Corn husks or corn leaves are often used to wrap tamales.
Corn husks or corn leaves are often used to wrap tamales.

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.

Corn husks were once used to stuff mattresses.
Corn husks were once used to stuff mattresses.

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.

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Discussion Comments


Can I use this as a tea?


I heard that you can make toilet paper out of corn husks. Ain't Charmin, but gets the job done.


Can corn husk be a source for fiber? If yes, can anyone give me a procedure?


Can corn husks can be made into a water resistant paper bag?


yes, corn husk can be made into packaging materials and can be made into homemade corn husk paper with different consistencies.


I am Rue R. from the Philippines. I'd like to share what we do as members of the Corn Husk Association of the Philippines. We make homemade corn husk paper, and corn husk dolls, hats, bags, slippers, xmas decors, leis, brooches, lampshades. We are willing to teach for free.


can corn husks be made into a packaging material or as a substitute for plastics?


can corn husk be made into paper?


What do farmers do with the remaining corn plant after harvesting the corn?


Do you know anything about how the Pennsylvania Germans braided corn husks to make floor mats?


Corn husks are also used if you suffer from kidney problems, especially those patients who have or have had kidney stones. You take the corn husks and let them air dry for a few days until they get kind of a brown color to them. Than you boil them in hot water, let them boil until the water turns yellow. Drain the husks and refrigerate the liquid. If it is too bitter you can put in a couple of spoons of sugar. I have kidney stones and this is the only way I pass them. So if you are someone with kidney problems not just kidney stones, this is the solution. Give it a try. You will feel better, I promise.


What do the brace roots of a corn plant do?


what are the chemical contents of corn husk. How many cellulose does it contain?


Can Corn Husk can be made into paper?

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    • An ear of the corn, including the husk.
      By: rimglow
      An ear of the corn, including the husk.
    • Corn husks or corn leaves are often used to wrap tamales.
      By: dreambigphotos
      Corn husks or corn leaves are often used to wrap tamales.
    • Corn husks were once used to stuff mattresses.
      By: Offscreen
      Corn husks were once used to stuff mattresses.