Nature’s Jewels: Make Native American Corn Necklaces

A friend recently showed up at a gathering wearing a gorgeous amber bead necklace which was admired by all. I thought the beautiful thing was from some expensive amber-selling jewelry store, but it was made from Native American corn! “I have other corn necklaces at home,” she told me. “One looks just like garnet and another like carnelian. And they‘re unbelievably easy to make.”

Find out how to make your own necklaces from nature’s colorful–and inexpensive–jewels. Children adore this project, too!

1. Find a few ears of beautifully-colored dried Native American corn at your favorite market or roadside stand.

2. Break the ears in half and use both hands to twist the kernels off the cob into a bowl.

3. Cover kernels with boiling water and allow them to soak for at least one hour.

4. Using a sturdy needle and thread or dental floss, string the kernels one at a time into a necklace, being sure to make it long enough to fit over your head. You can use “beads” of all one color, or vary them in a pattern if you like.

5. Knot the two ends together. Allow the kernels to dry before wearing.

For more fun nature-honoring craft ideas, see Celebrating the Great Mother by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.

Celebrating the Great Mother is published by Inner Traditions. Copyright (c) 1995 by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw.
By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Robert O.
Robert O.4 years ago

Sounds like a fun project. Thanks Cait.

Beth M.
Beth M.4 years ago


Helen C.
.4 years ago

thank you

Linda M.
Linda M.5 years ago

sounds like something fun to do with little kids , bu ti also would like to have seen a picture of the craft with the article.

Janice P.
Janice P.5 years ago

I agree with those who would liked to have had a picture to go along with the necklace instructions. And, thank you, Nabha, for the suggestion of combining the corn with gemstones. (I have so many, because I used to make a lot of semi-precious jewelry for my Mother before she died this past December.)

I am definitely going to make this necklace. I just hope it comes out the way it's supposed to.

I can't say it enough. I LOVE THIS WEBSITE. THANK YOU!!!!!

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p.5 years ago

will try this for my next shelterfundraising fleamarket. thanks.

Anne F.
Anne F.5 years ago

Love the ideas of seed necklaces. Thanks for putting the instructions so clearly.