Dried-Corn Door Decor


Celebrate the fall harvest with decorative ears of Indian corn. Display these handsome ears year after year.


1. Research information about the importance of corn, an indigenous crop in North America. Find out about its uses by both Native Americans and later immigrants to the continent. What role does corn play today in cultures around the world? These authentic-looking ears celebrate the history and harvest of corn.

2. On a clean, dry paper plate, flatten a large handful of Crayola Air-Dry Clay to about one-half inch (2.25 cm) thick.

3. With a craft stick or plastic knife cut thin ovals about 6" long in the shape of ears of corn. Square off the tops for stems. With a straw, cut out a hole in the top of each ear to hold the husk. Press into the ears with a clip clothespin to make rows of corn kernels. Air-dry the corn for at least 2 days.

4. Using Crayola Washable Tempera, paint the corn in earth tones. Rinse your brush between colors. To make husks, dip a plain paper towel into the rinse water from your painting. Spread out the corn and husks on a paper plate to air-dry.

5. To add texture to the corn, add one or more coats of Crayola Texture It! Mixing Medium. For a pearl-like finish, cover with Crayola Pearl It! Mixing Medium. Air-dry the finish.

6. Roll up the dry paper towel. Pull it through the hole in the top of the corn. String a few ears together with raffia to hang. These make beautiful gifts!

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Modeling Tools—Use the least dangerous point or edge sufficient to do the job. For example, craft sticks, plastic knives and forks, and cookie cutters can cut or carve modeling materials.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.

Wood—By its nature, wood is rough and may contain splinters or sharp points


  • Study the life ways of Native Americans and recreate some of the other items they made and used, such as pots, pelts, and jewelry. To make a simple pinch pot, roll clay into a ball, press your thumb in the middle, and with your forefinger press and pull to form a small pot. Air-dry and then decorate it in traditional Native American styles. These pots were made to store grains like corn.
  • Find out what other crops were native to North America. How has their use spread around the world? What animals were indigenous? Which animals were brought to the continent by immigrants?
  • Study Native Americans in your area. Look up names of local tribes and other native words. Hold a spelling bee. Make recipes with corn. Hold a fall festival with samples.
  • Assessment: Observe children as they follow the steps of the art techniques. How detailed and authentic are their ears?

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Paint Brush
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Air-Dry Clay
  • Tempera Mixing Mediums
household supplies
  • Party Express paper plates
  • craft sticks
  • paper towels
  • plastic dinnerware (optional)
  • raffia
  • clothespins (clip)
  • plastic drinking straws



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research the historic and cultural importance of corn to Native American and other cultures.

  • Students create a 3-D life-like replica of Indian corn to celebrate the harvest.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards