DIY: Corn Bead Necklace

Corn bead necklaces date back from what I could find to the Cherokee Indians around the 1830's. These necklaces are still made today by tribes and can be found in gift shops and online. I was so inspired by the beauty of their necklaces that I went and made one for my daughter's birthday.

What you'll need: 

large sized corn kernels 
(we found ours for 35 cents a pound at a local feed store)


Food Coloring


Fishing Line

Medium sized sewing needle

It's similar to coloring Easter eggs, add about a cup of hot water to a glass bowl with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 10-12 drops of food coloring of one color per bowl.

I used McCormick's neon food colors which come in Pink, Purple, Green and Blue 
(note the pink came out looking red and the green a bright yellow)

Soak the corn kernels in the bowls for 3-7 days.

I left ours in for 7 days mostly simply because we had a busy week, but I found that the colors really kicked in after 5 days. You also want to soak the kernels until their soft enough to thread.

If the needle is to big it will split the kernels, I twisted the medium sized needle through each kernel only a few split that way, make sure to have extra kernels.

After threading the corn beads let them fully dry and you can apply a clear coat craft sealer to them to protect the outer shell of the kernel from chipping.

Once the necklace is strung with the desired amount of corn beads add a jewelry clasp or  knot the ends together if it was made long enough to just slip over the head.

I loved this project it was fun taking something relatively common and cheap and turning into wearable jewelry. The kiddos went on to make bracelets and matching earrings.



  1. So, so, so beautiful. Thank you!

  2. How inventive, really like this idea. Im new to your blog from the show and tell party trying to make some friends as I'm new to blogging hope you swing by my blog and leave your thoughts.

  3. LOVE the corn bead necklaces how colorful and over all a fun craft :)

  4. Way fun! Those would be a great fall or Thanksgiving project for kids...had to pin it. :) I would love to have you stop by ‘Or so she says…’ today and share some of your great ideas with my readers! The ‘Your Great Idea’ link party runs every Sat through Tuesday. Hope to see you there!

    * Also, we’ve got a great giveaway going on with over $500 in prizes!

  5. What fun! Thanks for linking up on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you'll be back again this week with more great stuff.

  6. That is a fun idea. I wondered how you did it as soon as I saw the picture and was intrigued to read your post. The necklace turned out great. Older kids may be able to help and would love to see the color transform a little each day.



  8. WOW this is so awesome!!!
    Thank you for linking it up and sharing it with us in our Crafty Showcase the past week! Your post was picked as a favorite by our Bowdabra Designers. You are being featured today!

    Stop in to see your feature.

    We are now following you on Pinterest, too, and invited you to our exclusive Feature Friday Bloggers board. We have invited all of our Featured bloggers. Feel free to use this board to pin anything FUN!! We repin and so do the others in the group!

    Thanks again and don't forget that the new linky opens at midnight Friday-Thur. Noon! We'd love to see more from you!

    Have a great weekend,
    Susie @Bowdabra

  9. This is gorgeous! Love the colours and your photos are just stunning. I'm so excited to have found your blog. So many wonderful things going on here. I'm featuring this post on my blog today as one of my favourites from last Week's Weekly Kids' Co-op. Thanks for linking up! Please feel free to pop over and grab a featured at button if you'd like one.

  10. Loved it so much I am featuring it on my Mom's Library Link-Up. Come check it out and grab a featured button. It will go live tomorrow on

    Thanks for linking up,

  11. Really beautiful! I am sure she gets lots of compliments. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

  12. The corn bead dates back to the Trail of Tears. They represent the tears of the women along the 1000 mile journey.

    1. Thanks for adding that bit of history, though it's a sad part of our countries past. We were living in Alabama near the Choctaw Indians when I was shown how to make the corn bead necklaces.

  13. Wow it's so creative & beautiful ๐Ÿ˜

  14. Put the jewelry in and soak for 30 minutes. Do not leave it overnight or for a long period of necklace for girlfriend

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  18. i never know that we can make a necklace from corn kernels. thx for u great job! berita terkini terbaru hari ini

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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