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Make Eco-Friendly Plate Chargers Using Corn Husks

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DIY plate chargers

Give your rehearsal dinner celebration an Earth-friendly spin while still looking wonderfully stylish. How to pull this off? With table accessories crafted from natural and recycled materials with such eco-chic artistry that your guests will have to look again. “Oh my, are these plate chargers made with corn husks?”

That’s right. Corn husks that you would have tossed into the trash bin get a new lease on life. And so does our planet, with your commitment to recycling! Learn how to make these plate chargers in just 3 easy steps, and then see how we use them to grace a “Spanish tapas party” tablescape along with other eco-friendly accent pieces.

Instructions on How to Make these Plate Chargers:

Corn husks used as materials for plate chargers

Step 1: Prepare the materials needed.
Gather discarded husks from raw ears of corn (sun-dried to get a bleached, straw-like texture), a sheet of boxboard or any recycled cardboard, scissors, and a glue gun.

Note: While preparing the husks for drying, be sure to enjoy the ears of corn, either boiled or roasted!

Step 2: Pre-cut the dried husks.
Flatten the husks into strips and cut these into sections about 1 1/2″ long. Don’t worry if the width of each section varies.

Step 3: Cut the cardboard bases and glue on the pieces of corn husk.
Cut the boxboard or cardboard into circles measuring 16″ in diameter, to serve as the bases for the chargers. Prepare as many circles as needed for your planned place settings.

Note: Instead of circles, you can also choose to cut out different shapes of squares, triangles, or octagons to suit your theme or decor.

Then, glue the pieces of corn husk onto each charger base, starting with the outermost edge of the cardboard. Arrange the pieces in concentric circles, decreasing in diameter as you move towards the center. Pinch each piece of husk slightly as you glue it, to create an interesting ruffled or pleated look. Also, overlap each ring of corn husk pieces slightly, so that no bare cardboard is visible. Continue until the entire charger is covered with corn husks. Let the glue dry thoroughly

Optional: For a finished look, you may cover the bottom of each charger with handmade paper or a sheet of natural fiber like sinamay. Simply cut it in a circle, glue it on, and allow to dry.

Displaying finished plate charger

Ways of Spicing Up the Table Décor with the Plate Chargers

Just see these plate chargers in action! For a look that is casual and festive, yet very elegant, we’ve used them as perfect table accessories for a Spanish-inspired tapas party. Don’t the corn husk ruffles remind you of a sassy flamenco dancer’s skirt?

Displaying finished plate charger
Shell trays filled with colorful appetizers add bright, rich hues and are complemented by neutral tones.

The scene is all aglow with bright, rich hues—from the gold tones of the tablecloth, place card frames, and the gilt-edged shell accents—to the lush green and orange of the foliage arrangement, and the deep crimson of loose rose petals. With so much color going on, the neutral ivory of our corn husk chargers makes a perfect complement. As does the pristine white of the dinnerware, table napkins, and white pillar candles (see below). Then, of course, we’ve kept the setting eco-friendly with other recycled and natural accent pieces (read more about natural table accents). Can you spot them?

Displaying finished plate charger
Add recycled and organic elements and then infuse a shot of gold accents such as adding frames to the place settings. It’s also a clever way to present the favors!

Our table number is intriguingly decorated with a variety of beans and seeds in their natural hues. We’ve used red and white kidney beans, olive-colored mung beans, and even birdseed! You can create one like this yourself. Simply search through your kitchen cupboards, and glue your “edible decor” finds onto a cardboard table number.

Then, see our glass coasters made from recycled wine corks! Perfect accents should you opt for an arrangement of goblets, bottles, and decanters as an attractive Spanish “vino centerpiece.” Make this truly decorative by filling the containers with different beverages—white wine, sangria, jugo de naranja (orange juice), and sparkling fruit water using lemons and limes.

And speaking of creative centerpieces, why not continue the colorful, yet budget-friendly approach to the table decor with an arrangement of shapely fruits and vegetables? Consider artichokes, avocados, and squash in different sizes and colors heaped atop a basket or tray. Fabulous!

Amidst such a stylish scene, our corn husk chargers more than hold their own, don’t you think? Just imagine your guests’ reactions when you casually admit, “I made them”!

12 comments

  1. Gosh! I didn’t know that you can do that with corn husks!

  2. I can’t believe that you can recycle corn husks. America uses corn in practically everything! Imagine what you can make!!! Amazingly cool.

  3. I think the corn husk idea is absolutely original! For some more eco-friendly ways to party, consider items like biodegradable confetti, going paperless using electronic invitations, serving food and drinks from earth-friendly material such as bamboo or palm leaf, and then as favors, you can opt for fabric or reusable containers to give items such as flower seeds. Also, avoid having food served in styrofoam boxes at all costs!

  4. Corn husks! I’m absolutely stunned and amazed. That’s so cool. I think all tree-huggers would approve of this idea especially if it’s the bride and groom.

  5. What a great idea! Looks beautiful. And of course, I love anything recycled and organic. Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create!
    <3 Christina

  6. So sweet of you to stop by, Christina! We had just found your great link party, so were excited to link up there for the first time. Glad you like our idea! :-)

  7. So pretty! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  8. Thank you, Danielle! So nice of you to visit us. :-)

  9. Ohhh, I can see some really cool fall projects coming up using these. Great idea! Coming from Life Inspired :)

  10. Thanks for sharing this great idea at our Simply Create Link Party! We are featuring you tonight! Stop by and check it out. :)

    Melissa
    redflycreations.com

  11. Wonderful repurposing and extra kudos for it being a green project! I love the texture your project adds to a table setting. These would be cool even on the wall! Thanks for sharing your creativity!

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