Using acorns in crafts is a wonderful opportunity for upcycling during the fall months! If you are fortunate to have oak trees in your backyard, why not take advantage of this golden nugget of nature and pick some of them up!
Even though I don’t have trees in my own backyard (save for my neighbor’s ornamentals which overhang somewhat…) I do manage to squeeze in a walk around the block every day – I make it a habit for good exercise) and whilst on my route, there’s three or four mighty oaks that drop these beauties every fall by the scads – so come autumn, I am always at the ready with a grocery store bag ready to pick up as many as I can.
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Look for them in October and November as that’s when I see them the most abundantly. They won’t all be perfect, of course….sometimes the caps will be separate from the rest of the seed, no matter, you should definitely pick those up, too!
Cleaning and Preparing Acorns
Once you’ve acquired for yourself a big enough collection (I’ve made two or three trips – I’ve now got acorns in a mason jar and other compartments….) wash them off (I use Murphy’s Oil Soap, it’s gentle , and will get rid of any residue like dirt or grit without stripping them of their natural oils)
If you soak them in hot water, perhaps on a stovetop, better yet – that might be enough to eliminate any insects that may have bore their way in (yuck-take care of this now, before you start making anything with your acorn collection!)
Here are some of mine after wash, dry and spread out. You can see how sometimes the caps missing from some of them, most of the time they won’t be perfect or look just like the acorns in picture books.
And for your eyes only, take a look at these different ways to upcycle this wonderful bounty of nature!
Decorating door wreaths
Acorns came in handy for this front door wreath I made about two falls ago…I also collected twigs and pinecones too, but the acorns I found really made this thing work. You may have to glue them in clusters. Later on when that part dries paint them a beautiful autumnal color like metallic gold, copper or orange, which will look really amazing. The more acorns, the better!
Here’s my wreath so you can see how it all comes together…The image on the right is a close-up of some of the acorns that I painted pretty colors.
Use as scatter for table decor
If you’re creating a table centerpiece, perhaps for the Thanksgiving holiday, your acorn collection will be a great addition, combine them with other great fall essentials like pinecones, cinnamon sticks, dried citrus slices, and whatever else you can find. Or you can put them all in a bowl or elegant display dish or jar.
This might sound like a decor trend out of the 80’s but I think it would still look really great. Combine acorns and other botanical leaves and flowers together with a fragrance and display anywhere like the front entrance hall or living room for a special touch and a homey scent.
Talk about the most back to nature kind of jewelry, you could make earrings or pendants – if you’ve got a drill with a very small bit, pierce the acorn cap, thread some crafting wire through.
Here is an example of a set of acorn earrings – using that approach. If you can find a more oval-shaped couple of beads, you’ll be pretty close to getting that natural shape more so than a round one,
Image credit: Image by Ludvicka
I’ve also seen a variation in which a crafter drilled two teeny tiny holes into the cap of the acorn and threaded a wire jump ring, then proceeded to thread through a cord, for the “nut” part she used a marble. Or you could just dislodge the cap and drill and glue the nut part back on, and then paint it a beautiful fall color, let dry a few days before wearing. Beautiful!
Hey, the holidays are so close together and Christmas is the next big holiday after Thanksgiving so consider turning some of them into tree ornaments, or freestanding for the mantelpiece? A few things come to mind…One thing I have seen is those clear ball ornaments that you can fill up with things, if you’ve got some acorns small enough to fit into the neck of the ornament (near as I can tell the neck is about a half an inch wide)
You could also glue enough acorns and caps together to create the equivalent of people or figures. What do you think of these below made from acorn caps and wine corks as the bodies? This little entourage of holiday characters is just adorable!
Image credit: Image by ucandoitcraft
Even if you’re thinking about just the caps…with a tiny drill bit you could string enough caps together , be sure to paint them pretty and festive colors, like red, green and gold, and don’t be afraid to reach for the glitter for a really glamorous touch.
Well that’s a small handful of ideas for this wonder of nature…can you think of any I could add to this? Enjoy your newly created acorn decor!