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How to Use Real Acorns in Your Fall Décor

How to Use Real Acorns in Your Fall Décor main article image
Posted on September 15, 2022 by Julie Richards

When sweater weather rolls around, I get all excited because that means the trees get painted with beautiful fall colours and the smell of bonfires fill the air. It also means that two of my favourite natural craft supplies are available in abundance, pinecones and acorns. I love using real acorns in my fall décor because it’s like bringing the outdoors inside without letting the cold weather into the house.

There are so many ways to use real acorns, and I seem to find more ways to add them to my fall décor every year. There is just something about those cute little oak tree seeds that I find adorable. Real acorns come in so many shapes and sizes that they can be used in almost any fall décor project. From wreaths and garlands to accessories in your tablescapes. I’ll be honest, when I craft with these beauties made by nature, I lose all track of time. While I am working on one project, my mind thinks of another craft I can make with them.

Supplies I Use

There are some craft supply staples I use when playing with real acorns. The first one is wood glue because caps fall off. The second is craft wire in case I want to bend the garland. The third one is waxed thread so I can hang the acorn garlands. And the final one is a variety of paints to add that match my decor. With these four things, I can create just about anything when it comes to using natural items from the great outdoors. As for tools, I use wire cutters, a drill with a small bit, scissors, and pliers.

First Things First

I sort the acorns into plastic bins or bowls according to size. I like to use real acorns that are of similar size in each project, so the piece looks more uniform. Another advantage to sorting is picking out any of the nuts that are split or damaged beyond use. You can also get a good idea of how many of the acorns have little hats and how many don’t. I set the ones without caps aside. If I find a spare cap, I toss it into the same bin to attach later. I use the capless ones in their own project.

Acorns tend to lose their little hats because as the acorn dries, the top becomes too big for the nut. I re-attach the cap to the acorn with wood glue. I let the acorns dry for at least four hours before I do anything else. I want that bond to be very secure, so the acorn cap stays in place during the holiday season. I feel like the entire display looks unfinished if there is an acorn missing its cap.

Once the caps are in place, I drill a hole from one side of the acorn to the other, right under the cap. I use a very fine drill bit that makes a hole that is just large enough to get my wire or waxed thread through. I have this phobia that the acorns will fall to pieces while I am drilling them. But I have to say, this has never happened. I still prefer to use a small drill bit, just in case. Drill the holes before painting the acorns because the drilling can sometimes remove the paint in certain spots, and I think that looks messy in the final project. If I drill first, then the paint doesn’t get chipped. Learn from my mistake. I painted the caps first and had to touch them up after I drilled the acorns.

Painting the Acorns

Once the sorting, capping, and drilling are done, I start painting. Sometimes I paint just the caps because I want just a little colour in the fall décor. Other times I paint the nut but leave the cap natural. You can paint them either way you want. You may prefer to paint the entire acorn, cap and all, or just leave them natural. You can also paint the caps one colour and the nut another coordinating colour.

I like to use more neutral colours that you find in nature during the fall season. Warm oranges and yellows, light browns and reds and an occasional burgundy colour are my choices. Once in a while, I will throw in the colour of the year that everyone else is using, but I keep it to a minimum. If you have a hard time deciding what colours to use, just think of the colours you see in your area during the fall season. Use those as your colour palette. Make sure the acorns are fully dry before using them for your craft projects.

Easy Real Acorn Projects

The easiest way to use real acorns in your fall décor is to string them together on a thin craft wire to create a garland. Cut a length of wire about three inches longer than you want the garland. Create a loop in the wire on one end and feed the other end through the acorns until you are happy with the number of acorns you added. Cut strips of fabric and lace or eyelash trim about three inches long. Tie the strips onto the wire, in between each acorn, alternating between the fabrics and laces you chose to decorate with. Make another loop at the other end of the wire to keep everything from slipping off. I like to use wire for the acorn garlands that I hang because wire does not break so there is no chance of acorns scattering across your floor during your fall celebrations. Another benefit is you can simply take down the garland and roll it up for storage when the fall season is over. I should mention that a wired acorn garland also works great if you want to add it to a door or window swag. The garland can also easily be wrapped around a blanket ladder or a large decorative candle or vase. This is a very versatile real acorn project that comes in very handy to use in your fall décor.

Another project I use real acorns for in my fall décor is to make a beaded garland. I thread the acorns onto a waxed thread, alternating several wooden beads between each acorn. I like to use beads that are painted or stained in the colours I use in my décor. Once I have the acorns and beads threaded onto the waxed thread, I add a tassel on either end using strips of fabric, yarn, or lace. These beaded garlands are great accents for tiered trays or book stacks.

The easiest way to use real acorns in your fall décor is by using up all those acorns that do not have their cute little caps. I pour them into a large vase, sometimes I even add buckeye nuts in with them. Then I create a silk flower arrangement in the vase using the real acorns as the stabilizer.

I hope you can use these real acorn craft projects in your fall décor. I think by using real acorns, it brings a bit of warmth and cosiness to the home. Have fun Crafting!

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