Thanksgiving is fast approaching; and if it’s your turn to host the holiday festivities this year, you may be hard-pressed to find a few easy, unique, and creative ways to decorate your home. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be. Your decorating answer could be right outside of your door!
The kids and I put together this awesome centerpiece using fallen acorns, a glue gun, and an empty vase we had around the house.
Here’s how it’s done:
Grab the kiddies and head to your nearest oak tree. Lucky for my family, our entire condominium is lined with tons of them; and right underneath are loads of fallen acorns. They usually begin to fall in early autumn. Arm your children with Ziplocks and let them go to town collecting acorns. My twins had an absolute blast doing this and took great pride in showing mommy the “pwitty” acorns that they’d found. Just be sure that your children are clear on only picking the acorns that are free of cracks or holes. They also need to be sure to grab plenty of tops as well. Once the acorns fall, they tend to separate from the tops rather easily (or at least they do with the type of oak trees that we have).
Once the kids get a nice haul (one Ziplock full should do), be ready to do a few things to prepare your acorns for indoor decorating use. (Being lazy and just popping them into your vase is not an option – especially in early fall – as they tend to sprout and germinate rather quickly in an indoor environment. Don’t ask me how I know this.)
Give the collected acorns and tops a once over to be sure you don’t have any “ugly” ones. Even though you set the ground rules for the acorns that should be collected, it’s inevitable that a funky looking few will have made it into the bunch.
Once you’ve got your final acorns and tops, rinse them off gently with water to remove dirt and residue. I laid a few pieces of paper towel in the bottom of my sink, placed a handful of acorns on that, and sprayed them gently with my sink sprayer.
Once you’ve got them all clean, place them on dry paper towels to dry for a bit. I gave them a few hours.
Now you need to heat them up for a while in the oven in order to kill any potential acorn-dwelling bugs and dry out the insides so that they won’t sprout. Set your oven to 200 degrees and spread your acorns and tops out on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place them in the oven and let them bake for two to three hours.
Be sure to shake the acorns in the cookie sheet every 30 minutes to an hour to insure that they don’t burn or stick to the foil. (I found that this smells quite pleasant and will give your home a nice, nutty, Thanksgiving-y smell – if there is such a thing.)
Once your acorns are done and you’ve let them cool for a bit, you’ll find that you may have a few cracked ones that you’ll need to eradicate. Get rid of those and then go ahead and bust out your glue gun.
After everyone was in bed, I grabbed a small glass of wine and headed to the kitchen to start gluing my acorn caps onto my acorns. Although the task of gluing acorn caps onto de-capped nuts may sound tedious, between the hum of my refrigerator and the quiet of my sleeping home, this was a truly calming experience. I propose that you find a nice comfortable quiet place in your home to do this task.
Now, here’s where my craft project went terribly wrong (or wonderfully right depending on how you look at it). I wanted to put a glossy sheen on my acorns once I was finished. I knew that polyurethane would do the trick, but when I saw that eight dollar price tag per can, I decided to pass and find a cheaper alternative. I settled for a can of Rustoleum. Believing that the can cap color was supposed to correspond to the color that was inside the can (silly me), I grabbed a can with a clear cap.
Once I began to spray my nuts (tee hee), I found that instead of seeing a shiny clear sheen, I’d just dusted my acorns with a layer of white spray paint. Gah! I stopped before I did too much damage. The more I looked at them though, the more I felt that the white looked a bit like snow. I went with that.
So, once you get to this part, go ahead and purchase actual polyurethane, or be sure that the can of spray paint that you’re getting actually says “clear coat” – or, you can simply just skip this step all together. Although the shiny coat looks nice, it’s not at all necessary.
Finally, I filled my glass vase with a layer of clear marbles and topped it off with my dried, capped, “snow” dusted acorns. I then placed a candle in the center of the acorns to finish out the look.
DISCLAIMER: I wouldn’t suggest ever lighting this candle as I can’t be held responsible for your burned down home. This is just for aesthetic purposes – not at all functional; but definitely pretty. The best part? It’s super easy to make! Enjoy!
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Love the idea of decorating with acorns? Well don’t stop at Thanksgiving centerpieces. There are tons of things that you can do with your dried, capped acorns! Check out the photos and links below for inspiration:
Napkin Rings Via YankeeMagazine.comThis is a wonderful idea - perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table.
Acorn Ball Decoration via MakeandTakes.comShe's got a lot of other great examples on her site in addition to this one.
Acorn Wreath via AllYou.comIf you have an abundance of acorns in your yard and a little free time, this wreath would make for a great gift.
Acorn Cap Ornament via SweetSomethingDesign.blogspot.comPerfect craft to create for the holidays!
Blue Acorn Vase Fillers via JustGrandeKO.blogspot.comAcorns look pretty dope in blue!