Thursday, November 13, 2008

Acorn Crafts

Acorn CraftsEarlier this week I wrote about the acorn wreath I made with my genuine, imported, grade-A acorns but what I didn't mention is that I have many more uses for these cute little guys, more than that one post could hold.

So I'm listing the other ideas here so that next fall when you're out walking and you see all those acorns on the ground you not only think fondly of me but also have some fun activities of your own to do.

I'm going to need more acorns!

If only there were this many things to do with pinecones . . .

Colored Acorn Tops1. Color some acorn buttons. Collect the caps of acorns and color them to make these beautiful jewel-like button tops using supplies you probably already have around the house. Suite has the full instructions and a wonderful reinforcement activity to use as a supplement.

After you make them you could leave them out in a bowl as a pretty nature-meets-nurture display, as miniature pottery for a fairy house or even . . .

2. Make an acorn bracelet. After you've created some beautiful acorn tops string them together to make a woodsy and surprisingly attractive bracelet. With or without the colored insides the bracelet is a fun activity with stylish results. Thrifty fun has a picture and the details.

3. Make an acorn cap whistle. We've done something similar with a blade of grass and my father used to carve willow whistles for me on spring camping trips but this is the first I'd heard of acorn tops turning musical. Seems like a trick you could use to really impress your children. Apparently larger caps are easier to learn with while smaller caps are louder. The caps I've got are too small but maybe next year I can get me some Texas-sized acorns and whistle up a storm. Science Toy Maker has the details.

Velvet Acorns from Heather Donohue4. Make elegant velvet acorns. Heather Donohue seems to have this down to an art form and if you ever thought acorns were insignificant before just wait until you see what beauties she's created.

Though I'd have to say if you really want to see what beauties she's created you'll have to look at her October 9th post. It appears that she is the proud new mother of twins Claire and Lachlan. That trumps acorns any day!

Acorn Napkin Rings from Martha Stewart5. Make acorn napkin rings. These would be cute with natural acorns or the velvet acorns above but either way they'd work beautifully as napkin rings for your Thanksgiving table. I'd also make matching rings to fit around candlesticks, maybe a matching garland to twine around our chandelier.

Thanks to Martha's directions the possibilities are . . . well . . . endless.

6. Make an acorn box. I won't call it a snuff box, which is what calls it because the thought of one of these cute little boxes holding tobacco is kind of disgusting but if you had a large acorn--I seriously need to get a hold of the big guys--you could make a darling hinged box for a tiny necklace or ring or even use as a tooth fairy box.

Shoot even a LifeSaver wouldn't be bad--better than snuff anyway. But regardless of what goes inside it's a fun little project and tiny is always fun. If I did this project I think I'd coat the inside with the same technique described in number one above. Those colors are so pretty.

Crocheted Acorn Necklace by Resurrection Fern7. Crochet an acorn necklace. Resurrection Fern has the complete tutorial but something about this project appeals to me. I think I would use ecru yarn and in the thinnest gauge I could manage, maybe even gold yarn would be fun. It would be cute with a tiny charm on the side as well--lots of ways to take such a simple natural wonder and make it fun to wear.

8. Make acorn pancakes. No, I'm not kidding you can actually make acorn flour to use in baking. For reals. Somehow this seems right up your alley Stephanie (if you're listening)--like something that would be good to do for the Make it from Scratch Carnival.

The collecting is easy it's the shelling that's the hardest part and you want to avoid using anything with holes or with a damaged top (my maggot story should have told you that already) but according to Ramshackle Solid who has a complete tutorial on the subject acorn flour is not only tasty but nutritious.

Apparently the squirrels are onto something.

Acorn Pumpkins9. Make acorn pumpkins. Yes, Halloween is over but pull off the tops, paint them orange and suddenly acorns are adorable little jack o'lanterns via Family Fun. You could also paint regular little doll faces on them or paint them different colors and numbers for a fun set of funny marbles. Maybe string them as beads? Whenever nature hands you something beautiful and smooth and round there are lots of ideas flowing. I'm afraid the only thing we've got that's round and rather smooth here are moose pellets. And I don't feel crafty when I look at them.

1Victorian Parlor Tree from an Acorn0. Make a Victorian parlor tree. According to Garden you can germinate an acorn into a fun gardening ornament by some easy steps. I have everything that's required and I think I'll try this with the kids this winter. It's always wonderful to grow things in the winter--it keeps me going.

Click their site for all the details.

11. Make acorn tops. In a world of electronics and beepings and buzzings kids would love the simple fun of an acorn top. My Simple Pleasure has pictures and instructions for taking a large acorn and making it into a quick and non-battery powered toy that would probably fascinated my plugged-in children with the simplicity of it all.

Give them a magic marker to decorate their toy and have a contest to see which acorn is the last standing.

12. Learn how to dry acorns properly. And finally as a parting note, here's a post at eHow that fills you in on how to dry your acorns. If I'd have done this I wouldn't have had near so many problems with pests (aka acorn weevils) but then I probably wouldn't have been able to squeeze a post out of either. So I suppose it's all about give-and-take.

Good luck and may your oak trees be full next year!

Sponsored by Manfred Mantis Play Sets--Play equipment for the 21st century.

Technorati tags: Thanksgiving, acorns, crafts


Stephanie said...

Well of course I'm reading! :)

I've read and thought about making acorn flour, but it is incredibly time intensive. So much easier to just let the goats and pigs eat the acorns!

I love the parlor tree too. Thanks for the great list!

trek said...

Long ago, when we bought our house, I made an acorn garland and an acorn and oak leaf and pinecone decoration for over the front door. Many people over the years have commented on how cool the garland is.

Quick tutorial:
1. Gather all the acorns and caps you can find.
2. Using a very tiny drill bit, drill a hole through each acorn.
3. Hot glue a cap (back) onto each acorn.
4. Thread the acorns onto florists' wire.
5. For the ends, I brought the tails of the wire up, making a little triad of acorns to anchor each end.
6. Hang over door and enjoy compliments.

Melanie said...

Great Post!!!

Jennifer said...

I had no idea that there were so many ways to be creative with acorns. I was just telling a friend yesterday that with unlimited resources and times I am exceedingly creative. I know I could do these things, but not with the puny FL acorns!

How large are most of the acorns you worked with for your wreath?

Summer said...

Well, I'll know where to turn if I ever move to a place where acorns are plenty. I wish we had some just so I could try that flour recipe.

Janet said...

I'll get an earlier start on the harvesting next year. I've made fairies out of acorns.

Anonymous said...

i love the napkin holders they are perfect!! Now I just need to get the crafty juice to want to do it!

kadusey said...

This makes me sad there's no oak trees around here.

Inkling said...

Those ideas sound fun, provided the worms are vanquished first. =) As for pinecones, I wish I had a picture to show you...but my favorite project was making a miniature tabletop Christmas tree with pinecones. We started by using hot glue to make a circle of pinecones, putting a progressively smaller circle on top of each previous one until we topped it with a single pinecone and had our tree shape. We then hot-glued paper boxes (wrapped like presents in fabric and ribbon), bows, jingle bells, and a few other ornament-type items to the niches in between the pinecones. It made a beautiful tree that lasted for at least a decade, before succumbing to an ill-fated move. I bet your kiddos would enjoy doing something like that. Of course, your boys would probably rather hold a contest to see how far various pinecones could be catapulted through the air using a homemade trebuchet or something.

Heather said...

Great ideas. I'm saving the post for next fall with the kids. Those little pumpkins are so cute.

Anonymous said...

Love your ideas. The tiny acorn box wold be so cute to make. Thanks for sharing.

Discursivelyhappy said...

Love the napking rings.

MoziEsmé said...

Thanks for all the ideas! I love the little pumpkins...

Munchkins and Music said...

These are great ideas! Acorns are beautiful.

chelle said...

wow that is a wicked good list.
Look at this ...

Different eh?

Daisy said...

These are so cute! Acorns by themselves are cute, but these crafts are adorable.

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

One fantastic idea after another here. TFS! It's impossible for me to take a walk and not "need" to bring a few acorn caps home in my pocket, they always seem to wink at me :)

J and Z said...

Thanks for sharing all the sweet acorn-y things to do! I had some really large caps I found on vacation and I glued a fairy in the top, filled it with diamond glaze and the tiniest bit of props up on the stem like a little can see it here if you'd like

all over the map said...

good golly miss scribbit who would have thought there'd be so many things one could do with an acorn.
i am all over that acorn crochet. so delicate and pretty.
i like the pancake idea too.
i don't even know if we have them here in western australia. i've never payed attention.
great list. as usual.

Diane at said...

Thanks for the great ideas!
The kids gathered up a bunch of acorns and I'd been wondering what to do with them. This will be a big help.
Of course, I'll still have an even bigger bag of pinecones left in my pantry...but they'll wait for another day.

Octamom said...

So many cute ideas, but I think the acorn pumpkins have captured me! Wonderful!


Tiff said...

Such cute ideas Michelle!!! I have never made any crafts with acorns. But i'm sure willing to try!

Check out my giveaways! A Sinupret for Kids Gift Pack and Poingo Interactive Books.

Emily said...

What a fun list of things to do with acorn, we have WAY TOO MANY. My daughter will pick them up any and every place she sees them.

thediaperdiaries said...

I actually have a friend who sells acorns on Ebay. She just goes and gathers them from her backyard and sells them. Makes good money too. I think the abundance of acorn crafts might be why :)

Annie said...

My kids love acorns, and I totally rock at whistling with the caps. (I had way too much time (and acorns) on my hands as a kid.)

We were at a friend's house a few weeks back and their giant oak tree was dropping acorns. My son thought there were squirrels up there throwing them at as.

Nayheli Valenzuela said...

Thanks for the ideas!!! i love your blog.

Saludos desde México.

rubber stamp said...

Excellent tips, definitely going to have to keep those neat acorn pumpkins in mind for next Halloween! Very interesting. Now to get some acorns...

Heather said...

Wow! I was only googling for info on how to turn an acorn into a button...but what a bunch of great ideas on things to do with acorns. Thanks.