Monday, November 10, 2008

What Can You Do with Acorns?

Acorn Crafts and an Acorn WreathLast month I made a plea for acorns and you did not let me down. I have this funny fascination with them, probably because we don't have oak trees up here, and the first time I ever saw an acorn was when I was away at college in the Lower 48.

Not that I'm going to make this a post about my nostalgia for the first time I saw an acorn (It's My Life had her own acorn experience but it wasn't exactly something to be nostalgic about) but I'll just say that it was really cute--the acorn that is.

Ever since then I've thought they were fun and when I asked you to send me some I was thrilled to have many kind people volunteering to ship me all the acorns I could handle. Though I have to say . . . a funny thing happened.

I got three boxes of acorns but when one of the boxes came I opened it but didn't have time to deal with it so I set it on my bedroom shelf for later. About three o'clock in the morning I woke up to hear a funny sound. Kind of a faint, uncertain crunching or rustling sound and I lay in my bed, confused and sleepy and straining to hear what it was.

Suddenly it dawned on me that it was coming from the box of acorns and I thought, "Oh great, there must be a bug in the box or something." I got up and put the closed box in the bathroom on the counter to deal with in the morning before going back to bed.

Acorn Crafts and an Acorn WreathThe next morning I went into the bathroom and there, to my horror, was a Poltergeist moment right there next to the toothpaste. The box (still closed) was on the counter and all around it were little white maggots, wriggling away from the box in an emotional burst for freedom.

Nice.

I cleaned them up--their little prison break didn't last too long and ended with a flush--but even once the box was gone I kept finding fat little bodies in the corners of the bathroom into the afternoon. It would be the one room that I had actually scrubbed top to bottom and was the only clean spot in the house.

Apparently the bottom layer of acorns were a tasty treat for the little guys and they had showed their enthusiasm for the meal by multiplying all over in the box. (But don't worry it wasn't the box that you sent).

Anyway, it kind of cracked me up afterwards. Mice, flies, now maggots--all we need is an outbreak of bubonic plague or anthrax to get the CDC's attention. Just quarantine us. Please.

Acorn Crafts and an Acorn WreathSo what did I do with the acorns? As you can see from the pictures above I made some of them into a beautiful little fall wreath. The acorns are tiny and the wreath is about eight inches across but I've got three wreaths that I'm going to line up one on top of the other with wide dark red grosgrain ribbon, tied with a bow on the top. A beautiful wall decoration perfect for the holidays.

I started with a green floral foam wreath and hot glued the little guys, top to end, all going the same direction for one lap then worked my way out from there.

Interesting to see the variety in something as simple as an acorn. Small or long, black, brown or green they're all slightly different--I heard some can get as big as golf balls! Maybe next year I'll have to see if I can dig up some like that for curiosity sake. But no maggots--unless I wanted to use them to decorate for Halloween.

Check back later this week when I go crazy with acorn crafts. You'll have enough ideas to keep you busy all winter.

***

This post is gratefully dedicated to Jen's Jenuine Life (she has printable chore charts for kids), My New Thing and Countess Laurie. Without whom no acorn post would have occurred, thanks!

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Technorati tags: crafts, acorns, Thanksgiving

41 comments:

chelle said...

OOo I like that // so simply and pretty!

Flea said...

Oh how very cool! Now I'll have to look and see if the squirrels have left any lying around. I know they've taken all the good pecans, the little buggers.

Trixie said...

Um... sorry about your maggots.

Now that's something I don't get to say everyday!

Your acorn wreath is beautiful. What a great craft idea. We feed our squirels acorns and they just love them. I think they are easier for them to get into than the black walnuts they normally get at our place.

Take Care,

Trixie

Stephanie said...

Acorn crafts? this should be interesting. The animals eat a lot of ours, but there still are plenty in the yard! :)

Lis Garrett said...

Beautiful!

The maggots would have totally sent me over the edge, though. ;-)

Amber M. said...

Ick.Gag.Heebies. I hate maggots...but then again, who really LOVES them?

Funny thing...my vting gifts this month are little wooden acorns...I posted about them this morning!! We must be related...:-)

Jolene said...

the maggot story made me throw up in my mouth a little. But that beautiful acorn wreath is worth it. No acorns in the desert either!

Gray Matters said...

What a beautiful wreath - I have the same affection towards pine cones.

Mercy's Maid said...

So pretty, Michelle! The maggots, though....I don't know how you brought yourself to use the acorns after that!

Outnumbered2to1 said...

Oh my gosh, you handled the maggots well. I would have sold my house and moved to another town. Those things are NASTY!

Heather said...

The maggots were in the acorns. I meant to email you about that - then the creaping crud came and I forgot. I am SO sorry. They are the Acorn Weevil http://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2007/sep/072107.htm

Heather Donohue said...

Hi!

I share your love of acorns and acorn crafts. Here's what I suggest to take care of the acorn weevil issue (those things that look like maggots that come out of the little holes the mommy weevils chew.)

Right when you bring the acorns home home, blanche them in boiling water. That'll be the end of any living weevils. Muah ha haaaa....

Duke, Kathryn, & Seamus said...

The wreath is really cool. I love the look of acorns. I think the only ones I've seen are from a disney movie with squirrels. I'm still getting shivers thinking about the maggots. I would have had to call an exterminator. Or at least made my husband clean them up! You're brave!!!

Melissa said...

So cute! I like the idea of putting three together with the ribbon. Please post a picture when it's done, if you don't mind. I love Christmas/winter decorations, but this could be used fall through winter, too.

ames said...

You actually could hear them munching? Wow. Ick, maggots.

Love the wreath! I'm inspired to make one myself with the acorns my mom sent me (you're not the only one who requests acorns in the mail). Those acorns are so cute and chubby!

Kitty said...

I was wondering what you were planning to do with the acorns. Nice idea!

Bertie said...

Acorns are awesome- what a cute wreath!!

Munchkins and Music said...

Ahh, foam wreaths, good idea. Maggots are so sick! At least the little guys got one last good meal before you cleaned them up! :)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

EWWWW! You're brave! I love this wreath, I'll be linking.

CountessLaurie said...

Well, thank GOD I sent YOU the acorns. They were on my desk at work a while. I can only imagine if there were a maggot (or weevil) outbreak here. I would have had to find a new job. But nothing is too much to sacrifice for you Michelle. Oh, and EWWW.
(Sorry if it was me...blech blech blech!)
The wreath is awesome!

Inkling said...

You are way braver than I would be. When I was probably five years old, I collected a large bag of acorns and then left the bag on my bedroom floor. Not too long afterward, my mom came in to find that little white wormies (probably related to the maggots you met) were crawling all over the place. Since that experience, I've never been able to bring myself to bring any acorns inside. If I did a wreath like that, it would have to be an outside wreath, mainly because my mom doesn't live at my house and I'm not brave enough to clean up worms all by myself.

luckyzmom said...

Now I understand why I haven't seen very many acorns used for crafts.

jubilee said...

"What kinda nut came up with THAT craft?" OK, I didn't really stop by to be snarky, I wanted to be punny, but that was all I could come up with. Blame it on too little sleep and too many paint fumes.

I actually like the craft, but am wondering if I bring the acorns inside will I have have a little white worm problem too?

Janet said...

The wreath is gorgeous. I'm glad you got enough to do it. Can't wait to see the other things you made! (See, it DID make a great post! I loved the descriptive "Poltergeist moment." Although that scene actually made me throw up when I saw the movie. I'm almost over it. It has been 20 years after all. . .

ewe are here said...

I'd have never thought of an acorn wreath... so simple. Love it!

Without the maggots, of course. ;-)

Sonja said...

my daughter LOVES to collect things from outside. She was elated with her basket of acorns until one day she found all those lovely little maggots. Eek!

And gross.

And kind of a neat impromptu lesson.

Your wreath is lovely.

Amanda @ www.kiddio.org said...

Ackk, maggots! I hate maggots! I think, though, that acorns often have the little buggers growing inside. If you freeze them for a few days they'll die off and leave you maggot-free.

Ugh. Still shuddering :)


Love the wreath, though!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

And here I thought the only thing to do with acorns is get out of the way before they hit you in the head!

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

What a perfect fall wreath. If you see a swarm of grasshoppers, dive for cover!

fruitfulwords said...

Great post - humor and craft/home decore project all in one. Thanks for sharing the acorn craft idea. next year I will save acorns and balnche them before creating on my own wreath.

Damselfly said...

Oh, gag!

It's hard for me to imagine that oak trees don't grow where you live. I figured they were ubiquitous.

If you like, I can send you some South Florida acorns -- triple bagged.

My favorite thing to do with acorns is using their tops for a whistle. You have to position your thumbs over the acorn top just so, then put your thumb knuckles to your lips and blow. The acorns we have here are too small to be good whistles, though.

SarahHub said...

Cute, cute, cute wreath! You inspire me!

Gross, gross, gross story. You are a brave lady.

Glitzy Glass said...

Wow, beautiful, I want some acorns to do it too!

Jolanthe @ No Ordinary Moments said...

It's not funny...but the maggots are funny. :)

Abby said...

Oooh that's so cute I want one!

Lei said...

Oh. my. goodness. I'd have gone screaming down the street I'd have been so utterly creeped out! Lol!

Another cute way to use them is in the bottom of a large glass vase. Put a pillar candle in the center. If you can do a grouping of more than one it looks exquisite runningdown the center of your dining table.

Nicole said...

Great job on this! Wow!! I don't think I have the gumption.

Jane said...

I have a friend who made a walnut wreath ala Martha Stewart. Well she cut a few corners and low and behold she had the maggots crawling out of her wreath- hanging on the wall! Turns out you were supposed to bake the nuts to prevent any infestations. It was a hilarious story many years later.

dana said...

I saw this posted on Ashley Ann Photography and thought it was gorgeous. So the kids and I gathered acorns the other day (though not as pretty as yours with the little stem tops). And YES....after washing and letting them dry out for a few hours I found a few wievels wiggling around. Totally grossed me out. I guess that's normal though. I liked your reader's suggestion to blanch them in boiling water. I'll remember that next time! Haven't finished my version yet but will send you a link when I'm done. Thanks for the great idea!
- dana
www.dana-made-it.com

dana said...

Michelle,
I finished my acorn wreath and love it. Thank you for the inspiration! I guest blogged about it and linked back to you. Here it is if you're interested:
http://placetobloom.blogspot.com/2009/11/holiday-wreath-with-bloom-guest-dana.html

Thanks again!
- dana
www.dana-made-it.com

wrinkle said...

I was looking for a craft for my kids over the holiday and it is either Halloween or Christmas. Nice to see a fall craft that can be about Thanksgiving without the indians and pilgrims