I have always loved acorns in fall decorating. They look great scattered around centrepieces, nestled amongst candles and used as a vase filler.
But I’m not a big of how much they cost in stores. The cheapest I found around here was about $3.50 for about 20 pieces, and the ones at Pottery Barn are about twice as much. Ouch!
So I decided to make my own using the acorns that I picked up at our friends’ cottage on Labour Day weekend.
For the cost of a spray can of a sealant and a few glue sticks, I was able to make almost 300 pieces for less than $7. Over $45 dollars cheaper than the store bought ones for the same amount of acorns.
But before you just go and pick up some acorns from the ground and pop them in a vase, there are a few things that you need to do to make sure that you have bug-free acorns that will last a long time.
First you need to clean the acorns to remove any dirt. I used a little bowl of water and some old rags to scrub the dirt off the acorns. To do all 300 took awhile, so I did it one evening while watching a movie.
While you’re cleaning them, sort through your acorns and throw out any that have bug holes in them or show signs of rot. Little bugs called weevils can still be inside the acorn, so we will still need to heat them up in the oven to kill anything inside.
Most of the caps fell off my acorns, so I lined them up together on a large tinfoil wrapped baking sheet, which had a bit of a lip to it and prevented the acorns from rolling off. Bake in the oven for 2-3 hours at 200°F. Check them every hour or so and give them a little shake to prevent burning on the pan.
Let the acorns completely cool before you touch them. I just left them on the baking pan overnight.
Since many of my caps fell off, I used hot glue to put them back onto the acorns.
Any that hadn’t fallen off, I still popped the tops off and glued them back on, to ensure that they didn’t fall apart over time.
To help them last even longer, I used a spray can of clear acrylic to preserve and protect them.
Spray the acorns until evenly coated on one side, then let dry for an hour. Flip the acorns over again and spray on the other side. Turn the can to try and spray on an angle to get the sides as well.
I went with satin finish for a little bit of a glossy sheen, which dulled a little once they dried.
After they have dried you can use them for whatever fall crafts that you’d like, but my personal favourite is vase filler.
I picked lots of extra caps and bottoms, hoping that they would match up, but many didn’t. I still cleaned these up and kept them for other fall crafts.