An acorn garland is a great way to transition into fall decorating. And if you pick your acorns up off the ground, you can make your own garland for almost nothing.
I’ve been gathering acorns for this project (and hopefully a couple others, too) while I’ve been out on my daily walks for the past week. Here’s what I’ve managed to collect so far:
Cleaning before crafting
As I started to clean and organize my cache, I noticed a couple of the nuts had tiny holes in them and one had a little white wormlike creature attempting to crawl out.
Ah, the wonders of nature.
Or as I said at the time while flinging the offending acorn across the room, “Eew, eew, eew!”
After a couple of quick Google searches, I discovered my wormy little friend was actually an acorn weevil larva and nothing to worry about, at least not inside my home. It wasn’t going to reproduce in large quantities, chew up my furniture, or poison my cat.
But I still didn’t want to let him or any of his larva brethren loose in my house, so I followed the advice from Amanda at Life on Cloverhill and tossed my acorns in the oven, letting them bake at 200 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 2 hours. The high temp is supposed to kill any creepy crawlies inside the nuts.
When I pulled my acorns out of the oven, I gave them a thorough inspection and decided they were critter-free and ready for crafting.
Materials and supplies for acorn garland
Here’s a list of materials and supplies that I used in making my acorn garland:
- 30-40 acorns
- Drill and drill bits
- Super glue or craft glue (to re-attach caps that fell off)
- Jute twine
- Scotch tape
Drilling holes in the acorns
The first thing I had to do to make my acorn garland was to drill holes in the acorns.
Initially, I thought I would drill the holes vertically, from the top of the cap down through to the bottom of the acorn. But the caps shattered every time I tried to drill through them. So I switched to drilling holes horizontally, just below the caps. That worked better.
I also tried different sizes of bits. Ultimately I settled on using a 7/64 bit. Bigger bits were more likely to shatter the acorns. Smaller bits didn’t make the holes big enough to get my twine through.
If you try this craft, make sure you have extra acorns on hand, because some of them are going to crack or break, no matter how careful you are. I started with about 40 acorns. I lost six to the drilling process, and another four crumbled as I was trying to force the twine through their holes.
Also, make sure you have glue to re-attach the acorn caps as they fall off during drilling or sometimes just from handling them.
Making the first tassel
Once I had all the holes drilled, I started making a tassel for the end of the garland. To do this, I wrapped twine around the palm of my hand about 20 times.
Then I chopped off the twine and tied a knot at the top end of the tassel, leaving a nice long tail (about 3 feet) at the end of it.
Next I wrapped another piece of twine around the tassel about an inch down from the knotted end and tied it off.
To finish the tassel, I cut through the looped ends at the bottom.
Stringing the acorns
I strung the acorns onto the long tail of twine that I’d left when I tied the knot at the top of the tassel.
The key to stringing the acorns was to wrap the end of the twine in Scotch tape. The tape kept the jute fibers of the twine from fraying as I was feeding it through the small holes.
Even with the tape, it was a struggle to get the twine through some of the acorns. The meat inside of the them would sometimes crumble and create an obstruction in the channel. Usually I could clear the channel by just drilling through it again with the same size bit, but I had a few casualties during the re-drilling process, too.
Here’s what my garland looked like once I had all of my acorns on it:
At this point, I adjusted the acorns so there was a little bit of slack between them to make sure the garland would be flexible.
The second tassel
I made the second tassel pretty much the same way I made the first one.
I started by wrapping twine around my palm again.
Then I fed the tail of the garland through the loops I had created …
… and used the tail to tie a knot around the loops, creating the top of the tassel.
Next, I wound a short piece of twine around the tassel, about an inch from the top, and tied it off.
Finally, I cut through the bottom of the loops and trimmed the ends so they were uniform.
Acorn garland decor
Here’s my completed acorn garland, wound around the top of an old jug:
Isn’t it pretty? I think the garland is the perfect blend of hard and soft, adding texture and movement to a vignette and just the right amount of “fall” for this time of year.
When we get passed Labor Day, I’ll probably make a few more strings of garland and wrap some around the concrete pumpkins I made last year.
Until then, let me know what you think of the garland. And if you have any ideas for what other crafts I can do with the rest of my leftover acorns!