How to make acorn garland for fall

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.

acorn garland wrapped around a vintage jug

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:

bowls full of acorns and acorn caps

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.

tinfoil-lined cookie sheet full of acorns in the oven

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

line of acorns next to a roll of jute twine

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
  • Scissors
  • 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.

drilling a hole through at acorn

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.

acorns with holes drilled in them, to be used in acorn garland

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.

wrapping the twine around my hand to create a tassel for the end of my acorn garland

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.

tieing a knot at the top end of the tassel

Next I wrapped another piece of twine around the tassel about an inch down from the knotted end and tied it off.

wrapping a piece of twine around the tassel about an inch down from the knotted end

To finish the tassel, I cut through the looped ends at the bottom.

finishing the tassel by cutting 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.

stringing an acorn onto the jute twine

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.

acorn garland

Here’s what my garland looked like once I had all of my acorns on it:

acorn garland

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.

adjusting the acorn garland to make sure the string will 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.

wrapping twine around my palm

Then I fed the tail of the garland through the loops I had created …

feeding the tail of the acorn garland through the loops of the tassel

… and used the tail to tie a knot around the loops, creating the top of the tassel.

feeding the tail of the garland through the loops

Next, I wound a short piece of twine around the tassel, about an inch from the top, and tied it off.

winding a piece of twine around the tassel about an inch from the top

Finally, I cut through the bottom of the loops and trimmed the ends so they were uniform.

cutting the looped end of the tassel with a scissors

Acorn garland decor

Here’s my completed acorn garland, wound around the top of an old jug:

acorn garland wrapped round 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.

acorn garland on vintage jug

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!

Lisa

22 Replies to “How to make acorn garland for fall”

  1. Very cute! Love acorns and have collected a bunch. I might try this but a little different just to see if it will work. Instead of drilling the holes I’m going to try using just the ones that the caps come off of easily and run the twine under the caps. I really love the way yours look!

  2. Love the garland!! This could be used all the way through Thanksgiving. For the unraveling jute..Cut it a bit longer than you need. Roll the end of the jute between your fingers, then use some white glue or clear finger nail polish on the jute. After it dries it should be easier to thread through the acorns.

      1. I used tape on the money lei’s I made/make and the tape ends up tearing. I make money lei’s for graduations, weddings, anniversary’s. They are always such a hit!

  3. Now that’s taking the wooden bead garlands that are all over Pinterest to a whole new level. Love it Lisa. So very pretty

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