If there is one thing I love most about fall decorating, it’s the chance to bring a little bit of the outdoors indoors. It’s that season where you begin to see pumpkins on porches, gourds gracing tables, and stems of cotton poking out of vases. I think that one of nature’s most underrated gifts is the humble acorn. These little guys are anything but boring. As I began my fall decorating this year, I started collecting hordes of these things to use anywhere I wanted a little extra “something.”
This is definitely not a project to go into blindly, as acorns can harbor little weevils that you could find scurrying around your home if you don’t treat them correctly. I am going to share with all of you how to properly dry your acorns and turn them into something you will love to have around the house this fall.
Begin by collecting your acorns. Try to pick ones that are free of holes or rot. I have a mix of big and small that I gathered from various yards (with permission, of course). Don’t worry about your friendly neighborhood squirrels; there are plenty to go around!
To clean off some of the grime, it helps to soak your acorns. This doesn’t take long. Just fill a bowl with water, pour the acorns in, and stir them around. The water will be really, really nasty looking, but you can find joy in the fact that all of that grime will not be in your home. (Please excuse my unfortunate looking backsplash. It’s under construction!)
This would also be the perfect time to preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
After soaking the acorns for 15- 20 minutes, drain them, and spread them out on a baking sheet lined with foil. Make sure that they have room to breathe, and pop them into your 250 degree oven.
Let the acorns bake for about 2 hours, stirring them around occasionally so they do not burn. When you remove them from the oven, make sure you let them cool completely before touching them!
Inevitably, you will have a few acorns separate from their caps. This is easily remedied with a spot of hot glue. After repairing your acorns, they are yours to do with as you please.
You can paint them with acrylic paint for a fun, colorful accent.
If you like a bit more glitz and glam, you can coat the acorns in glue and dip them in glitter. You might have seen some lookalikes at craft stores. I found some the other day for $4 a dozen! You can make hundreds of these for mere pennies.
Or, if you prefer the more natural route, you can leave them as-is and spray them with a clear coat to help preserve them. You can use them to decorate you home year after year!
However you adorn your acorns, they are sure to add a touch of fun to your fall decor. Try using them as a vase filler, gluing them to a picture frame, adding them to a wreath, or incorporating them into your fall centerpiece. The possibilities are endless!