So not that long ago, my husband, son and I went on a little day trip to this beautiful small lake nestled in the woods with soaring pine and oak trees. My husband and son went to fish as they are addicts…my son is actually a champion fisherman. I, on the other hand, am not. Don’t get me wrong, I like fishing, especially when I out fish my husband, but I am by no means hardcore. So when I got bored of fishing, I set off to explore. I came back with two huge and amazing fresh pine cones and a bag FULL of acorns and acorn caps. My husband thought I was nuts. (Yes, pun intended.) I had a plan for them.
So my acorns sat in a bag waiting for Christmas. What became of them was Acorn Cap Ornaments! These are awesome for a rustic tree if left plain or if you add some sparkle with glitter they can adorn any tree or decoration you want. And if you leave off the string and bow, they can even be great decorative balls in bowls or pillars for every day décor. The best part about these ornaments is they are super easy to make (there is no “perfect” involved) and they are super inexpensive to make depending on what kind of craft supplies you have around the house. My ornaments came out to less than 50 cents an ornament.
You are going to need:
- Acorn Caps
- Styrofoam Balls – you can vary the size so you have small medium and even large ornaments. I used 3″ foam balls
- Brown Craft Paint
- Paint Brush
- Glue – Elmer’s or a Clear Drying Glue
- Paper Plates
- Glitter (Optional)
- Disposable Gloves (Optional)
The only supply I did not have laying around were Styrofoam balls so I bought a pack of 6 for $2.50. I am recommending gloves unless you are okay with getting paint and glue on your hands. The ribbon and glitter can be any color you want as can the string.
First, put on your gloves. Take one of you paper plates and dispense some brown craft paint on it for easy dipping. You will need a lot but start with about a 1/2 dollar sized dollop and you can add more as you go. Begin to paint your Styrofoam ball with the brown paint. I recommend holding the Styrofoam ball for stability. Make sure to dab as you go so you are covering all the white of the Styrofoam. Once complete, let dry. You can hurry this along with a hairdryer on cool.
Once the ball is dry, its time to add the acorn caps. I have seen where some people use hot glue but I have found that can melt Styrofoam. So I recommend using Elmer’s or another permanent adhesive that dries clear. Take another of your plates and pour out your acorns. Take a third plate and squirt a substantial amount of glue on to it. Next, take one of your acorn caps, and dip the solid side into the glue and then press it against the ball so the open cap faces out. Hold until it is somewhat secure. I personally like the ones with little stems as I can stick the stem into the Styrofoam for extra stability. Repeat this process all around the ball until it is completely covered. Set aside to dry.
Quick Note – There will be gaps between the acorns. That’s why we painted the ball. Also, don’t worry about it being perfect. Its not suppose to be. The beauty of it is the variety of nature. Don’t be afraid to mix color and sizes of caps.
Once its dry, take your string and make a loop (this is how it will hang on the tree) and tie a knot at one end. Next, find a gap in the acorn cap ball and squirt some glue into it. Submerge the knotted end of the string into the glue and let dry. Add your bow by tieing it around the string as close to the acorns as possible. Ribbon with a little wire can help keep its shape. Once completely dry, giving it at least 24 hours, then it can go on the tree.
My husband and I decided that we are going to do rustic themed decorations next year so I am choosing to leave my acorn cap ornaments plain. However, if you want to add some sparkle, you can add glitter. You will do this step once the ball has dried but before adding the “Loop” to put on the tree. To do this, take a paper plate and squirt out some glue. Using a small brush, brush the glue onto the open faces of the acorn cap. Work in small sections so the glue does not dry on you. Take some glitter and shake it over the areas that are wet. Repeat until each face is covered with glitter. Allow it to dry. Once dry, add your loop, ribbon, let dry and enjoy.