Utilizing the outdoors is one of my favorite ways to decorate for the seasons and holidays. If you think about what makes fall feel like fall, brightly colored leaves, pumpkins, acorns, and cooler weather are typically at the top of the list.
I wrote another blog post on how to sustainably decorate for fall. It includes a lot of tips on how you can bring the outdoors inside to make your home feel more festive. I shared my little acorn jar in the post, but I wanted to do a deeper dive into displaying acorns in your home and the most important thing you need to do before they find a place in your home!
One of my favorite activities to do with my daughter in the fall is to go on walks and gather things that she finds. She usually comes home with her pockets bursting with acorns, leaves, sticks, and rocks. (Any other mom’s find rocks in the washing machine?)
I love that we can take some of her treasures and put them on display in our home. It is a sustainable, free, and fun way to decorate for the seasons. Seriously, what isn’t there to love?
It may be tempting to take those acorns home and just throw them into a jar, bowl, or even worse, onto your kitchen table! There is something to keep in mind. BUGS
Yes, those little holes that you see in acorns aren’t just little divots from when they fall. They are made from bugs who find them as delicious treats and safe little temporary homes.
EEK! I know. A little gross…
So when you bring those acorns into your home, you may also bring bugs into your home, which is something no one really wants. But there is good news!
Those bugs are easy to get rid of and you don’t have to worry about unwanted house guests. All you have to do is follow these three (really only two) steps!
1. Wash your Acorns
Place your recently gathered acorns in a bowl of soapy hot water. (I love to use my Dr. Bonner’s soap!) You should agitate the water a bit to make sure all of the acorns are being submerged and getting cleaned out.
I like to let the acorns soak a bit, just so I know they are getting a good soapy wash.
Once they are soaked and cleaned to your satisfaction, I like to rinse them a few times, just to make sure the soap is washed off. The last thing I wanted was for my acorns to smell like tea tree oil!
2. Bake your Acorns
The next step not only makes sure the bugs are not going to crawl out of your acorns, but also ensures that your acorns are completely dry and don’t mold. Win win in my books!
Place your acorns onto a baking tray and make sure they have plenty of room. I will admit, my tray was a little crowded. If you have more acorns than this, you may want to upgrade to a full size oven tray!
Pop them into an oven. I like using my toaster oven for this since it is a small batch, but feel free to use a standard oven as well.
Bake your acorns at 150 degrees fahrenheit for two hours. Low and slow will ensure those pesky bugs are gone and that your acorns don’t burn.
Make sure that you keep an eye on your acorns and give them a good shuffle every 30 minutes or so. This ensures that they are all getting an even amount of heat and some don’t burn. It may be tempting to go and do yard work during this time, but make sure you keep an eye on them! It is never a good idea to walk away from a hot oven.
Once the two hours are over, let the acorns cool, then they are ready to be used without fear of bugs coming into your home!
3. Display your Acorns
Now the best part. Displaying your acorns! There are so many different ways that you can put them on display. Here are a quick ten that I thought of.
Acorns in a mason jar on a mantel or shelf.
Acorns in a shallow bowl with a candle in the middle.
Acorns used as a vase filler with dried florals or bare sticks.
Acorns mixed with fairy lights in a hurricane glass.
Acorns glued to a picture frame.
Acorns with their bottoms painted for a pop of color.
Acorns mixed in with small gourds or pumpkins for a centerpiece on a table.
Acorns threaded with a little string through the tops and hung from branches.
Acorns mixed with pinecones to make a wreath.
Acorns used in kids art projects. Have them paint and glue other fall themed nature finds with the acorns.
There are so many other fun ways that you can incorporate acorns into your fall decor and season, these were just a few quick ideas!
I hope this quick tutorial helped you utilize acorns as an affordable, sustainable, and easy decor piece in your home. If you followed along with this tutorial, please share what you did with me on Instagram or in the comments below.
Hope you all have a fall filled with seasonal joy!
If you’re looking for other sustainable ways to decorate this fall, feel free to check out my other blog post on sustainably decorating for Halloween!