DIY Autumn Acorn Earrings or Ornaments

 
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I can't believe it's already November! The entire month of October went by really quickly, and I am somehow finding myself feeling quite busy even without a job. I haven't even made it through half of my important to-do list, let alone my DIY project list!

I did manage to make a fun last-minute (seriously, it was Friday afternoon) DIY Halloween costume with Michael (see here). All I had to do was buy a fake mustache and paint a few pieces of cardboard, and we were transformed into a very melancholy Theodore Twombly and a very chipper operating system Samantha!

Acorns

Anyway, it's finally starting to feel like fall here in San Francisco, so I'm trying to think of fun autumn/fall/seasonal projects to share. I knew I wanted to make some jewelry, which I haven't done in awhile, so this is what I came up with. Obviously, wearing real acorns as earrings is not for everyone, but if you're feeling the season like I am, maybe you'll want to try pulling these off. They're really easy (and cheap) to make too.

(Alternatively, you could forego the earring hook and instead tie string or ribbon through the wire loop and make this a very cute Christmas ornament!)

Acorn Earrings Supplies

Things you will need:
- 2 acorns and their little caps (I collected more in case I messed up and because I figured they'd be fun fall decorations anyway!)
- Acrylic paint and brush (I used some Martha Stewart Living gold paint that I had leftover from another project)
- A pair of earring hooks
- 2 eye pins (to match your earring hooks)
- Jewelry pliers
- Safety pin or thumb tack
- Hot glue or super glue
- Jewelry wire cutters or scissors

 

Instructions:

1. Clean and prepare your fresh acorns!
Rinse your acorns off under water, making sure their clean, and line them on some aluminum foil and/or a baking sheet.

2. Roast your acorns for 20-30 minutes at 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep checking on the acorns to make sure they're not burning!
This is just to make sure they're nice and dry.
I ended up using my toaster oven (I know, it really needs a cleaning). 

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3. Once the acorns have cooled, it's time to paint!
Most likely, the acorns (if previously attached) have separated from the caps.
Paint your acorns with your acrylic paint, and let dry.
I found that an upside-down egg carton worked great for a drying rack!
My paint actually started to separate as I painted (see picture below), but after 2-3 coats, the color looked pretty even.

Acorn Painting
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4. While the paint on the acorns is drying, use your thumb tack or safety pin to carefully bore a small hole from the inside of each acorn cap. 
Apply a little pressure and keep twisting the thumb tack/safety pin until the pin comes out of the other side.
Be very gentle when holding the acorn cap. It can break really easily, especially after being toasted. (I know because I made this mistake, good thing I had extra!)

Acorn Safety Pin

5. Thread your eye pin from the inside of the acorn cap and create a loop with your jewelry pliers. Snip off the extra wire. Repeat for the other acorn cap.
You will probably need to use your pinky finger inside the cap to apply some pressure while making the loop to make sure the loop isn't too loose or big.

AcornEyepin
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Acorn Earring Loop


6. Open the loop of your earring hook with your pliers and hook it to the loop of the acorn cap. Close the earring hook loop, and repeat for the other acorn. You're almost there!

7. Glue your acorns to their caps.
Drop a bit of glue to the inside of the cap and insert the acorn. If you need to do any paint touch-ups, it should be a lot easier now that you can hang the acorns and paint without holding them.

Now you're done!

Acorn Front
Side
closeup

I think they came out quite charming, if I do say so myself. :) What do you think? Would you wear these earrings?