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How to Prepare Acorns for Use with Crafts

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Learn how to properly prepare acorns for use with crafts. Why buy acorns when you can collect your own for use in all your fall, rustic or nature themed crafts?!

I love to use acorns in my home decor, especially in the fall. It adds the perfect rustic touch to candle vases, baskets, mantels and even in craft projects like wreaths, candle rings and more.

But, before you can use acorns in your home decor or with your craft projects you have to prepare the acorns for crafting.

bowl of acorns

Why Prepare Acorns?

Well, that’s a good question! Here’s four good reasons why it’s necessary to properly prepare acorns for use with crafts:

  1. Acorns may be dirty.
  2. Acorns are oftentimes home to weevils. You’ll want to kill the bugs to prevent infestations.
  3. Caps fall off easily.
  4. Discard diseased, cracked, or broken acorns.


Q: Do I need to clean the acorn caps, too?

If you hare planning to use the caps in your decor or craft projects, you’ll want to clean them as well. Otherwise, your caps will age and the nuts will not.

Q: How long will the prepared acorns last?

Once you dry the acorns, they should last for years. Just avoid exposing them to moisture.

Q: Can the acorns be eaten?

Properly prepared acorns can be eaten. For more information on how to prepare acorns for eating, you can read this article from WebMD.

DISCLOSURE: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. If you make a purchase from one of these links, The Birch Cottage will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions expressed are 100% our own.


The steps to preparing acorns for use with crafts and in your home decor are pretty easy.

Step One: Gather Acorns

It’s always helpful to have little hands helping you to gather your acorns. I take my granddaughters to a local park every fall to help me gather acorns. They call them “nuts” and they think we are gathering food for the squirrels. Aren’t they sweet?!

But, you do want to try and gather the acorns as soon as they fall. This will help to minimize bugs and mold and help to ensure you’re working with the healthiest acorns.

Step Two: Clean the Acorns

Like I said earlier, weevils love acorns. Plus acorns that have fallen to the ground can get dirty. Simply soak the acorns in a bowl of water and gently clean with a brush.

Step Three: Bake the Acorns

After you wash and allow the acorns to dry, you’ll want to place them on an aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for two hours, turning every 15 minutes. This will dry out the acorns and kill any insects.

Step Four: Glue Tops on Acorns

When you wash and bake your acorns, some of the caps will fall off. Actually, a lot of the caps will fall off. Simply use your hot glue gun to attach the caps to the nuts.

Step Five: Apply Protective Coating

If you want to add a little bit of shine and provide additional protection for your acorns, you can use a protective sealant. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and remember to use thin coats and allow to dry in between.

Acorn Craft Ideas

To inspire you to gather those acorns and prepare those acorns for use with crafts, here are some DIY acorn inspiration:


Prepare Acorns for Use with Crafts

Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Active Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

It's important to properly prepare acorns before you use them in your home decor or craft projects. The steps are easy to follow and will allow you to craft with acorns with confidence.


  • acorns
  • water
  • towels or paper towels
  • aluminum foil


  • oven
  • rimmed cookie sheet
  • bowl
  • nylon brush


  1. Gathers acorns as soon as they fall off the oak trees, if possible. hand full of acorns
  2. Place acorns in a bowl of water and scrub with a brush to remove dirt, insects and leaves. The caps may fall off, but that's okay. Just save the caps.
  3. Lay the acorns out on a towel to dry for an hour. This is a good time to sort the acorns and discard any moldy or broken acorns. If you find acorns with tiny holes in them, use your discretion as to whether you keep them or discard them. The holes are signs of insects and they will be killed in the next step.
  4. While your acorns are drying, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line your rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spread acorns out in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Place acorns in the preheated oven.
  5. Leave the oven door cracked to allow the moisture to escape from the acorns as they dry out. Leave the acorns in the oven for 2 hours, turning them every 30 minutes.
  6. When acorns are dry, remove from the oven and turn the oven off. Allow the acorns to completely cool.
  7. Again, you'll want to discard any damaged, diseased or burnt acorns.
  8. Attach caps to the nut using hot glue. Even if the cap didn't come off, you'll want to remove it and reattach with hot glue.
  9. To further preserve the acorns, spray with clear acrylic. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the can, applying a thin coat and allowing to dry before spraying the other side. Be sure to spray the caps, too.
  10. Your acorns are now ready to use in your home decor or craft projects.

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There are so many ways you can use acorns in your home decor and for fun craft projects. If you have children or grandchildren, let them get involved with the gathering and crafting. You’ll not only spark their creativity but develop a lifelong fondness for crafting and decorating with elements from nature.

More Craft Ideas

If you liked learning how to prepare acorns for use with crafts, you might also like these craft ideas from The Birch Cottage:

If you have a favorite way to use acorns in craft projects or in your home, I’d love to hear about it. Just leave a comment below!

Til next time…

Pam Baker from The Birch Cottage

Be sure to Pin this craft project to your favorite Pinterest board to save for later or to share with family and friends.

bowl of acorns

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