Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Acorn Hunt

Last month when I was forced to sit around while recovering from a cough and sore throat, I found myself growing irritable, so I made something for Thanksgiving. Andrea liked it so much that she asked me to write about it. I’m so glad she liked it! I hope you do, too.

I wanted to have some activities for before and after dinner. We had decided to have a race, but I wanted something else that would be wonderful for the little ones. I came across a website with a picture of a charming little acorn.

So I decided to make some while I was sitting and coughing. The one I found online was made with balloons and paper mache. I don’t like paper mache, so I started thinking. Lo and behold, I an idea came to me. Those plastic Easter eggs, if turned upside down, could be made to look like acorns! And then they could be used as boxes for clues to a treasure hunt or notes expressing thanksgiving, or candy or all three!

I knew where the plastic eggs were because my children had organized my basement this summer. I blessed them as I quickly found what I needed.

Here’s what I did:

Gather supplies:

paper, paper cutter, yarn in autumn colors, twine and string also can be used, hot glue gun, other glue sources such as tacky glue, spray adhesive or double sided tape.

a few pipe cleaners, one button for each acorn, scraps of felt for the inside hinges and the leaves, needle and thread, colored yarn for sewing the leaves.
1. The bottom, rounded part of the egg becomes the acorn top. Cut a strip of paper ½ inch by the circumference of the egg. Use the hot glue gun to glue the strip of paper around the edge of the egg. This will help the acorn top to look bigger than the bottom and not so egg-shaped!

2. Begin by gluing the yarn onto the paper edge, covering carefully. For the acorn top, I used thicker yarn as I wanted it to be sure to look bigger than the bottom. Once the bottom row of yarn is secure, you don’t have to continue to use hot glue as it can burn very easily. Use spray adhesive, or thin the tackly glue and paint it on with a paint brush. I think double sided tape will work, but I didn’t try it.

3. Wind the yarn row by row around the egg bottom/acorn top. When you come to the pinnacle, make a slip knot. This will be the loop that is used to hang the acorn. Making sure that the loop sticks up, glue down the ends of the yarn and the knot at the top with hot glue.

4. The bottom of the acorn is a little trickier. Begin by choosing a yarn that is a different color than the top and is thinner. Using the hot glue gun, create the first row around the opening of the egg. Be careful not to glue yarn to the inner edge as you want to be able to close the acorn/egg. Once the first row is fastened, go to the top of the egg. Tie a little knot and clip off the extra thread. Using hot glue, attach the knot and add more glue around it. Create a circular start for the yard by winding the yarn around the knot. You can either continue with hot glue winding around to the bottom, or you can spray the egg with spray adhesive or paint it with thinned tacky glue.

Winding the bottom part of the acorn may take several sessions. Wind it and squish the rows together (it will look rustic, but that’s okay, it’s an acorn!). Let that dry or cool. Wind some more rows, taking breaks if the yarn is slipping, until the entire egg is covered.

5. Fit the top to the bottom. Decide where you wish to put the button on the bottom part of the acorn. Sew or glue it on.

6.  If it doesn't stay together, make a latch for the button by cutting an inch of pipe cleaner. Bend this into a V. Apply glue the cut ends and stick these up under the yarn of the top of the acorn to create a loop or latch.

7.  If it still doesn't stay together, open the acorn and cut a strip of felt about ½ inch by 1 inch. Glue this to the top and bottom of the acorn directly opposite the button to create a hinge. This will hold the acorn together and still allow it to open.

Using templates you have or that you can find online trace leaves onto felt. Cut these out. Take the embroidery floss or yarn and take big running stitches down the middle of each leaf. This creates definition and curls the leaf a little so it looks dried. Sew or glue leaves onto the acorn at the top near the loop.

Now they are finished and you can use them for fun! Enjoy.
Questions? Post them in comments at  If you make one, please post a picture.


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  2. This was the most charming idea ever. Super charming.

  3. I love these! I will have to make them for next year.

  4. Thanks so much for posting these directions Mom :) This really is a revolutionary idea! (Okay, Maybe revolutionary is the wrong word) :)