Acorns and chestnuts are ready this time of year for craft projects for kids. If you can’t find the nuts around the neighborhood, a nut gathering trip to the park or forest trail is a great autumn activity. Once you gathered them, you’ll need to get rid of any unwanted stowaways – bugs.

The first way to get rid of insects is to bake the acorns or chestnuts. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºF and place the nuts on a baking sheet with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Be sure to let the nuts cool before starting your project. Another method is to soak the nuts in a mix of a half cup of vinegar and one cup warm water for 30 minutes. Once they are done, set them newspaper or paper towels, and let them dry.

Painting Acorns & Chestnuts

While chestnuts and acorns can make a lovely fall display, painting them can brighten the season. Your kids can make bright and colorful decorations simply using acrylic craft paints and a paint brush. The color choice is up to you, so have fun! If you don’t want brush strokes to show, brush with the grain of the nut. When using acorns, you don’t need to remove my caps before painting. One coat of paint will let the grain of the acorn or chestnut show, but if you want a more opaque look use two coats of paint.

Acorn & Chestnut Jewelry

You can use painted or unpainted nuts to make necklaces or bracelets. Using an awl, pierce holes in the acorns or chestnuts (or mix and match them). The it’s easy to string them together with twine or elastic to complete the jewelry. You can even add beads for a pop of color!

A Family of Acorn & Chestnut

Another fun project is to make and acorn and chestnut family. You can stack the nuts in various heights to make mom, dad, and the kids with glue. Just like the jewelry, you can use them unpainted or paint clothing on them. If you want shoes, cut the nuts in half with the flat bottom to stand on. For bonus fun, don’t forget to try making the family pet!

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