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Project Tutorials >

Spun Cotton Acorn Ornaments Craft Project with Deco Beads Tutorial and Supplies


These shimmering acorn ornaments are easy and fun to make using simple techniques and just a few supplies.  Make a matching set or customize each to be unique.  If you're new to working with deco beads, this is a great project to familiarize yourself with a new and versatile way of adding shimmer.

How to apply deco beads and assemble a larger acorn ornament:

Supplies: Spun Cotton Acorns, Tiny Tinsel Chenille, Velvet Leaves, Deco Beads, Clear-drying Glue (like Elmer's or Alleen's Tacky Glue), Scissors, Paints, Paint Brushes (one for paint + one for glue + one to keep dry), Pipe cleaners or Skewers, Toothpicks, Spoon, Small Bowl or Muffin Tin Liners

Step 1: Paint acorns using a skewer or pipe cleaner as a handle and let dry.  We used a mix of metallic paints by Martha Stewart Crafts and painted pieces a variety of ways -- two-tone, mottled, three-tone, darker cap + lighter nut, etc.

Step 2: Add deco beads to cap.  We used larger deco beads for the cap for texture and differentiation.  Paint a thin and even coat of glue on the acorn cap and down slightly under the lip.  Working over a small bowl or muffin tin liner, use a spoon to add deco beads evenly to glue, tap gently so excess falls into bowl and can be reserved for future use.  Allow to dry completely.  Brush with dry paint brush to remove any loose beads.

Step 3: Add deco beads to lower portion.  We used the finest size deco beads on the lower area.  Paint a thin and even coat of glue on remainder of acorn.  Working over a bowl again, use the same spooning technique to apply the deco beads.  The finest deco beads look like fine powdered sugar and it will look like a lot has been applied.  Allow to dry completely then brush with a dry brush, again reserving the excess.  Dry brush well to reveal the thin layer of fine deco beads left on the acorn -- it will look subtly frosted.

Step 4: Add a hanger and leaf. Cut a 5" piece of chenille tinsel cord and bend in half to make a loop hanger.  Trim leaf stem leaving a 3/4" to 1" wire section.  Apply glue into the hole on top of the acorn.  Use a toothpick to push about 1/2" of the hanger in to the hole and glue.  Add wire end of leaf into hole.  Let dry completely.  Bend leaf into desired position.


Take your acorns to the next level:

To achieve a dappled cap, try mixing different colors of similarly sized deco beads.  The center photo below shows a close up view of 1mm deco beads in Clear Yellow + Clear Brown + Clear Black + Metallic Bronze.  This mix gives a textured and varied look reminiscent of a real acorn.  The finished acorns in the left and right photos show this mix applied over caps that were first painted Gold.



How to assemble an acorn cluster ornament:

Assembling a cluster requires: 3 leaves with stems + 1 piece wired stem  3-1/2" to 4" long ,  5 small acorns (already painted and deco beaded using just the finest size all over), paint brush handle, glue

Step 1: Stack 3 leaves and twist stems together 3-4 times just above leaves.

Step 2: Bend piece of wire in half and place around 1 piece of stem.  Continue twisting leaf stems until twist measures about 1-1/2" from base of leaves.

Step 3: Wrap twisted stems around paint brush handle to make a loop hanger.  Wrap 3 stems around top of leaves 2-3 times to secure loop hanger, taking care to leave the two added wire ends free.  You will end up with 5 wire ends: 3 longer and 2 shorter.

Step 4: Arrange wire ends with 2 shorter near top and 3 longer evenly below. 

Step 5: Curl ends of wire up about 1/4" and try placing small acorns on wire ends to determine best length.  Adjust as needed.  We grouped two acorns close to the loop hanger and 3 more acorns below.

Step 6: Glue in place when pleased with acorn placement. Let dry.  Re-position leaves as desired.


Tips and color combinations:

- The trick to applying deco beads successfully is all in how the glue is applied: a thin and even coat applied to an area once and allowed to dry completely after deco beads are added.  Trying to go back a second time and add more usually results in uneven lumpiness.

- Clear Orange deco beads will allow a little of the color underneath to show through. Apply over light and medium colors for more brightness; apply over darker colors for more depth.

- Larger acorns look best with larger deco beads on the cap for texture and the finest deco beads on the nut portion.  Smaller acorns look best with finest deco beads all over or smaller deco beads on just the cap.

- To achieve a unique look choose 3 paint colors in light, medium and dark.  Paint the cap in a dappled mix of dark + medium and paint the rest a dappled mix of medium + light.  The result will be a subtle ombre look like acorn B below.

- Metallic and Pearl paint colors from Martha Stewart Crafts we used: Gold, Rose Chrome, Copper, Rose Copper, Scallion, Rust, Pale Bronze

- So many combinations of paints + deco beads + leaves + tinsel hangers are possible.  9 of our favorites are detailed below.

Style A: Acorn SC203. Painted Rust on cap + Copper below. Deco beads in Metallic Brown .5mm on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Pale Green/White/Silver. Leaves NLC108 in Autumn Ombre + Sage Green.

Style B: Acorn SC203. Painted Rust + Pale Bronze on cap and Pale Bronze + Scallion below. Deco beads in Clear .5mm on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Yellow/White/Silver. Leaves NLC108 in Pale Gold + Pale Green.

Style C: Acorn SC228. Gold on cap + Scallion below. Deco beads in Metallic Gold .5mm on cap only.  Leaves NLC108 in Sage Green.

Style D: Acorn SC203. Painted Rust on cap + Rose Copper below. Deco beads in Clear Brown 1mm on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Old Gold/Gold. Leaf NLC108 in Pale Green.

Style E: Acorn SC228. Rust on cap + Copper below. Deco beads in Metallic Brown .5mm on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below.  Leaves NLC108 in Autumn Ombre.

Style F: Acorn SC203. Painted Rust on cap + Gold below. Deco beads mix of 1mm sizes in Clear Yellow + Clear Brown + Clear Black + Metallic Bronze on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Yellow/White/Silver. Leaf NLC108 in Pale Green.

Style G: Acorn SC228. Dappled painting style all over in mixes of Rust, Rose Copper, Copper and Scallion. Deco beads in Clear Frost .1mm all over.  Leaves NLC108 in Sage Green.

Style H: Acorn SC203. Dappled painting style all over in mix of Rust, Rose Copper, Copper and Scallion. Deco beads in Clear .5mm on cap + Clear Frost .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Old Gold/Gold. Leaf NLC108 in Sage Green.

Style I: Acorn SC203. Dappled painting style all over in mix of Rust, Rose Copper, Copper and Scallion. Deco beads in Clear .5mm on cap + Clear Orange .1mm below. Tinsel cord in Old Gold/Gold. Leaf NLC108 in Pale Gold.



Set of 6 Petite Paper Autumn Ombre Oak Leaves ~ Czech Repub.

Set of 6 Petite Paper Autumn Ombre Oak Leaves ~ Czech Repub.

$8.95

7 Small Spun Cotton Acorns or Nuts 3/4" ~ Czech Republic

7 Small Spun Cotton Acorns or Nuts 3/4" ~ Czech Republic

$2.95

3 Spun Cotton Acorns or Nuts 1-5/8"

3 Spun Cotton Acorns or Nuts 1-5/8"

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Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Christmas Crafts ~ PALE GOLD

Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Christmas Crafts ~ PALE GOLD

$6.95

Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Christmas Crafts ~ SILVER

Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Christmas Crafts ~ SILVER

$6.95

Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Holiday Crafts ~ GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Foil Oak Leaves for Holiday Crafts ~ GREEN

$6.95

Burgundy & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Burgundy & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Green & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Green & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Light Green & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Light Green & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Yellow & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Yellow & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Peach & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Peach & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Red & Green + Gold Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Red & Green + Gold Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Red & Green + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Red & Green + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Tiger Stripe + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Tiger Stripe + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

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Orange & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Orange & White + Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Burgundy & Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Burgundy & Silver Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

Old Gold & Gold Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

Old Gold & Gold Chenille Sparkle Cording ~ 5 yards ~ Tiny 1/8" wide

$4.95

New!
German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR BLACK ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR BLACK ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

$9.95

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German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR BROWN ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR BROWN ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR YELLOW ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR YELLOW ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

$9.95

New!
German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC BRONZE ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC BRONZE ~ 1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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New!
German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

$9.95

New!
German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC BROWN ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC BROWN ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

$9.95

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German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC COPPER ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC COPPER ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC GOLD ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

German Glass Deco Beads in METALLIC GOLD ~ .5mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ AUTUMN OMBRE

$8.95

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ DARK GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ PALE GREEN

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Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

Set of 12 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ SAGE GREEN

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Set of 6 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ PINK

Set of 6 Petite Velvet Oak Leaves ~ PINK

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New!
Finest German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR FROST ~ .1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

Finest German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR FROST ~ .1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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Finest German Glass Deco Beads in CLEAR ORANGE ~ .1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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Finest German Glass Deco Beads in STARDUST ~ .1mm size ~ 2.5 oz in Jar

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