How to Dry Acorns for Crafts

Acorns, the nut from oak trees, are a commonly harvested food that are eaten raw or used in recipes. Acorns usually ripen and fall in September and October. There is often an overabundance of acorns and they can alternatively be used for crafts. Children can use them to make murals, buttons and other creations, or adults may use them to frame mirrors and candle holders. Whatever acorn crafts you have in mind, there are a few best practices to follow when drying acorns for crafts. Insects often hide inside the shell and you can safely and effectively destroy the risk of future insect problems. This article will tell you how to dry acorns for crafts.


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    Harvest acorns from red and white oak trees as soon as they fall off the trees, if possible. They may be green, tan or brown. The more time they are on the ground, the higher the possibility will be that they may be attacked by insects.
    • Acorns are a large portion of a squirrel's diet. They are quick to harvest the best acorns, and you will see them actively hunting when the acorns are ripe.
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    Place your acorns in a bowl of water to rinse them. Brush them gently with a nylon brush to remove dirt, insect larvae and leaves.
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    Lay your acorns out across a towel to dry them for 1 hour. Throw away any nuts that are already molding or decaying. These nuts will not retain the look of healthy nuts in your craft projects.
    • If you find any acorns with tiny holes in them, this is a sign that insects have been inside them. Drying them for crafts will kill the insects so it is up to your discretion whether you want to save these acorns.
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    Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79 degrees Celsius). Lay your acorns in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a lip on it. Place your acorns in the preheated oven.
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    Leave the oven door cracked slightly. This will allow the moisture to escape from the acorn kernels as they dry.
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    Turn the acorns every 30 minutes. Leave the acorns in for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, to ensure they dry completely. Remove them from the oven when they have dried.
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    Turn the oven off. Remove any acorns that may have burned in the process of drying. Allow your acorns to cool on a wire rack for an hour before attempting to use them.
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    Use your acorns for crafts. You can attach them using glue or hot glue. Look for acorn craft ideas in magazines, blogs or crafting books.


  • Acorns that are dried in this manner can also be eaten. However, drying acorns for eating is usually done by letting them sit out and air dry over a period of weeks or months. Oven drying acorns causes them to lose their moisture and lose their freshness. They can only be eaten for 1 to 2 months after oven drying.
  • If you are air drying the acorns, make sure it is somewhere free of squirrels, insect larvae, and other harmful stuff.

Things You'll Need

  • Freshly harvested acorns
  • Oven
  • Water
  • Towels or paper towels
  • Cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bowl
  • Nylon brush

Article Info

Categories: Nature Crafts