I love to turn a thrifted find into a classy, high end looking piece of art. This gold gilded acorn specimen art cost under $5 and is so easy to make.
I actually took my inspiration for this piece of art from one of my favorite Autumn pieces of jewelry, my acorn necklace.
One of the things I always grab when I go thrifting or to yard sales are solid wood picture frames regardless of the print inside, and I never pay more than $5 for a frame. I found this one for $1.99 at Goodwill and with the navy blue mat already in it, I knew it would be perfect for my acorn art.
To make your own gold gilded acorn specimen art you’ll need-
Autumn is the perfect time of year to find acorns. I never realized how many types my own backyard had until I actually looked for them.
This is a great project to get the kids involved in. Tell them they’re going on an acorn hunt, and it’s guaranteed to entertain them (for a little while anyway). Isaac stuck with me the whole time, Joshua got bored after a while and found something else to do.
While you’re hunting with the kids, make it a bonding and learning experience. Take the time to talk to them about nature. Check out the sights and sounds around them.
You may have a hard time finding acorns with the tops still attached. That’s okay, just gather the pieces separately and hot glue them together before you paint them.
Once your acorns are ready, put them in a box to spray paint, because they’ll roll around. If you put them on paper, they’ll just go rolling away. Yes, I learned that from experience.
Let them dry completely, then turn them over the best you can and spray the other side. Don’t worry too much about getting them completely covered, because you’re going to be gluing one side down and it won’t be visible when you do.
Once the acorns have been “gilded” in gold, it’s time to glue them to the mat. I literally turned over the grandmother print that came with the frame, spray painted the back white, and used it. You could get another mat, or even use card stock that fits your frame.
To look like true specimen art, I lined up my acorns from smallest to largest. I didn’t measure or mark my lines exactly, I just eyeballed it. You could measure and mark if that works best for you, I just don’t have the patience.
Oh, and how about that close up of my glue gun, kind of gross huh? That’s the sign of a well used crafting tool.
I forgot to snap a pic but I also painted my frame with white chalk paint. I don’t think it really needs a picture, that’s fairly self explanatory, no?
And now for my favorite part, the before and after shot.
An amazing transformation, I do believe.
I love projects that the kids can feel like they’ve helped with. Although on this one it only meant collecting the acorns with me, once I displayed it on our Fall mantel, Isaac was so excited. I think he felt some ownership over the piece due to his help, and relived memories of our time together, which more than anything, is most important.
You may also enjoy these Fall decor projects-