Acorn Ornaments and Moss Balls

Acorn Ornament

I googled from one end of the internet to the other looking for inspiration for an acorn ornament, and I ran into the same problem every time. If you have an acorn cap, you can make loads of great stuff. But it all hinges on the acorn cap.

And I live in San Diego. Oak trees aren’t exactly lining the streets. Palm fronds, yes. But no acorns and no acorn caps.

But I think I solved it anyway.

Wool Yarn Ball
For the acorn part, I balled up a bunch of wool yarn until my ball was about 2 inches in diameter. Then I took the balls I made, put them inside a pillowcase so my washing machine wouldn’t eat them, and washed them with tons of soap and the hottest water I had. Then I did it again, then I ran them through the dryer so they came out thoroughly felted.

Clay Acorn Cap
I decided to make the acorn cap out of polymer clay. I know it seems scary if you’ve never worked with it, but this part is easy. I worked the clay in my hands until it was nice and soft, and then I rolled it up into a ball that was around 3/4″ wide.

Flatten the ball into a disk, and then begin pinching the center to bring up that little point. Rub your fingers over the clay to smooth out your pinching marks, and then poke a large needle through the point to make room for an ornament hanger.

While the clay is still wet, try it on your wool acorn, and bend it into position. Then bake according to the directions on the package, and when they’re cool, glue onto the wool piece.

Moss Ball
By this point I was running through my checklist of all the materials I wanted represented on a Woodland tree. Mushrooms, acorns, dirt, twigs, berries, leaves, wood…but I still had to deal with moss. So I thought it would be appropriate to pull out the old “Just glue stuff to a ball” style ornament.

Painted Styrofoam Ball
I’ve learned to always paint my object first before I treat it with anything. When you don’t, you either have to live with white styrofoam peeking through or do a million coats.

Moss Pinned to ball
I found these sheets of fake moss at a floral design store, and just gluing them didn’t really work. They were too heavy. So I cut a couple of rectangles and started pinning them to the ball with dressmaker pins. This worked out great. It was totally secure, but it still left all the little stray bits free to look all mossy. I pinned the rectangles onto the ball almost like how a baseball is sewn together. One rectangle going vertically, and the other going horizontally. But it was completely forgiving. In some places where I cut it short I just added more and it blended right in.