Sunday, October 7, 2012

Autumn Inspiration - Handmade Acorn Cap Earrings

I live in a neighborhood blessed with huge, majestic oak trees!  At this time of year, the ground is littered with acorns, and especially acorn caps (after the squirrels run away with the nuts).  Those cute, round little caps just seem to cry out to me as I walk the pugs, "Use me! Use me!".  I pick up the nicest ones, put them in my pocket, and then day dream about what I can create with them for the rest of my walk.

Several years ago, I found a beautiful, imaginative book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects by Salley Mavor, that I fell in love with!

It has the most wonderful ideas for using wool felt, embroidery threads, beads, and all kinds of items to create adorable items featuring "wee folk".  The wee folk wear acorn caps on their heads!  Using the ideas from this book, I crafted some unique flower fairies for my nieces for Christmas that year.  Of course, they wore acorn caps.  I wish I would have photographed them, but it never crossed my mind at the time.

This week, I decided to try incorporating acorn caps into my Gossamer Tangles jewelry.   I came up with two earring designs featuring the caps and wire crochet with beads. I decided to paint the acorn caps with metallic paint before using them.

For the teal/green earrings, I made a small hole in the middle of the acorn cap to thread the wire through and attach the drop to the earring wire.  In case any of you are thinking of trying this, a warning -- it is very difficult to make a tiny hole in an acorn cap without cracking it!  These little gems are surprisingly hard. I used a very small nail and hammer to accomplish it, but broke a few in the process.  If you had a drill with a very tiny drill bit, and worked with minimal pressure, that would probably work better.

I think the technique I used for the second design, in sort of a taupe/eggplant shade with bronze, probably works a bit better.  I made  a small, multi-petaled cap with a loop on top that I crocheted from wire.  I attached that to the acorn cap with a strong, clear glue.

Now that I have my stash in hand, I will be trying some additional acorn cap designs before the holidays.

I also made another floral brooch early in the week -- thought I'd include a photo of that as well.

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