When I was little I used to love autumn. Kicking through crunchy piles of leaves, splashing through puddles and the thrill of holding sparklers on bonfire night. But what sticks in my mind, as a fond memory, was the nature table at school! Everyone had to bring in something special they had found...the hunt was on!
Behind our house was a small wood, and the perfect place to find giant russet leaves, bunches of jewel like berries and the largest, glossiest conkers. But my favourite treasure were acorns. I used to love how each one had its own special ‘hat’.
Last weekend I went on a walk (on my own, as everyone else had rolled their eyes at the suggestion). Walking through the woods I noticed a ridiculous amount of acorns lying on the ground. As a force of habit I scooped a few into my pocket. I was reminded of them later this afternoon when I heard a radio article about how every 2-5 years, trees, in particular oak trees, produce a glut of nuts, a phenomenon known as masting, in order to ensure the successful growth of saplings. Who knew?!
I was about to throw the acorn ‘hats’ out when I thought maybe I could do something with them. I had a quick play with some scraps of wool I found and needle felted some colourful little acorns!
I have no doubt these would have had pride of place on the nature table!
If you fancy having a go, find yourself some acorns and follow the steps below.
STEP 1: Wrap a small amount of wool around the handle end of your needle and then slide it off.
STEP 2: Place the wool on a sponge and stab gently all over, turning constantly so you don't stab repeatedly in the same place. The wool will quickly firm up into a ball.
STEP 3: Round off one end and taper the other slightly. Check the size against your acorn 'hat'. You can always add a little more wool if it is too small or work into it if it is too big.
STEP 4: When you have a firm woolly acorn all there is left to do is glue it inside the 'hat'. A hot glue gun works well.