Natural Kid’s Crafts: 8 Things to Make from Acorns, Pine Cones and Leaves

Acorns by Tomi Tapio on flickr

Why not get creative this autumn? Try out these beautiful and imaginative craft ideas from guest contributor Louise Blake, and see what you and your kids can create!

As the leaves turn golden brown, it not only becomes my favourite time of the year but also one of the best seasons for craft. In autumn, nature provides us parents with a bounty of natural craft supplies – from acorns to pine cones and from leaves to twigs. Everything is falling to the ground, so it’s time to get out foraging!

I have compiled this guide to some of my favourite autumn craft ideas, but of course there are many more.  Here are some simple yet effective ideas, which are fun and easy to make. Afterwards, many of these crafts can become fun toys, or beautiful ornaments.

1.      Acorn Tea Set

This idea is so simple and yet the end result is truly magical. All you need to gather is a few acorns, a twig, birch bark and a glue gun.

To create your miniature teapot, glue a small twig to your acorn to create the spout. Then cut a thin strip of birch bark and fold it to create the handle. Finish the look by gluing an acorn cap on top, to create the lid.

Making the tea cups is very similar to this – you simply take an acorn lid and glue a circular piece of birch to the bottom, then add a folded thin strip to the side, to create a dainty handle.

And there you have it; your fairy tea set is ready for a woodland tea party! You can see the finished acorn tea set HERE.

2.      Acorn Owls

This is another charming idea using acorns. To create these cute, little owl friends, all you need is acorns, felt and glue. Remove the acorn cap and you are left with an owl-shaped oval (if you use your imagination!)

To create the owl’s face, cut felt into the shape of eyes, beak and wings, as shown in the image HERE, glue them onto your acorn and you’ve got a beautiful feathered friend.

This craft idea is so easy that you can easily make a whole family of owls!

Autumn Leaves by seriousbri on flickr

3.      Leaf Mobile

Leaf mobiles are dead easy to make and are a good way of saving those golden autumn leaves while decorating your child’s room.

Simply attach leaves to a stick using thread and you’ve created a beautiful memento of the season, capturing the leaves as they fall to the ground. Even though these are really easy to make, you might need to help out with the fiddly thread-tying bits!

4.      Leaf Butterfly

You can create all creatures great and small, using just twigs and leaves, or even just by sticking leaves to paper.

For example, if you attach two leaves to a twig, you’ve got a butterfly with beautiful autumnal wings. Alternatively, you could draw the body of a bird, tortoise or butterfly and then have fun adding leaves to complete the picture. You can see some great examples of this HERE.

5.      Pine Cone Owl

 Pine Cone Owl by hlkjgk on flickr

As you can see above, pine cone owls are really easy to make, yet very effective. Simply glue on acorn caps and a beak, made from yellow card, to a pine cone and you’ve created your night-dwelling, ‘twit-twooing’ bird.

These beautiful creations have a slightly festive look, so you could even use them to decorate your Christmas tree this year!

6.      Pine Cone Monsters

Similar to the lovely owls above, you can also create pine cone monsters. The gnarled, prickly look of these cones is the perfect starting point for an inter-galactic monster.

See HERE, how you can add felt and piping to create googly eyes, teeth and multiple arms.

7.      Walnut And Leaf Boats

Create your own magical boat race with these charming walnut boats. These are surprisingly simple to make and really fun to play with – for you and the kids!

Take a look at these beautiful walnut boats with golden leaves as sails. All you need to create these is a walnut shell, twig, blue tack and a crisp autumn leaf.

Firstly, squash a circle of blue tack into the base of the walnut shell. You can use this to support your mast (a twig!). Next, gently poke your leaf through the twig, so that it rests against the mast like a sail.

Now it’s time to begin your voyage in a pond, nearby stream or even in the bath.

8.      Finger Hats

Perhaps the simplest of them all, the finger hat! Take the cap of an acorn and pop it on the top of your finger like a woodland hand puppet. Draw a smiley face on your finger and the look is complete. This is an idea great for entertaining young children – it’s amazing how a little acorn cap can create such an effective result.

Acorn Finger Hand Puppet by suzylagasa on flickr

If you want to have a go at all of these ideas, or just let your kids experiment, set them up on a wipeable tablecloth with acorns, twigs, leaves, pine cones, felt, piping, bark and any other fun crafty bits and bobs you’ve got handy.

Making natural crafts not only gives children an opportunity to be imaginative and creative, but they also get to learn about nature and the beauty of the changing seasons. I hope you enjoy making these autumnal decorations!

Do you know of any fun autumn crafts? Share your ideas below!

Guest author Louise Blake is a creative mum who loves to try new craft ideas with her kids. This autumn, she’ll be foraging the forest floors and scouring the hedgerows for interesting craft supplies.

Images from used under the Creative Commons license. Image Credits: Acorns by Tomi Tapio, Autumn Leaves by seriousbri, Pine Cone Owl by hlkjgk, Acorn Finger Hand Puppet by suzylagasa.

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