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Turn Acorns into Pumpkins for Halloween

Updated on September 20, 2017
Yes, I painted every one of these acorns to look like pumpkins. I even put a jackolantern face on one!
Yes, I painted every one of these acorns to look like pumpkins. I even put a jackolantern face on one! | Source

A nutty craft idea for the entire family to enjoy!

I adore this craft idea for the autumn holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. Best of all, it is a cheap pumpkin project for you and your kids to work on during the exhilarating fall weather when the children (and you) are bouncing off the walls looking for something to do! This project involves finding acorns, prepping them for a craft and painting those little babies to look like pumpkins.

Once you have the acorns painted, you will find loads of ways to use them in you decorations for Halloween. After October 31st, you can then extend their use for Thanksgiving! If you are like me, I loathe spending a lot of time on putting up decorations only to take them down a few weeks later.

I put my little pumpkins out in September. After Halloween, I simply turn the pumpkins with jack-o-lantern faces to the back of what ever arrangement they are in and use them until Thanksgiving.

All images are mine unless otherwise stated. Use with attribution, please. The image to the right is how I have used the acorn pumpkins as a candle ring on my dining table. Cute, huh?

Supplies for this acorn project: - All are available on

My orange paint is most likely dried up by now so I need to visit Amazon to purchase more. Oh, I forgot! I had my oak tree cut down last winter because it was sending roots into the septic tank and I need more acorns. Oh well, thank goodness one can purchase craft nuts on Amazon, too.

Pumpkin Orange Acrylic Paint!

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint in Assorted Colors (8 oz), 20470 Pumpkin Orange
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint in Assorted Colors (8 oz), 20470 Pumpkin Orange

Inexpensive craft paint, if you do not already have some on hand.

Jolly (?) Acorn Jackolanterns (photo my Mickie Goad)
Jolly (?) Acorn Jackolanterns (photo my Mickie Goad) | Source

Instructions for creating these cute little acorn pumpkins:

I will disclose that the idea for painting the acorns to look like pumpkins is not mine. I saw the project on a Disney Family Fun webpage. The original instructions called for brown paint for the stems, but I used green.

BTW, the noses on my Jackolantern Pumpkins are actually weevil holes. They were in the perfect spot, fortunately, and I did not have to toss them to the squirrels. I found the holes before I "baked" the acorns and since the position of the hole was in a usable spot, I baked them along with the rest of their unblemished nut family.

Ingredients for making this crafty project:

  • acorns
  • orange craft paint
  • green craft paint
  • black marker


  1. Gather ye acorns while ye may and wipe off any dirt. Bake in a 200 degree oven for one hour to kill the weevils inside the acorns. (you can skip this step if you buy the acorns from a store) Another blog suggests putting the acorns on a cookie sheet and baking them in a 170 degree oven for 1.5 hours. The author goes on to state "Shake the pan every 20-30 minutes to keep the acorns from burning."
  2. Cool. After removing caps from the nuts, paint the acorns orange. (Tip: save the acorn caps to use in other projects. They make cute "wooden" bowls for a Doll House.)
  3. With a tiny brush, paint the point on the tip of the acorn green to make it look like a stem. Let the paint dry. Use a black marker, like a "sharpie" to draw a jackolantern face on the pumpkin if you want to use the acorn pumpkin for Halloween.
4 stars from 1 rating of Printable directions for making acorn pumpkins
Dipping acorns in paint is one way to decorate them.
Dipping acorns in paint is one way to decorate them.

One way to paint your acorn:

I did not dip my acorns to paint them. I hold the nut with my thumb and pointing finger. Messy, but effective. I like to have a paper plate handy to put my on to dry.

"Silly Eagle" dipped the nuts like one would dip a strawberry in chocolate. The caps are left on these acorns and used as a handle while dipping.

photo credit: Silly Eagle Books via photopin cc

A Marker to create the cutest jackolantern face on your acorn:

BIC Marking Permanent Marker, Fine Point, Black, 5-Count
BIC Marking Permanent Marker, Fine Point, Black, 5-Count

One blogger recommended this brand of marker for making the faces on your acorn.

Remember, "ultra-fine" point is NOT suitable for this project. Just get the "fine" point.

Acorn Pumpkin Ring around the Candle! (photo by Mickie Goad)
Acorn Pumpkin Ring around the Candle! (photo by Mickie Goad) | Source

Ways to use the Pumpkin Acorns

(Halloween and/or Thanksgiving!)

1. Glue the pumpkin acorns on a straw wreath. You can cover the entire wreath with them or just use as accents.

2. Put the orange decorated nuts in a clear glass pumpkin shaped jar.

3. The acorns can be made into a ring to go around a candle!

4.Use one acorn to make a miniature jack-o-lantern for a doll house!

5. Make painted acorn necklaces.

6. If you have a "money tree" that was used a while ago, you can reuse it by hanging those painted acorns from the empty limbs! See my page How to make a Gift Money Tree if you need a tree to decorate!

If you have any ideas not listed above, feel free to make suggestions in the "guestbook" provided at the bottom of the page.

Acorn Pumpkins inside a Glass one!

Acorn Pumpkins trapped inside of my pumpkin candy jar!
Acorn Pumpkins trapped inside of my pumpkin candy jar! | Source

Want the Clear Glass Pumpkin Jar?

I will not sell you my pumpkin jar, but you might find one like it on Amazon. Actually, I found one on Amazon and have provided a link below. (Yes, I will get a small commission.)

It would take a lot of acorns to fill up the jar, so you better get busy.

Purchase the Pumpkin Jar on Amazon:

More Creative Acorn Pumpkin Ideas on the web: - find ways to use your tiny pumpkins around the house!

Painting acorns is not a new craft idea. There are so many of them on the web, so I culled out a few of my favorites for you. You can thank me later for saving you time.

Wood Acorns -- no bugs in these nuts!

I love coming up with new ideas to decorate my home during the fall.

I am frugal, so I am really good at coming up with ways to extend the usage of items I already have on hand. If you have another way I can use my tiny jackolanterns and pumpkins, please let me know.

Thanks for sharing!

What other ways can you think of to use the tiny acorn pumpkins in your decor? - Yes, someone will probably use your idea for Halloween!

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    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      4 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Better get started collecting the acorns. It does take a while to paint them for your fall or Halloween decorations.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      4 years ago from United States

      These acorns are adorable! I love the idea. Truly awesome and perfect for Halloween décor.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love this idea! I try to decorate with nature. And I won't even have to buy the acorns. The front yard is full of them right now.

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 

      5 years ago from SE Michigan

      What a fantastic idea. I am going to try this the next time my kids bring home a bunch of acorns!

    • Klinetka profile image


      5 years ago

      What a great idea - will try this year. Thank you for sharing

    • RoadMonkey profile image


      5 years ago

      I haven't tried this, but you could probably glue the "stalk" of the pumpkin into the end of one of those bend over straws - the ones with a flexible section, so you can bend the straw while drinking - and a group of those could be stood in a glass and would do as pumpkin "lanterns".

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Kids always have fun making crafts and this above instruction will help them to think creative! This halloween time is a fun time for pumpkin carving, wearing costumes. Making of miniature pumpkin out of acorns is one amongst them.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image


      5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      Hi, Mickie! What a cute idea. I love it, and this lens.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image


      5 years ago

      Really cute! I may try some of these. Our acorns are really tiny, though. Nice lens.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image


      5 years ago

      I LOVE this idea and am searching for acorns already! :-)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      5 years ago from California

      what a fun activity! was thinking these would be good for a camping activity also where there is a liklihood of finding the acorns also.

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 

      5 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Great ideas here. We have thousands of acorns around the yard. Now I will look at them a little differently. Thanks!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Wonderful creativity, how about a mobile to hang in the window!

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @lynnegirl1: Change the color to a pastel and you might have a good filler for a vase during the Springtime.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @tbonestakes: Yes, what a good idea.

    • lynnegirl1 profile image


      5 years ago

      These are really cute. I wonder if you could turn them into Easter decorations in the spring? Maybe not.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Great idea. I love to see the creative ways people take handy, normal objects and craft them into something special like this.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I REALLY like this idea! I'm not sure why, but I've always had an extreme fondness for acorns. Going to give this a shot before Halloween this year, for sure.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @Video_Games: Thanks for loving this acorn project. It was fun.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      love it, you got some amazing talent.keep it up.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a cute and fun idea!

    • Meganhere profile image


      5 years ago

      Fun lens. Love the pumpkin glass jar.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @androidmunches: Yes, Halloween seems to have become more "fun" than "scary" here in the USA.

    • androidmunches profile image


      5 years ago

      coming from the place where we don't celebrate Halloween, this sounds really nice and exciting. i love how much people invest in this and how many great ideas come related to this! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This looks like a fun project that my kids would love! find an acorn tree. :)

    • MarathonRunning profile image


      5 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Such a cute and fun idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @ChocolateLily: Oh, yes. I like the idea of a garland with these cute little pumpkins. A glue gun would come in handy for that kind of craft.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @tammywilliams09: Yes, I like the idea for using the painted acorn pumpkins in a dollhouse, too.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @Crazy_Enthusiast: I appreciate your praise. Thank you.

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @AleksaC: Painting acorns can be time consuming, but it is an easy craft for children.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      @Judith Nazarewicz: These are amazingly cute! And they look easy enough for even non-gifted artists like me to enjoy making.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @Michelllle: Yes, I think that my daughter and her friends will really enjoy this idea. Might not be too difficult for me even!

    • Mickie Gee profile imageAUTHOR

      Mickie Goad 

      5 years ago

      @Diaper Bag Blog: Me neither, but it did not surprise me that acorns were there.

    • NatureFan LM profile image

      NatureFan LM 

      5 years ago

      This is a very cute and creative idea!

    • lewisgirl profile image


      5 years ago

      Could make an acorn pumpkin necklace.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great idea to paint the acorns!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Halloween couldn't be summed up in one lens. But you did it right!

    • mybffpet profile image


      5 years ago

      Good idea, very cute little pumpkins!

    • tammywilliams09 profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. I like the idea of using them in a doll house since they would really look like a mini pumpkin.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      You could try to make an acorn pumpkin garland with ribbon. These are cute!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 

      5 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      What a super idea! They are so cute! Thanks for sharing!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      This is a really great idea!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      5 years ago from Colorado

      Totally adorable. What a fun Halloween craft for all ages. I just love acorns. Thanks for the cute idea.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nice lens, good luck on the Happy Halloween Club Quest: Homemade Halloween

    • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

      Stanley Green 

      5 years ago from Czech Republic

      Lovable little pumpkins. BTW, wow, I didn't know, you can buy acorns on Amaon :)

    • Stephanie36 profile image


      5 years ago from Canada

      These are really cute!

    • Michelllle profile image


      5 years ago

      My kids would love making these!


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