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Fall Decorating Ideas Using Acorns, Seed Pods, and Pine Cones

Rebecca is a retired special education teacher, a freelance writer, and an avid recycler.


I love the rustic feel and colors of fall. All the pine cones, seeds, and seed pods signify the end of the growing season. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures that can make some interesting crafts. Use them as part of flower arrangements or in fall crafts such as a sustainable pine cone and nut wreath.

Acorns Galore

The acorn is the fruit of the oak tree. Oak trees are very common and grow just about anywhere any tree will grow. Identifying an acorn as belonging to any one particular type of oak tree would be a daunting task.

I was not going to try to be a botanist on this walk but rather look for the fattest, juiciest looking acorns for our decorations. Those squirrels and other critters can wait, I will give them back later. Maybe. The squirrels have sabotaged the late tomatoes and early pecans.


Seeds and Seed Pods

Seeds grow new plants that look like the parent plant. Remember learning that in second-grade science? A coconut is the seed of a palm tree. It is only dispersed by a floating river. They are too heavy for animals’ furs to transport, and I doubt there is any creature that would eat one whole and thus disperse it through the digestive system. (Which is what birds do when they sometimes miss and hit your windshield). Hickory nuts, black walnuts, pecans, and chestnuts are abundant in the Southeastern United States. Once again, I did not try to match and identify. I found a lot of seeds and pods that are eye-catching.

More Seeds and Seed Pods

Various holly trees and bushes produce berries (seeds) of brilliant orange and red. I found that magnolias can produce some interesting seed pods. Some shiny red seeds inside have popped out and can be used in my creation. Some of the pods didn’t make it to maturity to produce seeds. They have fallen none-the-less and will add variety to my collection. Many of the larger pods still have some seeds in them, giving them a festive look.

Painful but Pretty

Sweetgum balls and the hulls of chestnuts could add great texture to my display. They can be painful to touch but are pretty to look at. They remind me of porcupines. I suppose that is the way they protect themselves from too many squirrels and chipmunks. I wanted to add chestnuts to my growing collection. I noticed they are much more scarce than the empty seed pods. Where ever you live, just walk and think about how you can display any seed and seed pods that you find in an arrangement.


Pine Cones for Fall and Winter Holidays

Conifers are evergreen trees that produce seeds in a cone-shaped seed pod. Hemlock, cedar, and different pine varieties produce cones in different shapes and sizes. Pine cones have long been used in holiday decorations. Folks wrap them up prettily in bags along with long matches for gifts. Small pine cones, nutshells, small nuts, and dried berries provide a natural filler for potpourri making.

Fall and Winter Holidays wouldn’t quite be the same without some nice large pine cones. The kids turn them into turkeys, and the parents use them to stoke a fire. Pine cones provide us with plenty of free, sustainable material to create some lovely and inexpensive holiday decorations.

They can be displayed in baskets, glass containers, or as surrounding a candle. Use them naturally or spray with gold or silver spray paint. Dab essential oil on them to add aroma.

Displaying My Finds

I decided to show off my collection of acorns, seeds, seed pods, and pine cones by putting put them all in a glass container. I was pleased with the arrangement. All the shapes, sizes, and textures worked together to create a rustic looking arrangement. I added a plaid ribbon at the bottom (sans a bow) to add a touch of class. I am thinking about using it as my Thanksgiving Holiday table arrangement paired with autumn candles in miniature pumpkins or perhaps long white tapers in glass candlesticks for a more elegant look. Then after dinner, I will scatter them around outdoors so those squirrels can continue to stock up for winter. I will forgive them for the tomatoes and pecans. Besides, there are still plenty of pine cones left to start using for my Country Christmas decorating!

A Glass Container


A Fall Wreath

I also used a hot glue gun to attach some of my prettiest findings to a plain grapevine wreath. You can find directions to make a grapevine wreath, but I took the easy way out and found one at a craft store. I added fresh fall flowers (optional). The flowers will stay fresh if you attach them to floral tubes. You could also add a pretty fall bow.

Happy Fall!



Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

Thanks! And I didn't even know that's what they're called.

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

I like spraying them gold for Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

Ooh, thanks for the idea!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

Thanks, Chitrangada!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

Thanks, Linda! Happy fall!

Rebecca Mealey (author) from Northeastern Georgia, USA on September 17, 2020:

Thanks, Rachel! I do too. Love the colors.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 16, 2020:

Love fall deco with these spent plant parts! I especially like echinacea stems with their spiky centers.

Thanks for sharing these lovely fall ideas!

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 15, 2020:

My mom used to make gold spray painted pine one and acorn crafts with us when we were little. It would be a nice family craft for fall.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 15, 2020:

I have often used acorns, pine cones, and seed pods for fall decorations. Your examples are attractive. They could offer a different look if spray painted. That can also be effective depending upon the look you desire.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 15, 2020:

Beautiful and creative ideas. Loved them all.

Thanks for sharing.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on September 15, 2020:

I love the fall decorations. You made a lovely wreath. Your seed pods, pine cones and acorns are in a glass container. They are beautiful autumn crafts!

Rachel L Alba on September 15, 2020:

All very pretty. Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love fall decorations.

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