We like a good craft at my house. Even better when it uses natural (free materials), has impressive results and comes together in only a few minutes. These acorn necklaces made with baked marbles fit the bill!!
One of the best things about this project is your kids will be able to do almost all the work themselves (minus removing the pan from the oven) and they will have some sweet little gifts to bestow upon their people!
The first step is to make your marbles extra special by baking them, yes, baking marbles. Put marbles on a cookie sheet. Place in a 500 degree oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove and dump marbles straight into a bowl of ice water.
My kids think this part is magical. Plain marbles become gem like, faceted, special. The kids can help getting the pan in and out of the oven and getting the marbles out of the ice water. As the marbles hit the water they cool very quickly and crack. They make a satisfying snapping sound as they hit the water
Translucent and opaque are the vocabulary words of the day. All the marbles will crack but only translucent marbles will have visible cracks. The opaque marbles may be crazed on the interior but it cannot be seen through the milky glass. This is a mini physics lesson in itself. We talked about temperature change and heat transfer and why the glass cracks. Good stuff.
The kids gathered tons of acorns. Since we had trouble separating the top (cupule) of the acorn from the nut itself we decided to dry them in the oven. It helped to separate the nut from the top for this project. The leftover acorns are clean, dry, and ready for any future projects we may come up with! To dry acorns put them on a cookie sheet in an oven preheated to 175 degrees. Bake them for approximately two hours, turning every twenty minutes or so.
Some acorn tops fit a marble better than others. After the acorns had dried and cooled we popped off some tops to see which cupules fit a marble the best. Once selected my kids and I used a tiny drill bit to drill two small holes for the string to go through. My daughter painted some of her acorn tops with acrylic paint while others were left natural.
Pop the string through the tiny holes on your acorn top. Then fill the cupule with hot glue and pop your marble in. Waalaa.
After some wearing our acorn necklaces a couple of the marbles did fall out. Luckily we didn’t lose any marbles! So we added a dot of this E6000 glue which worked perfectly. We did try to make some using the E6000 first but the marble didn’t have enough contact with he acorn to work easily. The dried hot glue gives the E6000 something to adhere to. (affiliate link) E6000 craft adhesive will stick to anything. It is a crafting essential.
Acorn necklaces success…
These were fun and quick but employed a lot of skills that my kids don’t do every day like using a drill and the oven. Projects like this are simple and straightforward.
But when we do them at home I see my kids work through more than one variation of the same project. I introduced this as my idea. The next day and the day after that my kids did again, their way. They followed directions and tweaked them. They think about the process on their own and then have time to revisit it as they envision.
If you make acorn necklaces please share your pics with me. Reader photos always make my day!
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If you’re looking for more seasonal art lessons check out these four winners!
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What an awesome idea! I’m gonna share this.
Thanks! They were a lot of fun. My kids are making all different variations of them this week!
These are soooo cute! We have all these materials laying around so guess what we will be making next week?!!! Thanks!!
Aw thanks! The kids have mass produced several batches of them here. As well as making the cracked marbles just as a party trick!
I know this is an old post but somehow I’ve missed it until tonight. I’ve read several different posts with directions and felt confused until stumbling onto yours. Thank you so much for the simple fun directions to this awesome craft I can’t wait to do w my children. 😉
That’s the best compliment I’ve gotten all day! Thanks Sheena- I’m glad it helped!