Yes… Yard Loot… That is what we call the nuts, pine cones, leaves and sticks that we scavenge for decor or project use here at Witzend. Its a good way to get the Witzend Wee Ones out and about and stomping through the woods and since its all free it makes me a happy DIY mamajama.
These cute placard holders are SOOOOO easy. I took the extra step to preserve my Nuts (haha) and then painted them gold for a little added Glam. But if you want to keep it faster and even easier, and little more au Natch then skip these steps. However if you plan on reusing these annually then take the extra time.
Step One… FIND YER LOOT
We used Mini Pine Cones, Acorns and Boxwood. I am sure that just about any combo can work though. Acorns on the bottom, Cool Dried Berries on the top. (Reminder to watch your pets around cute berries).
Step Two… ROAST YER NUTS
(this is the part you can skip if you are not looking to have these last in perpetuity)
Fire up the oven to 200 degrees. Put your nuts, including the little “Fairy Hats” that have probably fallen off (don’t worry), on a sheet tray and place in the preheated oven for 2 hours. You will want to do this to dry out the nuts and kill any little minuscule pests that may be secretly lurking. Use your noggin and let them cool down of course before trying to handle them. I didn’t dry my mini pinecones BTW.
Step Three…PAINT YER NUTS
I sprayed mine antique gold. I think gold nuts look cool. I also happened to gather/roast and paint approximately 100 nuts so you can be sure you will see them crop up later for another craft. Although in hind sight I think next time I will save some and paint a different color. To spray them I put them in a cardboard box and sprayed in increments. Spray, let dry, shake the box a little to move them around. Repeat until the nuts are painted on all sides.
Step Four…GET YER CRAFT ON
Fire up your trusty glue gun.
Hot glue 5 mini pinecones(or whatever you are using) together in a circle / wreath pattern. I only burned my fingers 6 times for these 4 holders. Let them cool Down.
Glue on your little Acorn hats back onto your Nuts.
Glue 3 (now assembled) Acorns onto the top of your pinecone wreath. You will want to be sure that there is JUST enough space in-between this little Nut Trio to slip in your card stock name card. I also have a little fix for this as well later if it just isn’t jiving. It is more important that your little Nut Trio looks cute and that they are perched nicely. Side note… ignore my dirty hands… I was crafting with nature.
Glue and insert a tiny sprig of Boxwood into the side of your little Yard Loot stack.
Step Five…NAME YER GUESTS
You will want to print out your guests names or hand letter them onto card stock. I printed mine using a free font found on the Web called MARIGOLD by Sarah Taylor Designs. Click here to get it for yourself.
Trim your name tags to size and slip them into the small space between the tops of your nuts. IF THEY DO NOT WANT TO BEHAVE… glue them. Seriously.. just do it. And then send your place cards home with your guests as a cute little favor / reminder of a wonderful time.
There you have it my friends. YARD LOOT PLACE CARD HOLDERS. Fun, cute and EASY right?