Posted on

MAKING GNOME and FAIRY DISHES FROM SEED PODS

There are many kinds of seed pods to use, we use varieties of eucalyptus and oak most of the time

There is something magical about seed pod dishes!  I think it not too hard to believe that the wee folk in our lives actually must use such dishes for their table settings!  And so many of us love looking at and collecting seed pods, that it is always wonderful to find a special use for them.   Most all of the ones you see here are some variety of eucalyptus pod or acorn cap. The variety of eucalyptus seed pods goes from small to large and they all smell wonderful when you sand them.  With some observation on walks, you can learn when various bushes or trees have seed pods and when the best time to collect them is.  A lot of times you can collect them when they are still green, but done growing and they will turn brown as they dry. I try to find “new” seed pods, from the current season, so they are in nice condition and not deteriorating.

Hand tools are all that is needed for making dishes and so this pleasant and fun project can be done at an outdoor table

The tools for making these are quite simple and readily available. They are all hand tools, so you can do this at an outdoor table or indoors, but do not need a shop. If you do not have any tools, you can do this still, just with some sand paper, getting some 80 grit and some 120 grit  sizes. I also use small rasps and files that last forever and work the same as sandpaper, which will wear out.  The rasp is a wood working tool with a course side and a medium  side and can be very handy for wood working. Simple hand tools for wood working are readily available in the hardware store.  You will  need some tool to cut the stem off. I use wire cutting pliers, called “diagonals” because they are small and strong. You could also use pruning sheers of a small size or even utility scissors or sharp knife. Always protect the work surface and be careful if you use a utility knife or other knife. Putting down a piece of cardboard or brown paper on your work surface is always a good idea.

Leif the Elf brings a nice acorn cap to make into tableware!generally, the seed pods are used upside down, so the stems have to be taken off so the bowl or cup sits flat
Since the acorn cap will be made into a cup or bowl, the stem must come off so it will sit flat

Acorn caps make wonderful cups and bowls. The cap will be turned upside down to become a bowl or cup and the stem must be cut off as close to the cap as possible I have found that wire cutting pliers, which are strong and have a fine point, are great for this.  Small pruning sheers will also work.

After nipping off the stem, rasping and then sanding is required to make a flat surface

After the stem is removed, the next step is to sand or rasp the acorn cap nice and flat so that it will sit level on the table.  The seed pod material is usually not very hard and is easy to sand down, so keep checking as you go so you don’t go too far.

There are a variety of small sanding tools that are useful in this kind of work

The small sanding rasp works very well for flattening the bottom of the acorn cap. Take care to get this level , checking every once in a while to see if the cup is going to sit “flat” on the table and is not tilted.

Decorating the seed pod cup or bowl is entirely up to the maker, here colored pencils are being used and paints can also be used.

The simplest way to decorate the seed pods for children is with colored pencils.  Paints can also be used and of course there is no end of possibilities in regards to decorating, and even making a whole set of matching dishes!

Oops, Acorn elf knocked over her cup!  She is so glad they cannot break!  She is thinking maybe this little cup needs to flatter on the bottom!

The small handsaw is perfect for cutting thin slices to make plates
     Making plates and saucers is readily done by finding  dead limbs of soft wood. Here you see a birch limb, which is easy to cut and about an inch in diameter.
The handy little utility saw, which as fine teeth so it is easy to cut with, came from the local hardware store. Clamping the stick to the table is the best way to keep it still and not roll.  What is important in this process is to keep the saw straight and vertical while sawing! This is what makes flat, even dishes. This is accomplished with practice !
These little cups only need a little sanding on the bottom

This very tiny eucalyptus pod makes a perfect fairy cup for periwinkle tea!  Simply sanding the bottom flat is all that is needed.

This seed pod looked remarkably like a pie or casserole ! Using the rasp, an 18th of an inch was take off to make it the right height.

This larger , unopened seed pod very much looked like a pie to us.  Using the rasp, about 1/8th ” was removed from the top , to make it about the right height.

You can see this on the table of the next picture.

 

The seed pod dishes will be used and loved and if lost..Make more!

Here are the dishes being used at the Acorn Cafe!  The blue bowls are eucalyptus caps , sanded on the bottom like the acorn caps were.  Now, where ever you go you can be looking out for seed pods you can use for wee folk dishes!  It is such a pleasant past time .

Please do not hesitate to ask any questions!

10 thoughts on “MAKING GNOME and FAIRY DISHES FROM SEED PODS

  1. A great post and such wonderful pictures to go with it!

  2. Love them! They are so darling! Great post!

  3. Such cute dishes. I have to collect acorns at our next trip North. . . my kids will enjoy making these

  4. love these! thanks for sharing

  5. Gorgeous, such beautiful use of nature…
    What a great blog

  6. These are sooo cute! And what fun. Thank you for sharing this how-to with us, Lucinda!

  7. I’ve used acorns and nut shells in our gnome house as dishware, but I never thought of embellishing them with pencils/paint. I love this idea. I’ll be linking to this post on WeeFolkArt.com’s Facebook page. That’s for a great post and for such a lovely blog. Love it all!

  8. Do you have a post on how to make the litle gnomes? Or ever sell them in your shop?

  9. I’d like info on the little gnomes and fairies, too.

  10. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas. I have shared a link to your site on my Facebook page, Away With The Fairies, here: https://www.facebook.com/Awaywiththefairiesgardens?notif_t=page_new_likes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *