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