How to Make a Wooden Acorn

by Rod Kuster
Creating an original three-dimensional carving is a great way to learn about woodworking and sculpture.

Creating an original three-dimensional carving is a great way to learn about woodworking and sculpture.

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A little experience goes a long way in woodworking. With the right tools, you don't have to be master craftsman to make an object from wood, such as an acorn, or oak tree seed. It is recognizable to anyone and consists of two differently colored parts: the light colored seed, and the darker piece that it is sitting in. To create this three-dimensional acorn in wood, without the use of stains, use two different colored pieces of wood. The dark piece could be a dark exotic wood and the light piece perhaps from oak or maple.

Items you will need

  • Reference images
  • Small piece of light and another of dark wood
  • Jigsaw
  • Vise
  • Electric carver with burrs and bits for wood carving
  • Coarse and fine grit sandpaper
  • Wood glue
Step 1

Cut a piece of oak or maple to approximately 3 inches long and 2 inches wide for the seed using a jigsaw. This will make the acorn larger than an actual acorn but will make it easier to handle as you carve it. Cut another piece for the darker portion that the seed sits in. Make this piece wider, about 2 1/2 inches by 3 inches long.

Step 2

Place the light piece in a vise to work on the bottom half. This is the part that will slip into the darker piece, so use a burr to make it round. Leave the bottom flat but shape the seed slightly curved in at the bottom. Sand it smooth using sandpaper going from a coarse to a fine grit and flip it around in the vise.

Step 3

Work the top portion with an electric burr to make it look like the cone-shaped acorn seed. Refer to the images to shape it correctly. Sand it smooth using sandpaper going from a coarse to a fine grit. Release it from the vise and sand the middle so the whole thing is smooth.

Step 4

Place the dark wood into the vise to work on the top half. Grind out the middle using a round burr no wider than the seed. Keep checking the fit as you grind. It should fit snugly together. Round the sides of the dark piece down as far as you can. Sand it smooth and turn it around.

Step 5

Round the bottom portion with a burr, leaving a little stem left in the middle. Refer to the images to shape the stem correctly. Sand the bottom half and then take it out of the vise to finish sanding.

Step 6

Etch crosshatch lines using a cutting blade attachment on the exterior of the dark wood. This will give it some detailed texture. Leave the stem smooth.

Step 7

Attach the two pieces to complete the carving of the acorn. Use wood glue to connect them, if necessary.

About the Author

Rod Kuster has been a writer and editor since 1995. His work has been published in "Computer Magazine," "Boom Magazine" and Shock Media. Kuster holds a B.A. in international development studies from the University of Dalhousie.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images