Woodland Walnut Shell Ornament

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By General Craft Contributor Michelle

Create a whimsical woodland scene in a walnut shell with this fun tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin, you’ll need to open your walnuts in whole halves.  To do so, begin by inserting the tip of your paring knife into the seam on the flat end of your walnut.

Gently push the knife further into the nut, and then begin slowly drawing the knife around the side of the nut–working down one side, then removing the knife, inserting it the other direction, and working along the other side of the nut.

Work slowly along the seam of the nut, not twisting the knife, to avoid cracking the shell.  Eventially the nut should pop apart neatly along the seam.  Remove the nut, and clean out the shell of loose debris.

Use your air dry clay to make some little figures that will fit inside your shells.  I find it helpful to have a dish of water to dip my fingers into while I work with the air dry clay to help join pieces, and smooth the clay.  To make little snow owls, roll a small bit of clay into an oval, gently flattening the bottom.  If you desire, you can pinch the face area gently to create indents for the eyes.   To make different owls, you can pinch little “ears” into the clay at the top of the head.

Roll tiny eggs to fill nests.

To create mushrooms, roll a tiny ball of clay, and gently flatten it into a rounded-topped pancake shape for the cap.  Use a toothpick to make a little hole in the center of the bottom of the cap, and insert a little cylinder of clay for a stem.  Use the toothpick to push clay from the cap part, around the top of the stem to join them together.

Let clay dry completly before you paint your objects.  Mine took overnight to dry.

Paint a snow owl using a detail brush, and black paint.  Let dry.

Paint your clay objects, and let them dry.

To prepare your nut shells for hanging, you’ll need to use your drill and tiny bit to drill a hole into the pointy end of each walnut shell.  Lay the shells flat-side down on the surface you’ll be drilling on, and drill a small hole into each nut from the outside of the shell.

Cut a piece of twine, and fold it in half.  Use your needle, or toothpick to help you push the folded end of the twine through the hole.

Tie a small knot in the folded end that you just pulled through the hole, trimming the excess twine below the knot.

Pull the knot up into the top of the nut, and tie the other ends of the twine into a knot to create a hanging loop for your ornament.

Using your hot glue, attach a bit of moss into the bottom of your nut.

Now use hot glue to attach your little owls, and mushrooms on top of the moss.

To make a nest ornament, simply glue each end of a piece of twine to the inside of each end of your nutshell.

Glue some moss inside your nut nest, and glue your eggs on top of the moss.  Add a tiny feather or two, if you desire.

Happy Crafting!

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