Get Crackin': 7 Ways to Decorate with Nuts

Around Thanksgiving, we start to see big barrels of whole nuts at the grocery store, and we always think the same thing: Are people really sitting at home with their nutcrackers, shelling fresh walnuts for banana bread? Maybe, maybe not. But we're scooping up a big handful on our next trip for one of these decorating projects. You can pile some nuts in a glass bowl on a table and call it decor in our book (we do that with clementines every year). Walnuts have the most awesome texture—they're art all by themselves!

But add a little gold paint or a ribbon, and you've got something entirely new and special. Most of these ideas revolve around place cards or candle holders, but really, there's a lot you can do with a handful of humble nuts. Glue on a little wire loop and tie one onto a present, or just scatter them across a dinner table and let people crack and eat them (along with some chocolate and fruit) for dessert. Even better if they're christmas-colored.

• 1. Simple walnut flags, from Home in the Country.
• 2. Gold walnut charms, from Design*Sponge.
• 3. Mason jars, votives, and pecans, from a pecan-themed wedding at Style Me Pretty.
• 4. Nuts and kumquats in a compote, from Country Living.
• 5. Blue and green fruit tree, from Martha Stewart. (Yes, we realize these aren't nuts. But you could easily use nuts, and it's a cool reminder that they don't always have to be gold.)
• 6. Pillar candles nestled in nuts, from Good Housekeeping. (Love the hazlenuts!)
• 7. Painted White walnut wreath, from Blue Cricket Designs.

Related: Instant Place Cards with Just One Tool

(Images: Jen of Home in the Country; Kate Pruitt; Shauna Maness; David Prince/Country Living; MarthaStewart.com; Bibiana Heymann/Good Housekeeping; Becca of Blue Cricket)

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