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Oak-Leaf Cornucopia




The cornucopia, that traditional symbol of fall's abundance, assumes a stately presence, thanks to a coating of shimmering floral spray and a wreath of gold-leafed oak leaves and acorns. The stems of pale gourds are given a burnished sheen as well, and gold-rimmed dessert plates and Venetian glassware reiterate the palette. A caramelized apple spice cake, rich with pecans, is frosted with a brown-sugar-meringue buttercream and adorned with marzipan pumpkins and acorns dusted with luster to complete the glowing scenario.

We used faux gold leaf for this project, but metallic floral spray also works well. A large sheet of gold leaf covers about 6 leaves and 8 acorns. If you paint, omit the liquid adhesive, gloves, gold leaf, and brush.


  • Spray primer in white
  • 18-inch cornucopia basket
  • Floral spray in brilliant gold
  • Acorns, gourds, and oak leaves
  • T pin or thin awl
  • 6-inch lengths of fine gold or copper wire
  • Paintbrush and soft-bristle brush
  • Size liquid adhesive
  • Cotton gloves
  • Faux gold leaf
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Floral tape in brown


  1. Step 1

    On a paper-covered surface in a well-ventilated area, spray the basket with primer. Let dry. Follow with 1 or 2 coats of floral spray. Let dry. Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Remove caps from acorns; set nuts aside. Poke 2 holes in the top of each cap with T pin. Thread wire through holes, and twist ends together. Repeat with remaining caps; set aside.

  3. Step 3

    Paint nuts with adhesive. Let dry. In a draft-free room, wear gloves to lift 1 gold-leaf sheet from packet. Tear off a piece, and wrap it around nut. Smooth it with your fingers. Use brush to even out the texture of gold leaf and remove any flakes. Repeat with remaining nuts.

  4. Step 4

    With the hot-glue gun, secure nuts to caps. Let dry. Wrap each acorn stem tightly with brown floral tape.

  5. Step 5

    Cover 1 side of each oak leaf in gold leaf, following step 3. With the hot-glue gun, secure wire to the back of each oak leaf. Let dry.

  6. Step 6

    Make a cluster of leaves and acorns by wrapping their wires together with floral tape; do not snip wire. Repeat. Attach cluster to the next with floral tape until the garland is long enough to cover the basket's rim. Secure with hot glue. Let dry.

  7. Step 7

    If desired, gild the gourd stems following step 3.

Martha Stewart Living, November 2007



Reviews (7)

  • pas_non 2 Nov, 2009

    im so glad they added the "enlarge image" links!!! nice work!!!

  • PhotoGal 1 Nov, 2009

    UNDER the photo it says ENLARGE THE IMAGE, just click on that to enlarge it.

  • the7gerbers 1 Nov, 2009

    I know, I REALLY wish they would make the photos clickable to enlarge them!

  • katlarsen 1 Dec, 2008

    Does anyone know what the plate pattern is with the oak leaf napkin ring photo? It has a gold leaf pattern around the edges.

  • intocolor 21 Nov, 2008

    Is there any way you could make the photos larger?

  • mcoates 20 Nov, 2008

    I am thrilled to see the salt dip in the picture above . I have a small collection, along with crystal spoons and get very excited when I see other varieties. I also like the use of gold and silver in the same setting. So elegant.

  • WesternLady 11 Jun, 2008

    The ideas in the November 2007 issue make this volume a keeper. The table settings are just lovely, and I can't wait to incorporate some of those ideas into my own table settings.