Martha Stewart Living, November 2007
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.
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.
With the hot-glue gun, secure nuts to caps. Let dry. Wrap each acorn stem tightly with brown floral tape.
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.
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.
Fold a napkin into a cone, and tie with a 1/2-inch-wide gold ribbon. Slip an oak-leaf cluster into the knot. Curl ribbon ends.
Acorns 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
Faux gold leaf
Floral tape in brown
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. At the table, a napkin and a handwoven sparkling favor echo the cornucopia's shape, while more gilded leaves and acorns festoon the napkin and the place card.