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Oak-Leaf Cornucopia

This Thanksgiving, our cornucopia makes an impressive statement on any table. We coated it with shimmering floral spray and a wreath of gold-leafed oak leaves and acorns.

Photography: Maura McEvoy

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007


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

  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. 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. If desired, gild the gourd stems following step 3.

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