Rustic Luxe - chestnuts & willow

A couple of weeks ago I had a neighbor complaining about all the horse chestnuts she had to clean up...I mentioned that I'd be happy to have some chestnuts...and before I knew it, a large bucketful arrived on my doorstep...

You've got to admit that next to turning leaves, 
chestnuts are the epitome of autumn...

With such a bountiful supply, I thought that I'd string them together...so I gathered up supplies...
pulling out some beads to include with the chestnuts...

I drilled a hole through the chestnuts with my Dremel drill, using my drill press attachment which made quick work of the drilling...though I was surprised at the mess of yellow goo since the chestnuts were not yet dried out.

I decided to use rusty wire for stringing the chestnuts...I knew that they would be heavy and I wanted the ability to shape the garland of nuts into a form rather than just having it hang in a drooping loop which would have been the case if I had used string.

Including a silver (or gold) bead along with the clay and wood beads I had, added that bit of luxe.  I finished off each garland with a curlicue of wire that would be decorative as well as practical for hanging.

I'm thinking that such a garland will look grand spread across the Thanksgiving table...

the rustic tones are a nice counterpoint to the linens...

and those gold beads give a touch of luxe....along with the worn silver patina of vintage flatware, its just the right amount of bling...

All of the flatware at our house is old vintage silverware...I like the mix of patterns and designs...I don't bother with shining it up...it goes into the dishwasher so its plenty clean...and once a piece becomes too worn out, it gets tossed in the art supply bucket and I pick up a few more pieces at the next estate sale...

You might notice the willow napkin rings...made by simply wrapping a slender twig of willow into a circle and twisting the ends to secure the circle.  The texture of the twigs adds another layer to the tabletop...

And what I like best about these chestnut garlands...after they have graced the Thanksgiving table, they could easily hang on your Christmas tree...

Joining the Vintage Inspiration Party over at Knick of Time 
and the Weekly Upcycled Link Party over at Funky Junk Interiors...


  1. You always amaze me... how you get so much done!! And such beautiful creations!!!

  2. Adore this Amy! No chestnuts here but tons of acorns which could work as well or if I could gather up enough buckeyes. Love the natural texture with the rustic patina of the flatware.

  3. So beautiful and very creative.

  4. Beautiful garland. It might even make a fun necklace for the day, depending on the weight. I suppose the rusty wire would have to be covered somehow, too.

  5. Fantastic!

  6. Love the 'Au natural' look! I could see this as a garland on a mantel with some burlap pennants and wording. Love the tablescape. You are so clever, bet the neighbor couldn't believe what you did with them.

  7. Ah, buckeyes! I've been seeing references to chestnuts on several blogs and these appeared to actually be hazelnuts, which, of course, are edible and one of my favorite nuts. English chestnuts and American horse chestnuts, or buckeyes, look almost identical, but I see buckeyes are poisonous. So don't lick your fingers when making your garland!

  8. This is so pretty, Amy! I'm loving the rustic luxe feeling right now, too...

  9. Very pretty, last time I strung nuts that were picked up outside was years ago. Walnuts are all I have here now---and they are well, yucky...to deal with. This is gorgeous though. Thanks, sandi

  10. This is terribly cool. I may need a quick necklace for the weekend. I wonder if I can pull that off. I have dried ones from last year. Yea!

  11. Hi Amy...I've visited your blog back in the "link up" days at Kim's, but lost you when that ended....Now I've added you to my feedly list. :) I must say, you are one of the most creative people I've met. Love the necklace made from nuts! Love the top picture!!

  12. This is so gorgeous! As a kid, we had a massive tree and I always marvelled at the yield on the ground. Never did I think to make something like this. Now I want a tree! :)

    Featured you on Facebook on Sunday. Thanks for linking up to Party Junk!

  13. Love your chestnut garland! I've never even held a chestnut just off of a tree. They are beautiful!

  14. Now how creative to use the chestnuts to make garland! I have a chestnut tree, which was not very big when we bought the house 16 years ago, and never produced a whole lot of chestnuts. This year it however it produced a crazy amount. Now I am sitting here wondering what did my hubby do with them, they might be just sitting outside. Ahhh tomorrow we I will check~and if he likes it or not we shall get crafty!! Thanks for the idea :)

  15. So many ideas. Love the muffin tin photo!


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