Acorns and Oak Leaves Bread Basket

Create a fall-themed bread basket by attaching acorn wood cuts and handles to a painted box.

What You Need:

The sanded edges reveal the
natural wood color beneath.

  • 14 x 3-1/2 x 5-1/4-inch wood tray
  • 1/8 x 4 x 8-inch piece of birch plywood for leaves
  • 3 half wood acorns
  • Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint: Burnt Umber (BU) #2025, Dark Foliage Green (DG) #2535, Light Foliage Green (LG) #2537, Golden Brown (GB) #2054, Moss Green (MG) #2570, Old Parchment (OP) #2092, and Spice Brown (SB) #2049
  • Paintbrushes: 1 inch and 1/2 inch flat; 1/2 inch-worn stiff bristle flat, and #1 liner
  • Checkerboard stencil with 1/2-inch squares
  • Tracing paper
  • Graphite paper
  • Medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Wood glue
  • Thick crafts glue
  • Soft cloth
  • Woodworking equipment: scrollsaw, drill with 1/8 inch bit
  • Wood sealer
  • Minwax Wood Finish stain: Early American
  • Matte-finish spray sealer


1. Download the free pattern for this project (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software).


2. Cut the wood.

3. Trace the leaf pattern into tracing paper. Transfer the leaf outline twice to 1/8 inch birch plywood, using transfer or graphite paper. Cut out the leaves with a scrollsaw.

4. Sand the leaves, the tray sides and handles, and the front surface of the acorns with medium- and then fine-grip sandpaper. Remove the sanding dust with a tack cloth.

5. Apply wood sealer to the leaves; let the sealer dry. Sand again with fine-grit sandpaper and wipe clean with a tack cloth.

6. Paint the pieces.

7. Base-coat and shade with flat brushes, using the size that best fits the area. Dry-brush with the stiff bristle flat brush. Apply details with the liner brush.

8. Apply two coats of DG to the outer surfaces only of the tray sides, allowing the paint to dry after each coat, and sanding lightly before applying the second coat.

8. Mix MG and a small amount of LG. Use the stencil and the paint mixture to apply a checkerboard pattern along the sides of the tray. Let the paint dry.

9. For a worn, rustic appearance, use fine-grit sandpaper to lightly sand away some of the paint from the outer notched edges of the tray, allowing the natural color of the wood to show through. Lightly spray on a coat of matte-finish; let the finish dry.

10. Apply Early American stain to all the tray surfaces. Use a soft cloth to immediately wipe the stain, removing some to achieve the desired color. Let the stain dry for several hours.

11. Mix equal parts of GB and water for a thin wash. Apply the wash to the front and edges of each leaf. Let the paint dry.

12. Float BU shading along the edges of each leaf. Float SB shading along the stem edge of each leaf. Dry-brush highlights of OP on each leaf center; paint veins on the leaves using BU.

13. Mix equal parts of GB and OP; then use the mixture to base-coat the lower section of each acorn. Base-coat the acorn caps with SB. Float GB shading on each lower section adjacent to the cap. Dry-brush OP highlights on each lower section and on the cap.

14. Finish the tray.

15. Spray a coat of matte-finish spray sealer on the acorns and the leaves.

16. Use thick crafts glue to secure the acorns and the oak leaves to the front of the tray.