Sweet Gum Tree Seed Pods

greenthumbs10(z5NY)January 1, 2006

Happy New Year! Has anyone ever used these pods for crafts before? I have found a source for the seed pods from a sweet gum tree, and I am planning to spray them gold and silver, drill through the hard pods, string them and make a garland out of these pods. I'm sure I will think of other uses for them as well--they are so pretty! I am wondering if I need to dry them out in a low oven (200 degrees) first as with pine cones. Will this will release the seeds that are in the pods so they won't "shed" after the garland is done or are the seeds encased in the hard center nut? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks. Donna

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The seed is like dust I believe, so drying well and shaking should clean them up - although painting them would stick all the seed down anyway.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 8:17AM
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lthree(So. California)

Don't worry about the seeds. They are so fine and will usually not remain in the pod. No need for heating, they dry fine on their own.

They are GORGEOUS spray painted with gold (actually some brands have an even better Brass color which looks like gold leaf (it's brighter) and put in a large interested footed glass dish or in a huge brandy snifter or something like that. They really look elegant and so many people go crazy over them they are surprised that it's the same "land mines" they stepped on by the sidewalk!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 10:48PM
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Hi, Thanks for the information! I can't wait to rake this lady's lawn! I have my husband drilling the few that I already have this morning. I am stringing them on thin wire as he takes the drill bit out or the drilled hole is very easily lost. Can't wait to paint them and see what I can do with them next year.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 11:32AM
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I have used toothpicks with these, by putting glue on the end of a toothpick and sticking it into the sweet gum ball. You don't need to stick one in every hole. We used whole tooth picks on some and half toothpicks on others to make 2 different sized balls. We sprayed ours white.
It makes a spiked sphere.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2006 at 10:12PM
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pink_warm_mama_1(Z4 Maine)

These pods can be used in wreaths beautifully. I store mine with mothballs, or bake at very low temp to kill any minute worms, etc.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 11:19AM
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antarestar(z8 SC)

I have TONS of these gum balls in my yard. If someone would like to come over and rake them, I would be more than happy. Another thought, if someone would be willing to pay for shipping I would rake them myself and ship them to you. I have been trying to figure out a way to get rid of them rather than just raking them up and putting them out with the trash. They really are quite pretty but I have no inclination to make any crafts with them.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2006 at 9:32PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

You can put sweet gum seed pods around plants to discourage slugs, this works quite well with hostas. I use them as "mulch" around trees in the easement beside our house to discourage dog walkers from allowing "Fluffy" to do his bathroom business there. The seed pods also discourage cats from using your flower beds as a litter box. If you would like an organic mulch in an area not often used, throw the seed pods in there. They last a long time, work fine and don't cost a cent.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2006 at 8:53AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Are these the little prickly balls? If so I saw someone stick sequins and beads on the "stickers" for ornaments.I was wishing I had a few but don't think they grow here.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 5:13PM
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barefootin(Z6 PA)

I have seen them spray painted black, legs glued on using pipe cleaners, and attatch a string to a stick, saw kids 'walking' thier 'spider'...lol

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 7:39PM
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I collected these pods in town and plan to add little Christmas ornament hangers to them. I'll paint them gold, green and red for our tree.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Well, as a gag gift, attach a stick about 15 inches long. Attach a note....instant hemorrhoid remover! :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 8:43PM
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kschuster(z7 GA)

If anyone is willing to pay for shipping, I can send you a WHOLE BUNCH! I hate the things and they're all over my driveway.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 2:44PM
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If I picked them green, will they still open up and dry so I can craft with them?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:02PM
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if you pick them green will the seeds inside still produce a tree if placed in soil?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2011 at 3:57PM
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It is actually better to pick them green, they will dry to a lighter color than the last-year ones you find out there. And they are softer when green, you can stick pins/hangers etc in them and let them dry like that. Once they are dry it is practically impossible to make holes in them, you have to wrap florist wire around them to attach them to anything.
No seed ever sprouted from any pods I handled, and I was very messy, and seeds from other plants that I scattered around sprouted but not sweet gum.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:19PM
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