Ten Things To Do With Conkers / Horse Chestnuts

One of our favourite things to do in Autumn is collecting conkers. (Or Horse Chestnuts, as some of you might call them.)
They start appearing in our home right at the beginning of October,
they fall out of coat pockets, appear in the fridge & on windowsills
and even in our shoes.
Even though I do love them almost as much as my little one’s ,
there are a lot of them, so,
what can you really do with conkers?

Here are ten things to do with them:

1.Roll them in glue & glitter to make pretty christmas decorations,

2. Make conker animals or faeries with leaf wings:


3. Keep spiders out!
Conkers release a chemical which spiders absolutely hate.
Putting conkers in bowls around your house will stop spiders from entering your home!


4. The same thing works for moths,
keep some conkers with your handknits to stop moths from nibbling on them.


5. Go collect them with friends.
Who can find most, who can find the biggest or the smallest?

6. Play the old & very popular game “conkers” with them.
Soak your conkers in vinegar or bake them in the oven to make them stronger!


7. Collect many & bring them into the forest for the animals to eat!

8.Pretend play (of course!).
Emily loves serving conker soups & pies.


9. Autumn Explosion:
Have a campfire & throw in some conkers, watch them “explode”.

10. Make a good-luck charm.
Wearing a conker around your neck or in your pocket is said to bring good luck your way!


I hope you enjoy doing some of these things,
if you can think of any more do let me know.
Have fun

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23 Responses to Ten Things To Do With Conkers / Horse Chestnuts

  1. Ali says:

    What a wonderful and useful post! I am especially glad to hear about conkers being a spider and moth deterrent, all the more reason to go collecting! Thanks!

  2. Eva says:

    I miss conkers so much! There are none here in our part of the world. :(

  3. Kristin says:

    I’ve never heard of a conker! The projects you’ve listed sound and look amazing. :)

  4. Anna says:

    Und Kastanientiere bauen mit Streichhölzern als Beine, Hals und Augen!

  5. La Dayna says:

    what are conkers

  6. Aine says:

    My daughters just finished making a conker dragon each. We needed 61 conkers for each dragon. I found your post wondering what to do with all the leftover conkers. Thanks for all the ideas.

  7. Maddie says:

    Dear Krisitin and Anna where abouts in the world do you live here in England we have conkers everywhere and children collect them. Conkers are from a conker tree or known as horse-chestnut tree, the conkers are the seeds that are relesed from thier pouches up in the tree and land on the ground. Then where i live the children collect them on thier way to and from school.

  8. Lisa says:

    We call these buckeyes where I’m from. I was given a bag of them the other day and didn’t know they kept spiders away… I hate spiders!
    Thanks for the info.

  9. Hannah says:

    quit handy tips i never knew about the spider

  10. Amanda says:

    I wanted to pierce a hole through the centre of my conkers then use wire to make a hanging heart but wasnt sure if the conkers would go off????

    • Cherie says:

      I made a lovely necklace, bracelet and matching earrings set using various sizes of conkers. They have been worn each Autumn for the past 3 years and still look good. The lovely rich shine has gone but they still have a gentle sheen

  11. Jamie says:

    These tips are fabulous, my little boy has a massive bag full of conkers and i was wondering what to do with them, love all the ideas, thank you 😉

  12. Caroline Young says:

    Where in the house should I leave conkers to keep the spiders out? Would the chemical released reach around the whole house or do I need conkers all over the place! LOL x

  13. Marsha Johnson says:

    You forgot one of the most beautiful and lovely crafts to do with these: press a tack into the side and make 5 holes around the rim of the nut, then press in bamboo skewers until firmly seated, and trim to about 4 inches length, then weave wool yarns around and around the sticks, making a beautiful conker web to hang for Halloween. An amazing art form and a lasting delight. Tie off the last strand and make a loop for hanging.

  14. Rhonda says:

    Oh, I love this page, memories came flooding back after reading some of the great suggestions!! I miss conkers so much, especially right now in the fall. We used to play with them at school, having the toughest conker was a true honour:-) All when I lived there over 30 years ago now. We would roast them on Guy Fawkes night, spend hours looking for the perfect one, and all sorts of things….no conkers here Alberta, Canada where I live now though:-(. This page brought me one great evening of memories thanks so much, this is a lovely website.

  15. Nanci says:

    I had an idea to make Christmas Ornaments out of horse chesnuts. I thought I would drill a small hole in each to let the nut dry out. The I would spray them with urethane to keep the shinny appearance. The hole would be used to glue in a screw eye in each and run a ribbon through that, tie about two or three together and make a bow. Hang on tree or decorate the house. Would this work or would the nut stink after a while. One could also string the nuts and make a garland maybe with a red bead between each or a cranberry.

  16. Jamie says:

    Never thought of doing anything with these! Here where we are we call them buckeyes. I had no idea they were good for anything but collecting and throwing. How fun!

  17. Rhea says:

    Now to find a buckeye tree!!! Thanks for this great info. We don’t have as many buckeye trees where I live as you must but I’m sure I can find someone that would collect them this fall for me. :) YAY!!

  18. Conkers keep moths away?! *Seriously*? Oh you have no idea how happy this makes me. Claudia loves conkers (of course) and there are masses of chestnut trees around here. And masses of yarn and woollens in this house… yay, yay!

  19. Peggy says:

    We love collecting horse chestnuts in the fall! I love using them as decoration in bowls in the house, but have had trouble with them getting moldy. I have tried to roast them in the oven, but that hasn’t seemed to help. Any ideas?

  20. Hi,
    Lovely ideas…
    Have included a link to this, hope that’s ok.

  21. Pingback: Conker (Chestnut) Crafts | The Handmade Experiment