PHOTO: Patricia Lehnhardt
Patricia Lehnhardt
November 24, 2015

Pinecones come in various shapes and sizes, are free for the picking, and make beautiful holiday decorations that will last for years. I have gathered many varieties from my yard, on walks around the neighborhood, and on hikes in the woods. Once you have your stash, gather up the glue gun, raid the vintage button box, and scrounge the raffia or ribbon from the craft cupboard to create some new natural ornaments for your tree and home.

To rid the pinecones of bugs before using them, place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F in the oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool before handling.

1. Big Cones—Tiny Trees

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Big pinecones resemble the shape of their bearers, so we used them as inspiration to make tiny Christmas trees. These are perfect for decorating your mantle or for gifting to a loved one who lives in an apartment and doesn’t have space for a full-sized tree.

Materials

  • small clay flowerpots
  • floral foam, cut to size
  • spanish moss
  • large pinecones
  • twigs

Preparation

Remove some of the scales on the bottom of the cone, if necessary, to even out the shape of the tree. Scrape or cut the core with a small knife to create a flat surface to attach a twig, which will become the “tree trunk.” Cut a twig about 3 inches long, and attach it to the base of the cone with hot glue.

Cut a piece of floral foam to snugly fit the flowerpot, and insert it into the container. Stick the “trunk” of the “tree” into the foam. A bit of glue on the twig will ensure it stays put. Cover the foam with moss.

2. Door Swag

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Liven up your front door or windowsills for the holidays with these beautiful evergreen accents. You can make them in any size and shape to fit the house feature they’re to adorn.

Materials

  • bunch of evergreens
  • 5 to 7 long cones
  • small screw eyes
  • wire
  • ribbon or raffia

Preparation

Use an awl to poke a hole in the end of the cones to start the screw eye. Twist the eye into the cone. Thread with raffia.

Gather the evergreens into a bunch and bind with wire. Form a loop on the backside to create a hanger for the door.

Arrange the cones into varying lengths and attach them to the greens with more wire. Accent your swag with a bow made from raffia or ribbon.

3. Tree Ornaments

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Ornaments make great package decorations for holiday gifts, and then can be used to dress up your recipient’s tree. This craft gives you a chance to use your creativity—we’ve offered you a few ornament guidelines below, but feel free to come up with your own designs.

Ball

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Materials

  • floral foam
  • raffia
  • small hemlock cones—about 30 per ball
  • hot glue gun

Preparation

Cut a 1-inch cube of floral foam, and round off the edge to form a rough ball. Cut the cones with heavy scissors, so they’re all the same size, less than an inch. Tie a piece of raffia around the ball snugly to create a hanger. Glue the cones onto the foam ball, pushing them in slightly and fitting them together as closely as you can.

Star

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Materials

  • raffia
  • large button (1½ inches)
  • pearl button
  • 5 small hemlock cones

Preparation

Thread the raffia through one of the holes in the button, and tie to form a hanger. Glue the cones onto the button in a star shape. Glue the large pearl button in the center of the big button.

Flower

Homemade pinecone decorations
Patricia Lehnhardt

Materials

  • raffia
  • scales from large pinecones
  • large button (1½ inches)
  • pearl button

Preparation

Thread the raffia through one of the holes in the button, and tie to form a hanger. Remove scales from large cones, and sort them according to size. Starting with the largest scales, glue them around the edge of the button. Fill with graduating sizes of scales as you work into the center. Glue the pearl in the center.



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