5 Crafty Ways to Use Pine Cones
It’s pine cone season! Every winter, pine trees release their seeds and drop their cones. Pine cones always struck me as sort of a sign of the season, and I love incorporating them into holiday crafts and decor.
Pine cones are sturdy, which makes them a great natural craft supply. The best part about making crafts and decorations out of pine cones? Unless you cover them in synthetic materials, you can toss them right into the compost pile when you’re done with them. You can’t say that for a garland or centerpiece that you bought at the party store!
Ready to get crafty with your pine cone collection? We’ve got 5 fun ideas to get you started!
Next>> Make a hanging sachet
Image Credit: Pine Cone photo via Thinkstock
1. Hanging Sachet
Pine cones look festive and smell great in a hanging sachet! Just dry some super thin apple slices in the oven, and string them up with pine cones and cinnamon sticks. The twine should pass right through the apple slices – use the holes where the seeds used to be. To attach the cinnamon sticks and pine cones, just tie a good double knot around them. You’ll probably want a pine cone at the end of your hanging sachet to weight things down and make sure it hangs straight.
To dry your apple slices, just clean the apples and slice them thin, then bake in the oven at 200F for 8-10 hours, checking on them every hour or so. You can also dry them in a food dehydrator, if you have one. While you’re at it, you may as well dry some extra apple slices. Baked apple chips are a tasty, healthy snack!
Next>> Make a rustic tablescape
Image Credit: Pine Cone Sachet photo via Thinkstock
2. Pine Cone Tablescape
Decorate the holiday table with a pine cone motif. You can make simple place cards by setting a pine cone at each place and tying a piece of baking twine to each one. On the other end of each piece of twine, tie a piece of paper with your guest’s name on it. Bonus points if you use junk mail or other reclaimed paper in this project!
To make a simple centerpiece, arrange your pine cones right on the table or on a pretty tray with candles and mistletoe or holly. You can add some fresh cranberries to this simple centerpiece, if you like, too!
Next>> Make a pine cone bird feeder
3. Pine Cone Bird Feeder
Take a break from the holiday decorating to spend some time with the kiddos! A pine cone bird feeder is fun and easy to make, and the kids will love watching the birds come to feast.
To make your bird feeder, collect a pine cone or two, and let the kids slather that thing in peanut butter. Once it’s covered pretty well, roll your pine cone in birdseed, tie twine to the top, and hang it from a tree in a quiet spot. The birds will be there before you know it!
Next>> Pine Cone Glitter Ornament
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wyldwest
4. Glitter Ornament
This is the only project in the list that you can’t toss in the compost when the season’s done. Since it’s not compostable or recyclable, you’ll want to make this something that lasts and store it so that you can use it year after year. You’ll need a pine cone, white glue, lots of glitter, wax paper, and twine
To make your glitter pine cone ornament, coat your pine cone in glue. Make sure you get the glue into all of the cone’s nooks and crannies! When it’s nice and gluey, hold the cone over a plate or tray, and shake the glitter over it until it’s well coated. Don’t worry if it’s not totally encrusted like in the photo above yet. Set it on the wax paper to dry, then repeat with the glue and the glitter until you have a really densely glittered pine cone. When that last coat is dry, tie a loop of twine to the top, and you’re ready to hang y0ur glitter pine cone on the tree!
Pine cones are pretty sturdy, but to ensure that your glitter ornament lasts for years, you’ll want to wrap it well. If you have a small spare box laying around, that’s ideal for keeping your glitter cone safe and sound until next Christmas.
Next>> Pine Cone Bunting
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by knitsteel
5. Pine Cone Bunting
I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t feel like holiday decor is complete without a little bunting. Smaller pine cones work best for this project, but you can use larger cones if that’s what’s on hand.
You can keep this simple, and just string up pine cones or you can get fancier, like in the photo above, and string up cranberries for a splash of color. Here’s how to make your bunting with cranberries (leave them out, if you prefer):
1. Cut around 4 feet of baking twine, and tie it to the top of a pine cone, leaving 6″ of tail at one end.
2. Thread the twine through an embroidery needle, and pass the needle through a few fresh cranberries, sliding them almost all the way to the end, where you tied on that first pine cone.
3. Tie on a second pine cone close to the last cranberry you strung.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 until you’re around 6″ from the end of your twine. Use the 6″ tails on either end to hang your garland on a wall, in a doorway, or on the mantle!
Have you guys done any pine cone crafts? I’d love to hear what you’re making in the comments!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by laura padgett
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