I would not say that I typically go in for sparkles. I don't like tinsel on the tree. But there's so much glitter inspiration on Pinterest that I came around to the idea and thought it would be fun to dress up our pinecones with a little gold glitter paint. Just a little, mind you; I didn't want to go overboard. A little bling goes a long way, if you ask me.
I know you can buy pinecones at the craft store, but I was dead-set against spending money on something I could find for free. But I discovered that our neighborhood has very few pinecone-producing trees. I would keep my eyes peeled while on our walks and when driving and could not discover a decent pinecone collecting area. Then, I remembered our nature center. We had pretty good luck one afternoon, and I came home and immediately got them drying out in the oven, per Mary's instructions. Thank goodness I read her blog because I didn't even know this was an important step. But, drying them in a low heat oven for an hour or so helps kill any bugs, dry up the sap, and open up the pinecones. Plus, it make your house smell "beautul" as Maggie pronounced when she arrived home from school.
I really hit the pinecone jackpot when we traveled south for Thanksgiving, though. The good old piney woods. At one cousin's house, we collected a bag of enormous ones without straying more than a few feet from our car. They got the same oven treatment when we made it home again, but I noticed the big ones didn't need to stay in as long.
I bought this paint a few weeks before in preparation for this activity. I really didn't know quite what to get, and I see now that many people use spray paint. But, I'll say this, you can control the coverage better with this stuff and a brush, and it's great for preschooler use. Judging by the smell, it's less paint and more glue and fine gold glitter.
Maggie had a ball with this project, painting heavily here and lightly there. It ends up looking pretty no matter what your technique. I concentrated mainly on the ends, and I love how they turned out. It may sound like labor-intensive process, but since you just slap the paint on, it took me only about 45 minutes to paint 50 or so pinecones (with a little help). Pretty much finished 'em up while the kids ate lunch.
At first, I just scattered the pinecones about in vases, bowls, etc.
We made a little forest for our reindeer and added them to the manger scene, overlooked by a hornbill.
But I wanted to make someone really special so I tried this pinecone wreath idea of stringing them on a wire hanger.
Here's what you would need to do it yourself:
A bunch of pinecones, a variety of sizes is best (I used 35)
Thin wire (I used picture-hanging wire)
Drill with small bit (I used 5/64")
First, you drill a small hole in the bottom of each pinecone. This works surprising well and is surprisingly easy. Seriously, don't be intimidated!
Cut a small piece of wire and twist the ends together, leaving a small loop open at the end. I varied the lengths of wire used so that the loop reached just slightly beyond the bottom of the pinecone to make it easy to string on the hanger.
|My hand is not really green. I have much to learn about picture editing.|
Put a dab of hot glue on the hole, insert the twisted ends of tire and let dry. This is a great starting place for a ton of pinecone ideas like garlands, etc. It makes it really easy to reuse your pinecones in different arrangements, too. I'll be able to use these pinecones for years.
While they dry, arrange your wire hanger into a circle. Then slide the pine cones on. I found using two or three smaller ones between each large one made a nice design. Then, I used a bit more hot glue to stick neighboring pinecones together once I had the arrangement I liked. I did this all in front of the TV, and it took no more than a few hours.
Here's how the back of the wreath looks:
Cheap and easy holiday decor!