There are so many things you can make with pine cones, especially seasonal decorations. They can be transformed into festive wreaths, table decor arrangements, Christmas tree ornaments and even gift-worthy firestarters.
Consider gathering them in the Fall when they’re free for the picking. They do require a little TLC before being suitable for use (see How To Prepare & Preserve Pine Cones), but the effort is well worth it for the cost savings.
If you’re short on time, they can be purchased in craft stores (these are already clean and ready to go).
Quick Craft Ideas:
- For simple hanging ornaments, all that’s needed is a hot glue gun, jute twine or ribbon and assorted bead sprays. Arrange pieces as desired & glue in place. Paint the scale tips white for a wintery, frosty touch.
- Fill a clear glass vase with a strand of mini fairy twinkle lights & pinecones. It’s so pretty when lit!
- Glittery gift toppers can be whipped up with just minimal craft supplies. Martha Stewart has a nice (& quick) video tutorial here: Glittered Christmas Gift Toppers.
I’ve put together a wonderful collection of DIY Fall and Winter decorations that feature pinecones. Each project provides free instructions, and most need only simple supplies.
To finish things off, I added a tutorial for how to make firestarters (including a reference list for colored flames). You’ll find that at the bottom of the page.
DIY Ornaments & Decorations
As always here on Tipnut, only those projects that are 100% hassle-free are included in this collection. This means there are no fees charged, no email addresses to submit and no memberships required to access instructions. I also mainly focus on text & image tutorials, though some may provide additional support via video format. If that has changed since being added to this page, please let me know in the comments are below so I can remove it.
Directions: Click on images to view project page, a new browser tab will open & save your spot here
Pretty Christmas Trees
How charming are these! Wood slices are used for the base & then pretty beads, berries & pom poms are glued in place, features a tiny gold star tree topper to finish it off.
This is kind of a fiddly project, but the results are well worth it! First the scales are snipped off of a handful of pinecones then each is arranged & glued onto a styrofoam ball.
Silver craft paint is first applied then before it dries, white gold glitter is sprinkled over top. Eye hooks are fit in place then each slides onto a wire form (coat hanger will work) & arranged as desired.
DIY Fall Acorns
Plastic Easter eggs are spray painted (metallic gold, silver or black) then either twine or pinecone scales are attached with a hot glue gun. The scales look so pretty here because they’ve been brushed with a bit of gold paint.
Pier 1 Knock Off
Here’s how to create your own stuffed decor pumpkins that retail for $49.95 in stores. Supply costs are much less using chicken wire, basket reeds (or bendable branches), jute, a silk fall leaf & pumpkin scented oil (optional).
So adorable! Supplies needed: a bit of felt, hot glue, white acrylic paint, wood bead, pencil crayon (for facial blush) & yarn (for pom poms).
An easy craft that will make a pretty display on your holiday table, this uses a bit of floral wire to wrap & dip the cone into paint then hang over newsprint to dry.
Wow! This looks amazing & yet it’s so simple to put together. Each pinecone hangs from a ribbon (affixed with a hot glue gun) then arranged & tied together. Position inside an open frame & pin in place it so it’s centered.
A 10″ diameter foam form is used here which will require 80 bleached pinecones in two sizes (medium and small). They are set in place with a hot glue gun & pro strength sticks. DIY bleaching instructions are provided. Nice project!
Once they’ve been cleaned & prepped, cover pieces with a spray adhesive then placed in a bag filled with glitter & shaken a few times to completely coat.
Book Page Wreath
Very pretty! The base form is cut from foam board then pages from old books are torn out, rolled then glued around the outer & inner edges. Once that’s done the cones are arranged over top & set in place.
How To Make Firestarters
Pinecone flames or firestarters act as tinder to start a roaring fire quickly. If they are treated beforehand with specified ingredients, it’s possible to generate flames in assorted colors.
Many recipes and instructions include a basic dipped wax method (which I’ve included below) but first up is the colored flame method. Adding wax will help them burn longer but it’s not necessary.
Careful: Do not mix chemicals together when preparing. Also, some recommend not mixing colors when burning.
- 1 1/2 Gallons Hot Water
- 1/2 Pound Copper Sulfate (green flame)
- 1/2 Pound Boric Acid (red flame)
- 1/2 Pound Calcium Chloride (orange flame)
- 3 Plastic Containers
- Bushel of Pine Cones
- Wear rubber gloves when preparing these. Also cover tables and counters well–this stuff can stain.
- Pour 1/2 gallon of water into each plastic container
- Add one chemical to each container (one container for green, one container for red, one container for orange)
- Mix well until all the chemicals are thoroughly dissolved
- Take your pine cones and divide into three batches
- Put one batch into each container. Totally immerse the cones into the liquid and soak for 24 hours.
- Remove and let them dry in the sun or set aside somewhere warm and dry. Don’t burn for at least three days to give them time to fully cure.
Flame Color Master List:
- Copper Sulfate: Green
- Alum (thallium): Bright Green
- Borax (sodium tetraborate): Yellow/Green
- Table Salt: Yellow
- Baking Soda: Yellow/Orange
- Calcium Chloride: Orange
- Boric Acid: Red
- Salt Substitute (potassium chloride): Violet
- Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate): White
Basic Wax Method
Wax is a bonus addition because of how flammable it is. Beeswax, paraffin, soy, melted crayons will all work for this project. A great way to reduce costs for this project is to save your burnt down candle ends and broken crayons.
Note: These can be made with plain, untreated pinecones but if you want the colored flames, first go through the steps above (allow to fully dry first).
- Another option is to work with plain cones then once dipped with wax, sprinkle over top grains of table salt, epsom salts or salt substitute before the wax hardens.
Wax Base Pucks:
- Fill tealight or votive candle molds about 1/2 to 3/4 full with hot wax then arrange a cone in the center of each (pushing the base to the bottom).
- Silicone mini-muffin pans can be used if you don’t have candle molds.
- Paper cupcake liners can also be used (set in regular muffin tins), no need to peel them off since they’ll burn up nicely.
- Drizzle any leftover wax over the scales (optional).
- Allow to cool then pop each out of the molds, they are now ready to use or package as gifts.
- If you’d like a string for ease of lighting, cotton or jute twine will do the trick nicely. Just tie or wrap it around the base of each pinecone before inserting into the wax, leaving a strand loose at top.
- If there’s room, slices of dried orange peel can be arranged in the hot wax, this adds a pleasant scent.
- Another method is to wrap a piece of cotton string around the top half of the pinecone (leaving a strand or loop for handling) then dip into a pot of melted wax.
- Rest on parchment paper until cooled & they’re now ready to use.
- The string loop can be lit when placing amongst the kindling.
- Do not mix color treated starters (ie. burn only green flame or yellow or white, not a combo).
- Make sure to completely dry them before using otherwise they won’t burn.
- Keep these out of reach of pets and children.
Want something more impressive or fancier? Check out this tutorial for making these cinnamon scented goodies from Satsuma Designs (click on image to visit site):