Consider gathering pine cones in the Fall when they’re free for the picking since there are so many lovely things you can make with them. Here are over 20 different project ideas for some inspiration. I also moved the firestarters tutorial to the bottom of this page (for better organization), it includes a list of ingredients that will produce different colors of flames. For cleaning them so they’re good for crafting, see this page. Enjoy!
Book Page Wreath: Made with pine cones and fir cones, book pages, foam board, spray paint, glue, glitter and burlap or ribbon.
Bouquet Centerpiece: Wooden skewers are inserted into the bottom of pine cones (holes drilled first) then arranged with assorted crafty bits.
Pretty Wall Hanging: Strips of ribbon are glued to pine cones which are then tied together and displayed in a frame.
Pine Cone Wreath: A styrofoam wreath is spray painted (brown) then your stash of pine cones are glued on top and sides of form.
DIY Decoration: Easy project, simply fill a glass bowl or vase with a string of lights, pine cones and pine.
Holiday Ornaments: Learn how to make glittered pine cones, an angel, drop ornaments and a garland.
Snow Cones: Plain white acrylic paint and a small foam brush are all that’s needed to make this snowy centerpiece.
Candle Holder: Simple project gluing pine cones to a cardboard sleeve that’s been wrapped around a candle base.
Crafty Photo Holder: Made with twigs, acorns, a large pine cone, corrugated cardboard (for the base) and glue.
Tabletop Wreath: Gold jingle bells and petite pinecones are hot-glued in sections to a moss-covered plastic-foam form.
Pier 1 Knock Off: Chicken wire is shaped into a pumpkin, filled then decorated with basket reeds or bendable branches, jute and a silk fall leaf.
How To Make Firestarters
*First published November 1, 2006 (moved here for better organization)
Pine cone flames or firestarters are burned in fireplaces to make colored flames. Many recipes or instructions include a dipped wax method but this is the easiest preparation method I’ve found.
Careful: Do not mix chemicals together when preparing. Also some advise not to mix 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 them for 24 hours.
- Remove the pine cones and let them dry in the sun or set aside somewhere warm and dry. Don’t burn for at least three days.
More Color Ideas
- Alum (thallium): Bright Green Flame
- Salt Substitute (potassium): Violet Flame
- Epsom Salts (magnesium sulphate): White Flame
- Table Salt: Yellow Flame
- Borax (sodium tetraborate): Yellow/Green Flame
- Burn the firestarters one at a time and make sure the cone is completely burned away before adding another.
- Make sure to completely dry the pine cones before using otherwise they won’t burn.
- Keep these out of reach of pets and children.