These guys are so easy to make, I probably don’t even need to explain it. But you know I’m going to blab on about them anyways 🙂
At the beginning of December, Phil & I went out and picked out our first Christmas tree 🙂 For ornaments, we stuck with colors that matched the living room – silver, gold, gray, brown, white & ivory, & shades of aqua. Last year, we bought what I thought was a lot of ornaments at Target with those crazy after-Christmas discounts. But of course, once they were up on the tree, it didn’t seem like so many after all. Probably because I like my Christmas trees totally decked out…they have to be covered in lights, ornaments, garlands…the works. It will take us a few years to accumulate that many ornaments, but to speed up the process, I made a bunch of pine cone ornaments to help fill out the tree. And the best part is that they didn’t cost me a thing! Except a little bit of time.
So, to make this kind –
Prepare your pine cones like I describe here. Then tie some loops out of string, whatever length you want your ornaments to hang. Mine were 3-4″ after they were tied.
Decide which direction you want your pine cones to hang (I guess mine are upside down?) and secure the string with a dot of hot glue. I glued the knot to the pine cone so you wouldn’t notice it.
Then all you have to do is spray paint them in any color. I used a frosted nickel spray (left over from the tv cabinet hardware I mentioned here), which I really liked because it has teeny flecks of silver in it that give them a subtle shimmer. Make sure you spray the string too.
You can kind of see it better here – although the shimmer looks more like dust in the photo…so you’ll just have to trust me on that.
To make the pine cones with the closed up look –
Glue on your strings again. (You can use pine cones that are open – you’ll make them close up with paint).
To make the pine cones close up tight, dip them into paint instead of spraying them. For a [free &] perfect color match, I used the wall color of the room that the tree is in (it looks white in this photo, but it’s actually a light aqua). But I wouldn’t suggest dipping them straight into paint –
Unless of course you like that super goopy look…
So you’ll need to water it down a bit. I didn’t measure, but I would guess I used 4 parts paint, 1 part water.
Dunk the whole pine cone, and use your fingers to lightly spread some paint on the string. You don’t want the string to be soaked or else it will get stuck to itself.
To dry a whole bunch at a time, I hung the pine cones from sticks and laid them across an open box to catch all the drips.
The pine cones will start out open, but eventually they’ll close up from the moisture, and then the paint keeps them held in.
Unless you primed them first (which is not a bad idea), you’ll probably need to dip them twice, because the first coat doesn’t have great coverage. Although it is kind of a nice if you want a shabby chic look.
But you can see how the pine cone dipped in the watered down paint looks so much better than the goopy one that was dipped once in the pure paint.
Here you can see how they compare to the spray painted ones-
Now, to make this kind…
Sort through your pine cones and find the ones that look like a flower on the bottom. Cut that bottom part off from the rest of the pine cone. Depending on the size of the pine cone, scissors probably won’t cut through it. I was hardcore and took a lopper to my pine cones, but any kind of garden shears will probably do the trick.
Glue your string in between some pieces near the “top”. If you glue it to the back, it might not hang perfectly vertical.
And then…yep, you spray paint them. I did some in a creamy tan, and others in metallic gold.
The gold is my favorite. So shiiiiiny.
And finally, how to make these –
I know they’re not pine cones, but I’m sneaking them in here anyways. I still have a bunch of these sweetgum seed pods left over from the fall wreath I made, and wanted to put them to good use. They’re just as easy to make as the others –
After glueing on the string & spray painting them gold, this time I also sprayed them with gloss lacquer and sprinkled on some gold glitter. (Spray adhesive or mod podge would work for the glitter too, I was just using what I had).
It’s hard to appreciate glitter in photos, but in person they’re like shimmery spikey stars.
The great thing about these painted pine cones is that they’re 1. super easy, 2. pretty quick to make – & you can do a whole bunch at a time, and 3. you can completely customize them to match your theme. You can even paint them a new color every year to switch things up. Isn’t paint wonderful?
What do you guys think? Anybody else making some Christmas ornaments this year?