Pine cone decorations are so much fun for kids to make that my little boy insisted on starting his whilst he was still in his pyjamas!
They are also brilliant for giving children the opportunity to work with natural materials.
Collecting fallen pine cones and then using them to make your very own, unique kids crafts is a brilliant seasonal activity that kids of all ages will love.
Scroll down the page here and you'll find instructions for our favourite pinecone Christmas decorations.
Mini Pine Cone Christmas Tree
These simple pinecone Christmas trees made can be made into hanging tree decorations or free-standing ornaments.
A little adult preparation is needed before the kids get involved, but this is a really simple, effective pine cone craft for your kids to try.
Don't forget that you can buy pine cones commercially if you have any trouble foraging for your own. E-bay had lots of different shapes and sizes on offer when we were making our pine cone crafts this year. Why not try using giant pine cones for a bigger version of these pine cone crafts?
Collect together your craft materials before you call the kids over. There's nothing worse than getting them all excited only to find you've run out of glue!
a pine cone (mine was about 6cm tall)
some type of lid from your recycling box (I used a really small screw cap from a yoghurt pouch)
super glue or a glue gun
ribbon or string (to make the loop for hanging)
craft foam stickers (stars & circles work well)
You'll need to decide for yourself how much adult prep to do. The idea is to let the kids do the fun, creative bits, and avoid losing their interest with too much waiting for glue or paint to dry!
First you will need to stick the lid to the bottom (the flat end) of your pine cone decorations.
Super glue or a hot glue gun are the best types of adhesive to use and it can be a little tricky to get the lid to stay still whilst the glue sets, so I would recomend that you do this in advance well away from the kids.
Once the glue is totally dry you can get the kids and start the fun part!
Paint your pine cone a nice Christmas green colour. You can hold onto the lid (which your helpful adult has already stuck on) and use it as a little handle whilst you paint. Make sure to get right inside the scales of the cone and paint all the bits you can see. Leave to dry.
Now paint the lid to make it look like a nice bucket for your pine cone Christmas tree to sit in. Bright red or blue would look lovely. You may need to mix a bit of PVA glue into your paint to make sure it adhears to the lid. Leave to dry.
Next dab PVA glue onto the ends of each of the scales of the pine cone tree, and sprinkle silver glitter onto the glue. You don't have to be too exact but the idea is to make it look like snow has fallen and settled on the branches of your tree. Top-Tip: If you stand your pine cone decorations in a tub or bowl when you sprinkle the glitter you can collect all the sparkles that don't stick and use them next time. Leave to dry again.
Once the glue and glitter are totally dry you can attatch some sparkley string or ribbon to the top of your pine cone. If you don't want to hang your tree then obviously leave the string off.
Next you can add your decorations. Firstly, attatch one big star to the top. Either ask your adult helper to use the glue gun or super glue to make sure it really sticks well to the pine cone itself, or stick it to the string that you've already tied on if you're making hanging pine cone decorations.
Then stick lots of smaller stars or circles all over the pine cone to look like Christmas baubles. Sticky-backed craft foam shapes work really well or you could use any paper shapes stuck on with PVA glue or sticky spots.
Giant pine cone Christmas tree
This is just a larger version of the mini-tree shown above. We ordered some giant pine cones from e-bay and used a little flower pot to make the 'bucket'.
My kids found it much easier to decorate the bigger pine cone and they were very pleased that they had space for even more glitter and decorations!
Top-tips for your giant pinecone decorations
To make the basic tree, just balance your pine cone on top of the flower pot. I didn't feel it needed to be glued in place, but you could use a glue gun to secure it if you wanted to.
We used green glitter for these bigger pine cone decorations and sprinkled it on to the green paint whilst it was still wet.
You could leave your flower pot a natural terracotta colour, but my kids wanted to paint ours a nice bright red to make it look really festive. You could also tie some pretty ribbon round the pot if you had some spare from your holiday wrapping.
To attatch the star at the top of your pine cone Christmas tree stick 2 large craft foam stars back to back and wedge a cocktail stick in between them. Use the glue gun to attatch the stick to the top of your pine cone so that the star sits just proud of the tree top.
Beaded Tree Decorations
Decorating with pine cones at Christmas time is lots of fun for kids, so why not let them try out a couple of different craft ideas.
These hanging pine cone decorations will really sparkle on your tree and can be made in a whole variety of different colours.
I think these silver ones look like sparkling icicles, but my boys are desparate to try some in multi-colours. We have the same dispute over our Christmas lights every year too....somehow I think I'm destined to have jazzy miss-matched holiday colour scheme for many years to come!
a pine cone (mine was about 6cm tall)
sparkley string or ribbon (about 15cm)
super glue or a glue gun
To make these pine cone decorations you'll need to attatch one end of your piece of string or ribbon to the flat end of your pine cone.
Depending how old your kids are (and whether you can trust them with a hot glue gun!) you may need to do this job before they get started.
Stick one end of your ribbon to the flat end of your pine cone. Use a glue gun or PVA glue and leave to dry before you continue.
Cover your pinecone with PVA glue, then sprinkle glitter onto the glue whilst it is still wet. Leave to dry.
Thread your beads onto the ribbon, until you are happy with the length and design.
Tie a neat knot in the ribbon to keep your beads secure. Then make a loop with the remaining ribbon and tie another knot.
Hang your pine cone decorations in prime position on your Christmas tree and watch them sparkle!