Now that the fall pumpkin wreath is tidy for the year, you’ll need something festive to spruce up your space. What could be better for the holidays than these adorable homemade Christmas trees? Here’s everything you need to know to make this thrifty pine cone craft.
Why I like this job:
- It’s easy, fast and inexpensive. Not only is it a great craft to do with kids, it’s ridiculously cheap. If you don’t count the bottle of wine, the supplies cost me $ 5. Plus, if you are making with friends, you can share the cost!
- It provides an excuse to walk in the woods and drink wine. Not simultaneously, but I’m not here to judge. ?? If you are doing crafts with children, make sure that the wine consumption is left to adults.
- It’s super versatile. Whether you plan to spruce up your office with a forest or an entire forest, these little guys look great anywhere! Plus, by adding a loop of thin ribbon or string on top, they can double as a Christmas tree ornament (and make adorable gifts).
Don’t be intimidated by the long list, you should already have most of these supplies on hand.
- Pine cone (You can find them just about anywhere in Flagstaff. When you rummage, remember that pine cones don’t have to be perfect – a variety of sizes and shapes give them a certain personality. (Also, the more they lean, the more they look like something “The Grinch.”) If you’re in the valley or somewhere without pine cones, you can buy a cheap bag in about n any craft store.)
- Green and white acrylic paint (TIP: If you want to save time, go for green spray paint)
- 1 sheet of golden foam sequins
- Wine cork (If you prefer, you can buy a miniature terracotta pot from Michael’s for less than a dollar to house your pine cone. This will also save you the need for a hot glue gun.)
- OPTIONAL: Small bag of miniature craft pom poms or sequins (TIP: If you want to save money, take whatever colored paper you can find in your home / office and make your own “glitter” by punching a dozen small circles of colored paper.)
- Hot glue gun (if you use wine corks)
- Elmers or craft glue (if you use pom poms or sequins)
- Small DIY paintbrush
- Knife (if you use wine corks)
- cup of water (to rinse the brush)
- Cardboard plate or small dish for painting
- Paper towels
- Newsprint or plastic sheet
- Pen or marker
- Gather the supplies.
- Lay down newspaper or a plastic sheet to cover your crafting space to avoid any mess.
- Start by cutting your cork in half. (If your pine cones are tilting sharply to one side, cut your cork slightly on an angle.)
- At the end of the pine cone, peel off and discard the scales / petals to make enough room for your cork stopper. (TIP: If you want a sporty look that shows off the trunk (i.e. wine stopper), remove all of the downward slanting rows.)
- Make sure your tree can stand on its own by placing the tip of the pine cone on the cork. Rotate it and reposition it until it is balanced. If you are making multiple trees, remember which cork works best with each pine cone. Set the caps aside.
- Paint the top and bottom of your pine cone petals / scales green. (TIP: Don’t worry about painting the core of the pine cone. The trunks are brown so making sure the petals / scales are painted green should be your focus.)
- After all of your pine cones are painted, let dry for about half an hour.
- Draw a star of relative size to the tree on the back of the golden foam sheet. Feel free to make it as big or as small as you want. I chose to keep mine small, but comically oversized, lop–the star alongside would be adorable. For inspiration or a tracing guide, use this printable PDF of a variety of stars and sizes.
- Cut out your star and use it to draw identical stars. You will need two stars, placed back to back, per tree.
- When the green paint on your pine cones is dry to the touch, add snow by lightly dabbing white paint at the end of each of the petals / scales. (TIP: After adding white paint to your brush, blot it several times on a paper towel to remove excess paint before adding it to the pine cone to give it a more realistic effect.)
- If you are adding decorative ornaments to your tree, once the white paint is dry to the touch (it shouldn’t take long), apply a small amount of Elmers or craft glue to random tree branches and add a pompom or a sequin for each spoonful. Make it as festive and colorful as you want by adding more. For reference, I used about a dozen glitter per tree.
- Add a final dollop of Elmers or craft glue to the center branch at the top of your pine cone, peel the tape from the backs of your stars, and glue the stars back to back on the dollop of glue.
- Find the coordinating cork and apply hot glue to the top. Glue it to the end of the pine cone and rotate it until it stands upright, then hold it in place while the glue dries (30 seconds to a minute).
- Your pine cone is finished! Sit back and marvel at your adorable creation.
Share your finished job with us! Identify NAU on social media and send photos to[email protected].