Children can make many winter holiday items and gifts with pine cones. If you live in an area where they are plentiful, collecting them while on a nature hike can be the first step in the craft activity. Once they are gathered and cleaned, you’re ready to transform plain pine cones into Christmas treasures.
Pine Cone Ornaments
Pine cone ornaments can be made with minimal supplies. Use acrylic paint and a brush to paint the pine cone one festive color, or decorate it with multiple colors as desired. Spread glue over a pine cone and either sprinkle with glitter or wrap it with red or green yarn. Add a ribbon for hanging to any of these designs.
Pine Cone Friends
Elves and snowmen are popular Christmas characters. Create an elf using a small pine cone for the body and a wooden bead for the head. Draw a face on the bead with permanent marker. Use a brown pipe cleaner for the arms and legs and cut felt for the hat, scarf, gloves and shoes. Make a snowman by stretching cotton batting around a medium to large pine cone. Shape a large cotton ball for the head. Use small buttons for the eyes and nose, and tie a piece of fabric for the scarf. Use craft glue to assemble the friends.
Pine Cone Christmas Trees
Pine cones are naturally a similar shape as Christmas trees. For small trees, glue festive-colored craft pom–poms to a large pine cone or attach beads to the pine cone and string yarn around it for garland. Older children can create a tree by wrapping a stiff foam cone with brown paper. Attach larger pine cones to the bottom and work up the cone using smaller pine cones around the top; with adult supervision, use a hot glue gun to assemble this tree.
Pine Cone Gifts
Make a holiday photo holder to give relatives or teachers using a large pine cone, a photo, corrugated cardboard, glue, holly leaves, berries and pine needles. Insert the photo into the pine cone so that it stands up straight. Place on a cardboard base and trim to preferred shape and size. Paint base with acrylics or decorate with fake snow. Arrange leaves, berries and pine needles around base as desired and glue into place.
Pine cone bird feeders are easy to make at any age. Attach a loop of twine to the pine cone to act as a hanger. Cover pine cone with peanut butter, and roll it in bird feed. Place in a cellophane bag for gift giving.