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Things you can do with pine cones

Pinecone Flowers - After treating the cones, use a saw to cut the stalk - depending upon the size of the cone, you could get one or two good "fs" plus the top. Finishing touches: To add a nice touch, spray a very light application of a lacquer or acrylic spray to "seal" the cut area and to enhance the appearance of the flower. If you have a brush-on type of sealer, mix a little glitter with it and apply just to the ends. Mix these flowers with a silk pine spray and you have a wonderful Christmas or winter centerpiece. Contributed by Barbara Tobias, b.j.tobias@worldnet.att.net

Pinecone Pin Cushion - Take a pine cone and pull a few of the stalks out here and there. Cut some circles of material and sew a running sitch around the outside edge. Then as you draw them up, stuff some wadding in to make a soft ball. Using a glue gun, put some glue in the cone where you have pulled out the stalks and stuff the soft ball in. Cut a felt circle bigger than the base of the cone and glue on, and you have a pin cushion for a crafty mum or nana. We made these for our Mother's day stall and they were loved. Contributed by Karen

Pinecone Easter Decoration - Last Easter I took several large, 8" to 10" pinecones, spray painted them white. Took several coats to cover completely. I then added a large, full, (6", 8 loop), bow to the flat end by hot glueing once I found the way the pinecone would be stable and not rock when placed on the table. Then added tiny colored easter eggs, scattered and wedged or glued along the top. Also added some tiny carrots and a 2" rabbit. This idea came from a large pinecone that we had painted gold and decorated for Christmas many years ago. This idea can be used for any holiday, just by using a different color of paint and appropriate decorations.
Contributed by Rose, pennie@mpinet.net

Thanksgiving Turkey - The pinecones that are flat on one end and cone shaped would make little turkeys for Thanksgiving decorations. The flat end would be the tail after you stick in a few feathers or feather shaped cutouts. On the pointy end a question-mark shaped cutout for a head and twigs or chenille stems for legs.
Contributed by SilverSilence@webtv.com

Make a Christmas tree using several pinecones - With pinecones standing on their widest end (the base), glue the "sides" of them together in the form of a circle Some of the petals can interlock w/each other to help hold it in place. Just use hot glue to secure. When you have the size of circle you need to form the base of your Christmas tree (obviously this can vary, depending on the size of tree you want), repeat that step, only making the circle smaller. Glue that circle onto the base, using the same technique as mentioned above--allow some of the petals of the base of the smaller circle to interlock with the tips of the larger circle. Keep repeating these steps until you reach the "top" of your Christmas tree. The very tip should be just one (1) pinecone, the "layer" beneath that should be three (3) pinecones, and so on--forming larger and larger layers--depending on how large you want the entire tree. Decorate then with glitter, lights, miniature garlands, ornaments, etc..
Contributed by Shannon, hamelin@wf.net

Make a Christmas tree by gluing a single pine cone into a small flower pot. I put gold glitter on the tips of the "branches", a small star on the top and wrap a piece of rickrack around the flower pot. You can add touches of glitter to the flower pot as well. You can even tuck some cotton into the branches for snow. This is just one suggestion for decorating your tree - the possibilities are endless!
Contributed by B.J. Roberson, ac505@freenet.carleton.ca

Angel ornaments - If you have some of the long, narrow variety of pinecones, they make great angel ornaments. Turn them upside down, and glue a little wooden ball to the flat part (for the head), glue two big silk rose leaves to the back for wings (or anything else you have that looks like wings), let dry and spray paint the whole thing either silver or gold. Attach a string to the back for a hanger. You'll be surprised how cute these are. I have one hanging from my rearview mirror in my van, next to my strawberry walnuts. They are also pretty on a christmas tree.
Contributed by Jean Lexington, drlois@hotmail.com

Santa ornaments - use a long pinecone, turn upside down. Scrape off the "leaves" at the top on one side. Use clay to form a face. Paint the bottom of the pine cone white for his beard. Glue a little felt hat on the top and hang from your tree.

Wax / glitter ornaments - tie a cord around the top and dip into wax. Set in egg cartons to dry. Decorate with glitter when still moist and hang from Christmas tree. (To just wax the tips, pour wax into a shallow pan and roll the pinecone in it.)

Use in pine scented potpourri - recipe

Make pine cone owls - instructions

Decorate small Christmas trees - instructions

Christmas centerpieces - Sprinkle lightly with pine scent and display in a basket, bowl, or aluminum pie tin. Lay fresh pine branches in the container, to make a nest. Add some Christmas ribbon (make bows or crinkle some wired ribbon all around) and then nest the pinecones in the center. Add colorful candies around the edges, or small Christmas ornaments.

Make a Mini Bird's Nest - Take baby pinecones and start gluing them together Starting with two or three to form bottom of nest Then keep adding one forming a circle using your hand as a guide. Layer it about 3 to 4 inches high. Put glue down in the middle of nest and stick a bird (I like to use the birds on a wire) through the nest to secure, cut off excess wire at bottom. Add flowers and ribbion around the bird and you have a beautiful ornament to set in tree or to use as part of a centerpiece
Contributed by Brenda from Va., Wdbe5@aol.com

Make a Pinecone Wreath - I use the wire frames and insert the pinecones around each section. I soak the cones outside in a large bucket overnight which causes them to close up and any bugs will come out. After they are closed they are easy to insert in the wire frame. After the frame is completed, I hang them in a warm spot for a few day and as the cones open up, they are permanently in the frame. Then spray with acrylic sealer and decorate as you choose. (be sure to wear gloves as the pine tar is very hard to get off your hands :-)) Contributed by MizPatches, mizpatches@aol.com

Use as decoration on a wreath - instructions

Fill a basket with them to hold dried flowers in place

Mini Bird Feeders - instructions

Fire starters - place pine cone in a cupcake tin (coat w/ vegetable oil first). Add some sawdust if you like and a wick. Pour melted wax into the tin and let harden. Add this to your fire w/ kindling.

Add them to your fire untreated for kindling or extra fuel.

Treat them and toss in the fire to create colorful flames - Instructions for treating here

TIPS!
Before working with the cones, condition them in the oven. You don't have to do it, but heating them first melts the sap and as a result adds a nice glaze to the pine cones. Also, pine cones that are not opened, will open in the heat. (If you make a decoration for outside, the opened pine cones may close again in a wet, humid climate) So. use an old cookie sheet or cover a sheet with foil. Place the pine cones on it and put it in oven. Bake them at about 200 ° until the sap is melted and the pine cones are open. Test first with one pine cone to get the temp. As an added bonus, your house will be smelling wonderful!
Contributed by Tiina Purtonen, tiino@mediaone.net
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