The trick to painting the tips of pinecones is not meticulous work and endless time. It’s as simple as a letting nature do the work for us! Here is how I make perfectly frosted pinecones for the holidays!
I live in Michigan so, if I want to get pinecones from under my pine trees, now is the time! Before the snow falls and buries them until spring. Keep in mind different types of pine trees make radically different kinds of pine cones. My trees happen to be a more ‘classic’ pinecone look. You can use any style cone you want.
Check out my slide show to see all the steps I took to get this great look!
Now if you look at these cones you can see they were wet, it was raining when I collected them. This is good for me. Because it saves me a step. However if yours are dry they will be open and look like a regular cone. The awesome thing about fresh pinecones is when they get wet they close up. My cones have lots of debris stuck in them so I will wait for them to dry to pull all the twigs out and start the process again. I collected about two dozen cones to work on for this project.
1. To get the cones to close dunk them in a bucket of lukewarm water. This also gives you an opportunity to clean them if needed. Let the cones sit in the water for about 10-20 minutes so they are fully saturated. You can watch this process happening, very cool for kids to see. This is a great project for school!
TIP: If you find any cones that feel loose or do not close up when wet than they are older cones and should be discarded.
2. Once they are closed up the fun begins. Pat them dry first. You can now paint or glitter the outside of the cone as only the tips will be visible. This is time sensitive, so if you are planning this project with a group be sure you have started the process to keep you on schedule.
3. As the cones dry out they will reopen. I put mine in a sunny window to accelerate the process. Once open all your paint will be on the tips still and none on the stems.
4. Add these cones to any wreaths, arrangements, or just a big bowl on your counter for a festive take on the holidays! Check out our Pinterest page to see more examples of painted pinecones.
Here is my quick reference guide to get you started on your pinecone project!
How did this work for you? Were you able to get your cones to open and close easily?