Hand painted pine cones

This is a post from my original pre-preggo blog which I was running last year, but I do love a good pine cone so wanted to share with my From Day Dot readers!…

I think pine cones are the ultimate symbol of Autumn Winter and are the perfect way to bring the outside in for my favourite time of year.  However I do begrudge paying a fortune for a bag of cones when you can find them for free, on the floor, just begging to be picked up and taken home.

So off I went to Formby Pine Woods on a lovely sunny Sunday on the hunt for cones, and between me and the husband (yes I roped him in), we easily filled a bag. It had been a wet week so the cones were closed up, so we targeted neat shapes and good sizes and just hoped they’d open out into full blooming beauties.

A closed pine cone
A closed pine cone

An important step in collecting your own pine cones for use in the house is to kill off the critters that might be living inside the cones, and while there are various ways of doing this I chose a simple method of baking the hell out of them. Separating the cones into five batches, I popped them in the oven at Gas Mark 8 for 40 minutes to kill off anything that dared to hitch a ride inside my pine cones. Tip – don’t leave the kitchen when you do this, you’re baking wood and even I know the dangers that come with that.

Preparing pine cones

Warmed up and dried out, the house is filled with the ultimate scent of Christmas and I have a bucket of lovely open and layered pine cones, ready for painting, glittering, stringing, displaying, sniffing…

Bug free and beautiful
Bug free and beautiful

There is loads you can do to decorate pine cones and I decided to go with classic painted tips in gold, white and glitter, so you could still see plenty of the natural wood which I thought would go nicely with all of the oak we have in the house.

I first tried the dipping technique that I’d found on Craft Blog UK, then moved on to my trusty paintbrush, dipping it in some white acrylic paint and roughly painting the tips – both approaches are easy and give the effect of snow capped cones. I mixed it up with some gold glitter tips, a bit of gold acrylic and some all-natural cones for good measure.

Simply snow capped
Simply snow capped

Glitter pine cones

Last Christmas I had a house full of cones, our haul was so big, but the first place I used them was in my fireplace – I’ve gone for a slightly different set up in this fireplace this year, and it’s not decorated for Christmas yet, but this was last year’s effort. See how I’ve used the pine cones at home so far this season in my Autumn decor update post.

Christmas Fireplace
The 2015 fireplace

Christmas fireplace filler

Painted pine cones

Christmas fireplace

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