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Make a pine cone Christmas decoration

Close up of pine cone decoration on tree
Learn how to make a pine cone decoration | © National Trust Video team

Have a sustainable Christmas this year and decorate your home with nature. Winter is the perfect time to go foraging for materials as pine cones and acorns start to drop off their branches. Find out how you can use pine cones to make a festive mouse, as well as other decorations.

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Getting started

Watch the tutorial video and follow the instructions below to make your own pine cone mouse.

What you’ll need

  • Small pine cone
  • Two large pine cone scales
  • Acorn cup
  • Twine or a soft and bendable twig
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Glue (PVA works fine, but using a glue gun or craft glue will save time)


Make the ears
Paint two large pine cone scales with brown around the outside and white in the middle. Water-based paint is fine for this, but acrylic gives a more polished result. Once they’re dry, trim the pointed ends if needed and glue into place on the top of your pine cone, quite close together. Tip: you may want to balance all your mouse parts in place first before attaching with glue.
Make the face
Using a small paintbrush, paint a small nose at the tip of the acorn hat. Paint two small eyes and a smile if you like too. Glue into place just in front of the ears.
Curl a tail
Cut your twine or twig to tail-length. Wind it around your finger to bend into place and glue the end to the back of the pine cone.
Leave to dry
If you’re using PVA glue, leave it to dry for a few hours or overnight and then you’re finished. While you’re waiting, why not try out some other pine cone ideas?

More pine cone decoration ideas

Snow-topped pine cones

These look lovely grouped together in a bowl or vase, or just scattered on windowsills and around a fireplace. Take a big, open pine cone and apply white paint to the edges to look like snow. Once dried, you could add a little sparkle by dotting some of the scales with glue and adding silver glitter.

Metallic pine cones

Pine cones look great when they’re dipped or painted in gold or silver paint. You can add glitter afterwards if you want to make them shimmer too.

Tip: If you’re dipping your pine cone in paint or glue, it’s always a good idea to check for any small bugs that might be making their home inside.

Mini Christmas tree pine cones

Make your own mini Christmas tree by choosing a large, open pine cone. Dip or cover it in green paint. When it’s dry, glue small pom-poms or beads onto the face-up ends of the pine cone scales. Add a dusting of glitter after painting if you’d like to create a tinsel effect.

Pine cone heart

Still have some pine cones left over? Dip them in white paint and, when they’re dry, use strong glue to stick the sides together and create the outline of a large heart. This one’s a little tricky but you’ll get really effective results if you’re working with smaller pine cones that are a similar size. Once you’ve finished, you can hang your creation with ribbon as an alternative Christmas wreath or prop it up against a big pile of presents.

Share your creations

We’d love to see your sustainable and natural Christmas decoration creations. Share them with us on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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