How to make pine cone Christmas decorations

A pine cone being used to make a mouse Christmas decoration

Creating sustainable decorations is not only a brilliant way to make your Christmas a little greener, but it’s also lots of fun. Plus you get to kick up the last of the autumn leaves and get into the wild to forage for natural materials – what could be better than that?

Collect your pine cones
 
Nature has its own way of decorating our woodland paths and countryside in Winter. This is the time when pine cones drop off their branches. They're just as beautiful outside as they are in, so we've come up with a few ideas to spruce them up for the festive season.
 
How to make a pine cone mouse
 
This little cutie is easy to make and looks great as part of a collection of decorations, or perched on a mantelpiece.
 
Materials
  • Small pine cone
  • Acorn cup
  • Two large pine cone scales
  • Twine or a soft and bendable twig
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • Glue (PVA works fine, but using a glue gun or craft glue will save time)
Steps
 
1. Make your 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 acryclic gives a more polished result. Once 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 of your mouse parts in place first before attaching with glue

2. Make your 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.

3. 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.
 
4. 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 of our other pine cone ideas below?
 
Glittery pine cones
 
Simple but effective, these sparkly pine cones look great on a Christmas tree. Just take a medium or large pine cone, paint on some glue and then mix and match your favourite glitter colours. You can make it less messy by doing this over a magazine and pouring the excess glitter back in the pot, or by putting the glitter and pine cone into a sandwich bag and shaking it up.
 
How to hang your pine cone:
 
A quick and easy way is to tie a piece of thin ribbon (twine and elastic are also good options) around the top scale, or stem if it is still attached. Then take the ends of your ribbon and tie a knot or bow. For a bit more razzle dazzle, slip a couple of jingle bells or beads onto the ribbon ends before you tie them.
 
Snow topped pine cones
 
A favourite, these look lovely grouped together in a bowl or vase, or just scattered on window sills and around a fireplace. Just 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 just dipped or painted in full 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
 
Lots of fun and you get to use pomp poms! Make your own mini Christmas tree by choosing a large, open pine cone. Dip or cover in green paint. When dry, glue small pomp poms or beads onto the face-up ends of the pine cone scales. Add a dusting of glue and glitter after painting if you’d like to create a tinsel effect.
 
Pine cone heart
 
Still got some pine cones left over? Why not dip them in white paint and, when dry, glue the sides together to create the outline of a large heart. This one’s a little tricky and but has really effective results if you’re working with smaller pine cones that are a similar size. Stronger glue, or a great deal of patience will be needed! Once finished, it can be hung with ribbon as an alternative Christmas wreath or propped up against that big pile of presents.
 
 
 
Video

How to make a pine cone mouse

Find out how to add a natural touch to your Christmas decorations with these cute little home-made pine cone mice.