If you venture into the woods this time of the year, you’ll find the forest floor scattered with pine cones. So, bring a big bag with you to collect them for making some pine cone-based crafts this month. Don’t worry if your pine cones haven’t fully opened, as you can open them yourself at home. There are several ways to open pine cones yourself. ‘Baking’ them in the oven is a popular method and the fastest. But it’s also quite messy and can be risky. Air drying them, although very slow, is the safest way.
First sterilise the pine cones to get rid of any creepy crawlies and debris. Soak them in a basin of water and vinegar for 30 minutes and then leave them to dry overnight. Transfer to a basket and leave them for a few days in a warm place to allow them to open up.
When they’re ready, get crafting.
Pine cone acorns
Acorns are one of the most prized treasures when it comes autumn foraging. They’re beautifully dainty and can be crafted into tiny teacups for fairies. But they’re terribly hard to gather as they’re usually all taken before they’ve turned brown. If you missed out on collecting acorns this year, you can create your own version.
Cut a piece of burlap and cover three quarters of the pine cone. Check that you don’t have too much material before you glue in place. Trim the edges of the burlap if you need to before tucking into the crevices and gluing in place.
Yarn pine cones
With a clean paint brush, dab some glue into the crevices of the pine cone. Cut some strips of wool and wind these around the crevices in the pinecone. Use bright colours to contrast against the brown. Use red, green and gold for Christmas decorations, or just plain white to make them look like they’re sprinkled with snow.
Pine cone fairies /elves /angels
Take a pipe cleaner and glue this to the base of the pine cone. Glue a wooden ball on top of this, then bend the pipe cleaner to shape the arms.
Take another pipe cleaner, bend this in half and then glue to the pointy part of the pine cone for the legs.
For the wings, take two coloured leaves and glue these to the back of the pine cone. For the hair, stick some dried moss on top of the head. Leave the faces blank or paint on the features with a thin brush.