Every time you place that glittered pinecone ornament on your Christmas tree, you remember the day your son gave it to you as if it were just yesterday. But that was more than 20 years ago and now he has a child of his own -- a child who could soon be making a pinecone ornament of his very own to bring home to your son.
While pinecones are certainly a natural fit for ornament making, they don't always have to end up on your Christmas tree. There are many coniferous-crafting projects, such as making your own pinecone picture frames, greeting cards, napkin holders, wreaths and potpourri. Only your imagination can set the limit on what you can create using pinecones.
To make pinecone potpourri, gather a collection of pinecones of varying sizes. If you're anxious to get started, you can use a hair dryer to dry and clean your pinecones. If not, grab a cookies sheet, line it with foil and preheat the oven to 200 or 250 degrees Fahrenheit (93 or 121 degrees Celsius). Place the pinecones on the cookie sheet and bake them to dry up the sticky sap [source: Fedder]. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Remove the dry pinecones from the oven and let cool.
Next, raid the spice cabinet for your favorite ground and powdered spices -- cinnamon, cloves, orange peel -- and set aside. In a well-ventilated area, spray a pinecone with clear-drying spray adhesive and sprinkle it with spices. You can use just one spice or a mixture. Continue until you have scented all your pinecones. Let them dry and then arrange them in a pottery bowl or decorative basket.
If home fragrance isn't your goal, why not make a pinecone wreath. For a small, lightweight wreath, cut off the top of a wire coat hanger. Using the remaining wire, form a circle and wind the two ends together. Secure the entire circle by wrapping it in duct tape. Gather several small pinecones. Glue each cone to the circle with hot glue until pinecones cover the entire circle. If you want a natural look, spray the wreath with a clear-drying varnish. For something more festive, spray with glitter. For a larger wreath, use a pre-made wreath form. You can find one at your local craft store or online. And instead of gluing the cones to the wreath, use floral wire to attach them.
If your yard is devoid of pinecones, don't worry -- the next page will show you another nature-inspired craft that can be accomplished sans pinecones.