Yesterday I explained that I have spent a lot of the year dealing with a surplus of pine cones. Having decided to love the massive Scots pine that gifts me with cones year-round, I offloaded a lot of the cones on eBay and gave them away to anyone who’d have them. I still had over a hundred left, mind.
Having lived in East London for a long time before moving to Kent, I had forgotten that there were parts of the country where you can leave your car or your festive wreath outside without it being stolen or vandalised. The first Christmas here I realised that it’s a bit remiss to leave your front door unadorned, and as I was about to buy one this week I thought: the cones!
After a bit of research online I discovered a lot of people do this. Just as I was about to buy a wreath base, I found a great video tutorial on how to easily make a wreath with pine cones.
You will need:
- 1 wire coat hanger
- Glue gun and glue sticks (I think I used about six small ones)
- Pony beads (make sure the hole in the beads is large enough to comfortably slot on and off the wire of the coat hanger)
- Pine cones (I think I probably used about 60, though it depends on their size)
- Large ribbon or fabric remnants
1. ‘Unhook’ the coat hanger so you have a long bit of bendy wire with a few kinks in it
2. Shape the hanger into a circle and, using the pliers, remove the kinks as far as you can before bending the ends into hooks as shown.
3. Take a cone and put a generous blob of glue on its base. Apply a bead to the base, taking great care to secure the bead on the cone while not blocking either side of the bead’s hole.
4. Repeat for all of the other pine cones
5. Once you’ve allowed time for the glue to dry properly (it’ll go from clear to cloudy) slide the pine cones onto the wire.
It’ll take a bit of arranging – you need to gently move the cones without breaking the cones or snapping off the beads, while ensuring that the beads are close enough together that the cones obscure the wire.
(You might have to experiment with the order of sizes).
6. Once the wire is full, carefully hook the ends together to form a circle.
7. Take the ribbon and tie into a large bow. I found that the ribbon I had wasn’t large enough to hide the hooked area or really look right, so I decided to make one out of a bit of silk I had lying around from a failed dress experiment. This is good for remnants as you need a section that’s long and thin, and so I was able to use a long section down the selvedge.
Disgracefully, instead of going upstairs to use the sewing machine, or ironing at all, I decided to glue the whole thing together as shown. What I wanted was a long strip with diagonal ends, and a long strip that I’d place on top of this before folding it over into the centre at either end and securing around the middle with another, narrower strip.
8. Position the bow on top of your wreath.
Hang on your front door! Or anywhere else you fancy (it’s quite wide, so you’ll probably need a fairly long screw or nail on the door/in the wall).
Here you go! I thought about spraying it with white or gold paint but decided against it.
I’m quite pleased with this! Let’s see whether it stays together until January!
If you give this a go yourself, or can think of any other uses for pine cones (they’re still falling!) then please do let me know.
Also, please…be careful with glue guns. That glue gets really hot!