DIY Pine Cone Christmas Tree
This pine cone Christmas tree is a beautiful and easy DIY, and if you have pine trees nearby, it’ll only cost a few bucks to make!
You know, it sometimes boggles my mind. Seriously, why didn’t it ever occur to me when I lived in a house surrounded by dang pine trees??
Oh, I’m not talking about scavenging pine cones for a pine cone Christmas tree like the one I’m about to show you.
Nope, I’m talking about harvesting the pine nuts from the eleventy billion or so pine cones we collected back in our Northern days.
Pine nuts, madam! The secret is right in the name! They come from stinking pine cones, which I was literally surrounded by. But did I harvest them?
No! I was an idiot who bought them at the grocery store for absurdly inflated prices that rivalled fancy gemstones and precious metals.
Only now that I’m not surrounded by pine trees has it occurred to me what a baffle-snouted dunderhead I was back then.
Of course, it may not have turned out according to plan, even if I had thought of it. Can you imagine the conniption my babes would have had if I harvested all the nuts from her crafting pine cones, leaving a smashed and useless pile of garbage in their place?
Yep, maybe it’s better that the pine nuts notion never took hold while we were in Connecticut.
And look, it’s not like there aren’t any pine trees in Florida. In fact there are nine species. It’s just that they’re not sitting on my property and pooping out free crafting (and snacking) materials at regular intervals throughout the year.
Oh well. Live, learn and try to do better is all we can do, right? So if by chance our new Florida home (wherever and whenever that will be) has pine trees, you can bet your sweet bippy that I’ll be foraging for pine nuts as well as crafting materials!
So speaking of pine cones (nutted or nutless, faux or real), this pine cone Christmas tree is a great way to use your stash.
You do have a stash of pine cones, don’t you?
Of course you do. Everyone does.
Our stash is half real, half faux and the cones range in size from gargantuan (real ones from a sugar pine) to the comparatively microscopic (bought in a bag from Hobby Lobby – still real though). Our faux cones are both frosted and au naturel. We’ve found that Dollar Tree is a great source in a pinch. They have seasonal picks that are loaded with faux pine cones – they just need a little snip to be freed.
For this project I used pine cones from about 2 inches wide down to about 1/4 inch wide. The key is to have an assortment of sizes in between. Our collection looked like this when I started:
I later discovered I was a little lacking in the middle section (of the pine cones, madam, not me – I’m not lacking in the middle section!), but a quick trip to Dollar Tree solved that issue.
Okay, enough yapping, let’s make a pine cone Christmas tree!
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DIY Pine Cone Christmas Tree
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- Foam cone (we used a Dollar Tree one)
- Pine cones ranging from 2 inches down to 1/4 inch
- Hot glue gun
- Stick, dowel or branch (we used a birch branch from Hobby Lobby)
- Wood cup/box (Dollar Tree)
- Floral foam (to stick in the wood cup – again from Dollar Tree)
- String lights
Dollar Tree carries foam cones, and they make a perfect base for a pine cone Christmas tree.
Okay, here we go! I put some hot glue on the base of the pine cone…
…and stuck it to the base of the cone. Note that I left some overhang at the bottom. This will help hid the cone better.
I repeated the process all around the base. I selected pine cones of the same size for the base.
When I got more than halfway around, I placed the foam cone on the table and kept going.
Next row up – same process, slightly smaller pine cones.
I carried on like this all the way up, using smaller and smaller pine cones as I approached the top.
For the tree topper, I used a perfect pine cone that I found in our stash. Look at this beauty!
There were a lot of gaps between pine cones that showed the white foam underneath. I filled those holes with the small pine cones.
I continued scanning for areas of white and then plugging those areas with small pine cones until there was no trace of the floral foam cone beneath the tree.
When I was happy with the tree, I glued on the trunk – a piece of a birch tree branch.
I cut a piece of floral foam to fit inside the wood cylinder and then used a ling thin knife to scoop out the foam in the middle. I squirted a good amount of hot glue into the hole.
Then I stuck the trunk into the hole.
Almost done – just one more step!
Fairy lights! My all-time favorite crafting material!
Now, lest you think this last step was all rainbows and unicorn farts, let me assure you that it was no carnival. Let me explain.
So (to me) the best way to wrap the lights (according to the oatmeal between my ears) was to try to bury the wire deep within the folds of the pine cones (where the pine nuts live and the sun don’t shine). Since Handan was about 15 feet away on the other side of the apartment (may as well have been the dark side of the moon), I just hiked up my britches and went about wrapping the lights…my way.
A dude’s way.
The way of the ninja.
You know…the right way?
But then my babes came sniffing around, saw what I was doing and declared it WRONG.
Wrong, my lily white butt!
I knew how to wrap a damn set of fairy lights!
The woman had inhaled too many fumes from all of the Chinese bottle brush trees that were smelling up our Christmas display.
Wrong, indeed! I’d tell her where she could shove her “WRONG!”
“Okay, my babes,” I said.
She then explained the CORRECT way to wrap fairly lights around a DIY pine cone Christmas tree. Then she turned and walked back to the display shelf while I made faces at her backside.
While making those faces, I must have forgotten her preferred method. I could have sworn she wanted me to wrap it all loosey-goosey around the tree – starting at the top and proceeding to the bottom in a nice and orderly fashion.
When she returned to survey my work, she again declared it WRONG.
I had fantasies of running into the kitchen and cooking a box of spaghetti until the noodles were perfectly al dente, whereupon I’d fish one from the pot and hurl it across the apartment at her in the hopes if it thwapping onto her forehead and sticking there.
“Okay, my babes,” I said, “Can you show me how you want it?”
Then she did. And then I understood. Here I was wrapping the dang thing in a much too orderly fashion. My babes wanted it random, like ups and downs along with the round-and-rounds.
“Ahhhhh, I see,” I said. I was tempted to add the rest of the sentence we used to say as kids after “I see,” but I held my tongue. You readers around my age may know it or maybe even variations of it.
Anyway, once my babes showed me The Way, I wrapped the lights to her beaming approval and our DIY pine cone Christmas tree was ready to shine!
Here’s how our tree looks with the fairy lights off.
Of course, we think it looks much better with the fairy lights turned on!
Fairy lights make everything better.
I love your web-site and love following your story. You are two really talented people. I have even made some of your items. BUT, there are so many ads on your site that I can barely follow the instructions. Everything gets covered up by advertisements. When you click one off, another takes its place. It is just so hard to try and follow your instructions. I have a PC; can’t afford an APPLE product. Maybe things are different on an APPLE. I just wish you didn’t have to have so many ads.
Hi Deborah, I must not be seeing what you’re seeing. Please see the attached link. It’ll take you to a screen recording I just did of me clicking on our latest post from our homepage and then scrolling down through it. I just don’t see anything getting covered up by advertisements. If you are seeing that, can you please take a screenshot, because that is not how our ads are supposed to work. Thank you! 🙂
Click here to watch the recording
I love this and living in Michigan Pine Cones are plentiful. However if I wanted to use this outside, what glue would you suggest? I’m thinking E6000. Hot Glue will quickly crack and not hold.
Agreed, Lara. E-6000 is a much better choice. I generally don’t use it for quick indoor crafts because of its 24 hour cure time, but for outside – can’t beat it!
Yet another amazing diy from the Patch! I am sitting here giving myself a pep talk to get outside and hoist myself up the side of our hill so I can get some pine cones! It’s steep so it takes me a bit of time so I don’t face plant. lol At least it’s not a long way! I can’t wait to try to make this. I know it will be worth the trip! lol Have a great weekend!
Go get ’em, Kathryn! You’ll be happy you did! 🙂
Do you stick the battery pack to the underside of the cone? I find them a bit of a pain, some are so big! Lovely tree.
Hi Janice, for this one, I just stuck it to the backside of the wooden cup it’s in. You don’t see it unless you peek around back.
Could you also reserve space inside the base for the battery box?
You could, Toni. The only issue I see then is accessibility. The best solution might be using remote-controlled fairy lights. Added bonus: you can select from different twinkling patterns (or just always on).
Hello! Please don’t feel badly about missing the opportunity to dig out the “pine-nuts” from all those lovely standing pines in Connecticut! In all likelihood they were not the ones to typically produce a seed of edible proportions! “ I thought I recalled that it is stone pine trees which have the proper seed- so I checked!
“ Do all pine trees produce edible pine nuts?”
Search domain findanyanswer.comhttps://findanyanswer.com › do-all-pine-trees-produce-edible-pine-nuts
Moreover, what kind of pine tree makes pine nuts? Pine nuts come from pinyon pine trees. These pines are native to the United States, although other pines with edible pine nuts are native to Europe and Asia, like the European stone pine and the Asian Korean pine. Pine nuts are the smallest and the fanciest of all nuts.”
Further inquiry determined that those pine trees in Connecticut were NOT the ones which would provide many rewards for you labour’s anyway! Typically the seeds of white pine are not very large. ( there’s a reason why squirrels are generally small!)
I think this little tree which you have created -is lovely- and I would be delighted to make one- but here in the Canadian prairies- pine, and spruce cones are at a premium! I’d have to buy them! … and that would be like buying “pine nuts” – premium priced indeed!
Have a Beautiful Day
Hi Laurie, thanks for the pine nut primer! I guess I won’t be foraging after all (well, maybe a little just for fun). Good news for our crafting supplies! 😀
Beautiful pinecone tree. I must try one of these to match my pinecone wreath. You and Handan do great work together. I so enjoy your blogs and sense of humor. Happy holidays.
Thank you so much, Beverly! It is our pleasure to share our projects with the world! 🙂
You know when I first read the ‘Pinecones Christmas tree title I thought, oh no, he is going to show a pathetic large pinecone with some dusting of snow…boy was I wrong!!! This is a really great looking pinecone Christmas tree. You guys have really out done yourselves again. How foolish I feel right now. After all this time following you two I should have known better. Please forgive me…
LOL! All is forgiven, Mona! I’m happy you like our version! 🙂
The suburb I used to live in had a lake appropriately titled Piney Lake. Pine trees grew everywhere and we were always picking them up off our lawn before we had to mow, or kicking them along as we walked to school. Sadly, I can’t think of a single pine tree I’ve seen around where I live now! Though that might be a good thing. Galahs (a type of parrot here) absolutely love them and decimate the trees, dropping pine cones and branches everywhere while they squawk and flap around in the canopy!
I just Googled a galah – weird-looking bird when it puffs up it’s crest! Sounds like they’d drive me crazy. There is a rogue population of parrots in San Francisco, and I remember the racket they would make!