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!
DIY Pine Cone Christmas Tree
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DIY Pine Cone Tree VIDEO Tutorial
Watch our short and fun video below for an overview of our DIY pine cone tree before you read the detailed step-by-step tutorial.
Dollar Tree carries foam cones, and they make a perfect base for a pine cone Christmas tree.
…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.
When I was happy with the tree, I glued on the trunk – a piece of a birch tree branch.
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!