Rounding out our week of five minute thoughts how about a five minute craft? Sure, the total time (if you include drying, etc) is more than five minutes but the actual activity involved is barely that.
Working with natural resources not only saves money when making homemade holiday crafts, it also reminds us to enjoy the beauty of the world around us. Pinecone crafts are easy, additive, and beautiful. Today I'll be sharing 3 pinecone drafts: potpourri, an ornament, and a charm.
Simple as could be! Gather pinecones, bake, scent and enjoy!
1) Gather pinecones. I actually did this part of the activity with my daughter - and she loved it. In fact she insisted on carrying the rather large bag of pinecones home...by herself. She's all of maybe two feet, ten inches tall, did I mention that?
2) Bake pinecones on a cookie sheet lined with foil at 250F for 20 minutes to an hour (depending on how wet they might have been initially. This will kill any little bugs that might be inside and melt off any sap on the pinecones.
3) If you want a little extra glitter mix equal parts water and glue (I use Modge Podge), brush all over the pinecones and dust with glitter. I use the cheap clear stuff but if you are the great Martha you'll want the crystalline fine, fairy wing light stuff. I got the cheap stuff, works fine (it's on the top left pinecone above)
4) Add scent: You can do this in a number of ways. For subtle add spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, bay, etc) and peels of citrus fruit. For more impact add essential oils or designated potpourri oils/scents. For cheaper, use extracts you already have in the kitchen: vanilla, almond, coconut, peppermint, rose, etc.
I prefer a mix of glittered pinecones, plain pinecones, metallic pinecones, berries, fruit peels, etc. Make your mix what you think is elegant or beautiful. Truly a no-fail project.
Certainly an ornament does not have to hang on just a Christmas tree. Use this pretty decoration on wreathes, hung from a chandelier, laid on a mantle, or piled high in a bowl to bring a little shine to your space.
After collecting pinecones of various shapes and sizes go ahead and bake as per the instructions above.
Let your pinecones cool. If you would like to attach something to hang your pinecones you have a few options. You can:
1) Glue on a jump ring to thread through (I do this with hot glue, then once dry I give a quick touch with metallic paint to make it all cohesive)
2) Glue on a more elaborate finding (like this for instance)
3) Glue ribbon directly to the piece
Use a metallic craft spray paint available in craft stores in a well ventilated area and coat your pinecone as many times as you like. A good two coats should do it.
For a more durable, longer-lasting ornament or decoration you can coat again with a clear sealant or metalizer sealant (like this).
Allow to dry fully before stacking, hanging, or giving.
Follow all the steps in the above ornament instructions BUT use a very small pinecone, a small jump ring glued on, and make sure to use a sealant. String on to a chain, use for earrings, or use on a gift wrapping.
And just because I loved it - I had a little visitor while I was taking pictures.