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PINE CONE PERFECTION
You can never have enough pine cones! That is deﬁnitely my motto at this time of year. They are readily available for purchase; natural, glittered, painted and my favorite, cinnamon scented. You can ﬁnd these on-line, in your local grocery stores or free for the picking in many areas of the country by going for a stroll through your neighborhood. Their abundance is one of the major reasons why people have been decorating with these versatile gifts of nature for centuries. In fact pine cones were the ﬁrst glass ornaments to be made from a mold. I purchased a glass pine cone ornament from my favorite Christmas store, Bronner’s, long ago and it is still a delight to see it every year.
Since there are so many types of coniferous trees there are a wide variety of sizes of pine cones available. You can ﬁnd them from about 1/2 inch like the ones on a cedar tree, so cute! To the colossal cones on a Longleaf pine which reach up to a foot in length. The biggest pine cones in the U.S. come from California the Coulter Pine Tree (Pinus Coulteri) which can grow up to 15 inches! Endless examples of the pine cone’s re-creation can be found in ancient to modern art and everything in between. There are a multitude of decorating uses for fall, Christmas and into early spring. The easiest way to display them is to simply place them in a planter like these on frontporchplanter.com.
If you have an abundance of patience; a wreath can be made from pine cones, wired to a ready made metal ring, available at most craft and hobby stores. My mother made one when I was little, along with a pine cone tree. If you ﬁnd yourself short on time this holiday season, you can still squeeze in a few minutes to purchase a bag of pine cones or gather an armful and quickly arrange in a basket. Use all the same or mix in different sizes for more interest. Want more color? Entwine a string of Christmas tree lights around the cones.
Fill your basket of choice half way up with cones. Next set a string of lights on top. Last, put another layer of pine cones in basket, while pulling lights up through. Keep most of excess wires hidden under second layer of cones. You can also enhance a plain grapevine or styrofoam tree by using wire or gluing on small pine cones.
Are you are feeling adventurous and want to make you own grapevine tree? Turn a tomato cage (spray painted brown) upside down, gather the loose wires at the top of the cage, to a point and wrap with extra wire to secure. Then twist grapevine around and back and forth through the cage until you have covered it with the desired amount of vine. Last, attach small pine cones randomly on tree with, by wrapping large end of cone with wire and then attaching it the tree. Finish it off by placing more pine cones around the bottom of the grapevine tree with berry sprigs.
Place some pine cones around your fall, Christmas and winter collections on display; such as these snowmen and Christmas trees.
You can always add your own touch to an existing holiday ﬁgure like the snowman here my father made over 25 years ago.
I hope this gives you all some holiday inspiration and gives insight on how to incorporate natural pine cones into your decor!