Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bringing the Outdoors IN!!! {DIY Pinecone Christmas Decor}

Today's post is all about pinecones!  That's right...this Christmas I am bringing the outdoors in!  As all of the Christmas decorations started appearing in stores I kept seeing different pinecone decor.  In fact, while in Target one day, I almost tossed some painted pinecones in my card and then I stopped myself because I remembered that we have a ton of pinecones in our yard so I knew I could create some of these same looking Christmas decorations at home.  

First up, I sent the kids on a pinecone hunt and they found bags full!   

After reading a little online I learned that it is important to bake pinecones that you plan to use indoors to kill off any tiny little bugs that might be living in them.  I wasn't sure if this step was totally necesarry, but I figured I would do it just to be safe.  I lined cookie sheets with tinfoil and baked them for 20-30 minutes at 250 degrees.  

After they had cooled off, I picked out the ones I planned to paint.  I had contemplated doing some glittered pinecones, but decided against it because I didn't want the mess.  Instead I used metallic gold spray paint for some and for a few others I used "snow" spray.  

I just did a very light coat because I wanted some of the natural color to still show through.  They dried pretty quickly and then I was ready to start decorating.  

Some I just added to a wire container and stuck a few berry sprigs in with them. Easy, simple, and so pretty for my kitchen island and table.

A few others I added to the garland on our dining room table.  

I used some of the unpainted pinecones on my new front door wreaths.  

I knew I needed new wreaths for my front doors and after checking my usually spots I learned two things 1) wreaths are pretty expensive when you consider that you need to buy two and 2) the look I wanted was simple enough that I thought I could try to recreate them on my own.  

Instead of buying pre-made wreaths for about $25-$40 each, I bought plain ones from Hobby Lobby for less than $5 each while they were on sale.  I also bought a few springs of red berries, gathered my pinecones and cut a few magnolia leaves from one of the trees in our yard.  

I spaced everything out the way I wanted it to look and then hot glued it all into place.  Lastly, I added a bow and LOVED the way they turned out.  

After all of that pinecone use you might think I was running out of those the kids had collected.  Nope.  I still had a ton left and I didn't want to let those baked pinecones to go to waste so I decided to do just one more project with them.  I had seen pinecone wreaths on Pinterest and loved the look of them so I figured I would give it a try.  I have three windows over my kitchen sink that were just screaming for something to be hanging on them for Christmas.  Here's what I came up with:

Do you just love it?  Because I do.  And even though they have fallen a few times (because my original hooks weren't strong enough), weren't the easiest to make and caused a big mess, I still love them.

If you want to create some of your own, it just takes a little time and a lot of glue!  Start with a wreath form and use hot glue to start adding the pinecones.

I tried to fit them all together like a puzzle and not only glued the pinecones to the wreath form, but also to each other so they would stick on really well.

You will end up with some blank spaces because it is impossible to get the pinecones completely covering the form. In hindsight, I would have spent a few extra dollars and gotten the foam form instead of these straw ones because I could have painted it brown and then the spaces wouldn't have been noticeable.

I didn't fret though because I knew I wanted to add berries to my wreath anyway.  I just cut off some of the berry sprigs and glued them in to cover up the blank spots.

And that is it!  These end up pretty heavy because of all of the pinecones and they are very prickly so hard to handle, but when they are hung it makes it all worth it!

And one last bit of business to conduct. I finally did the drawing for the free Jamberry nails now that my party has closed and used to create a randomly generated winner.  Congratulations to Ashleigh Finger!!! Ashleigh, I will get these in the mail to you so you can start enjoying them!  
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