Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Crafts—Pinecones, Cinnamon Sticks, Mini Sleighs, Oh My!

We have been getting crafty around the Horvath and Guthrie households lately.  Christmas is coming soon and there’s not much time left for DIY decorations and ornaments and gifts!  But even though time is short and we’re all busy, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without some family crafting fun! 

After perusing the December Country Living, my mom and I got together to craft a couple of pinecone trees like those featured here.  We had a few giant pinecones already so we only had to buy styrofoam cones for our project.  After taking all the scales off the pinecone, we cut the end curved part off so it would stick to the styrofoam form easier.  Then we simply glued them to the foam in rows and overlapped them slightly.  The size of the scales decreases as you go up the tree and we saved the tiny ones for the top.  The top scales were flipped over so the curved part was flipping out instead of in so it would give a better pointy shaped at the tip.  It took several hours (maybe two?) to make these two trees with two people working—one destructing the pinecone, and one gluing.  It was time-consuming, but so worth it! 


We put the completed trees in our “rustic winter” vignette that we created on top of Mama’s desk.  We left our cone trees au natural, but you could also add gold paint on the tips or glitter as you desire.  We arranged our trees with a scattering of pinecones, cedar sprigs and red berries.  But our little vignette was not complete until we did an extensive local search for suitable reindeer to live in our pinecone forest.  We finally found said deer at World Market.  Mama deer and Baby deer… baby deer was an ornament but perfectly matched, so we removed the hanging loop and stood it up beside Mama.  I LOVE IT!  I love it so much that we went back the next day to get another reindeer family for my house!


  Mine are hanging out on the living room cabinet with Santa.  Best part, even Michael thought they were cute.  I kind of imagine them having a conversation… Baby says to Mama:  “Is it Christmas yet?”  Hopefully we’ll get a chance to make two pinecone trees for my deer sometime this season, too! 

Another pinecone craft we worked on was a hemlock pinecone ornament.  We saw these for sale at Michael’s and decided we could make some with supplies we already had on hand.  We used satin covered styrofoam ornaments and mini hemlock pinecones which we harvested from my grandparent’s farm.  You can also get them at craft stores.  Simply hot glue the pinecones to the foam making sure they are pointing out and squished tightly together.  Then we sprayed them with gold paint followed by spray adhesive and a dusting of gold glitter.  We did leave some plain for our pinecone forest (above).  Aren’t they cute?


And easy, too.  I think mine needs a bow to hide the paperclip hook.  :)

We also made another ornament inspired by Michael’s.  Theirs was made from sticks in the shape of a snowflake.  But my version is made from cinnamon sticks instead.


I broke the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces and arranged them in a snowflake shape.  The whole thing is held together with hot glue.  After the basic form was assembled, we added tiny pine pieces, baby pinecones, and glittering berries.  A gold string makes it ready for the tree!  These are really inexpensive and easy—they would be perfect embellishments for packages or as a gift itself, and they smell great! 

Our final Christmas craft is a wooden sleigh centerpiece.  My dad has been building these sleighs non-stop since November.  We ordered the plans from The Winfield Collection.  The sleighs we made are slightly larger than the tiny pattern.  They are the perfect size for gift baskets full of baked goods or a centerpiece filled with greenery!


We made several centerpieces to give as gifts this year.  We put a container of wet floral foam in the inside and stuffed it with fir trimmings, cedar sprigs, hemlock, pinecones and glittery goodness.  This one featured gold braid around the edges of the sleigh:


Some were filled with shiny ornaments and bells…


This one had gold pears and ornaments…


And this one had a glittery bow and red berries…


We had so much fun going through our stash of Christmas picks and berries and glittery ornaments deciding what to put in each centerpiece.  The best part is once the greenery dies and the season is over, you get to keep the cute sleigh.  I envision them filled with shiny ornaments or even a tiny Santa next time around.

That is not the end of my Christmas crafting, so I’ll try to stop in again and share some more projects with you.  In the meantime, there are some Christmas projects of the sewing kind that are awaiting my attention!  Only 10 days to go!