Guest Author - Kimberly Misra
Making craft projects with natural materials is a wonderful way to banish cabin fever and get the kids outdoors. This pine cone door decoration is an easy way to spruce up your home for any holiday. For this project you will need pine cones, paint, glitter, and ribbon. You may find a hot glue gun and floral wire useful for assembling the finished project.
The first thing you will need to do is gather the pine cones. This is best done on a dry day, so that the pine cones will be ready to paint. When dry, the layers of the pine cones will be fully open. Open pine cones create a prettier project and are easier for kids to paint. If you can't find pine cones outdoors, you can often purchase them at craft stores.
If your pine cones are wet or closed up you can dry them on a sheet of newspaper for several days. Or, to speed up the process, you can use your oven. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Clean off any pine needles that are stuck to the cones. Place the pine cones on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake them for about one hour. Check on the cones frequently to avoid burning them. When they are fully opened and cooled you are ready to start!
This project is messy, so line your work space with newspapers before you begin. Set out an assortment of paints, glitter, and paintbrushes. Have the kids paint their pine cones. You can customize the colors for a particular holiday. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle glitter all over the pine cones. Do this over a paper plate so any excess can be re-used or returned to the container.
Let the pine cones dry until they can be easily handled. Glue a strand of ribbon to the top of each one. A hot glue gun makes this easier. Vary the lengths of the ribbon if you wish, so that the pine cones will hang at different heights in your finished decoration. Alternatively, you could use hot glue to attach a loop of floral wire to the top of each pine cone and let kids thread thin ribbon through the loop. Tie the tops of the ribbons together, adjusting the length of the ribbons as necessary.
Kids can hang their finished decoration on their bedroom doors, on a wall, or over a window. When the holiday is over, you can save their decoration for next year by wrapping it carefully in newspaper and storing it in a lidded box.