When we were at market earlier this year, we visited the Lion Ribbon showroom and this gorgeous pine cone tree simply sold us on the brown check burlap ribbon. The subtle shades of brown in the different pine cones just made the bold check ribbon a perfect compliment to this gift from nature.
This tree was hand made using an upside down tomato cage and the pine cone were wired around the cage. I knew immediately that it was something that I wanted to try to duplicate for my home this Christmas season. And it’s a style of decoration that you could put up in September with some pretty autumn fall ribbon and orange-gold leaves….and it would work right through Halloween and Thanksgiving.
For Christmas you could change out the ribbon, add in some gold embellishments for fresh greenery and red berries. You could even apply some fake snow….
I did some research on the Internet and Pinterest of course to see about finding a tutorial to make a pine cone tree and it wasn’t as easy to find one as you might think.
The tomato cage in one article was showed placed upside down in a large flower pot filled with dirt. The rim of the tomato cage was secured into the dirt with a ‘U” shaped peg like a big staple. Also saw one that suggested securing the tomato cage with a stake fashioned out of a coat hanger that just hooked around the rim and was pushed into the dirt. The top of the tomato cage was held together with wire.
One article suggested setting the tomato cage on top of a straw wreath to protect the table top and to make it easy to move it around etc.
Another way to make the pine cone tree was to take a really large Styrofoam cone shape and stick floral pins into the pine cone and then stick the pine cones into the Styrofoam – starting at the bottom with larger cones and going around and up.
The Styrofoam cone would likely be the most expensive manner of creating the pine cone tree considering the cost of Styrofoam these days and putting too much money into the tree….would take the fun out of creating it!
One tree made with Styrofoam suggested covering the cone with moss first which could be hot glued on or secured with floral pins….so you wouldn’t have any gaps of white showing.
A tomato cage only cost a couple of dollars, but probably the least expensive manner was making a cone out of poster board and hot gluing the pine cones to the cone. One thing that I really liked about that post was, they punched little holes in the cardboard and inserted a strand of battery powered lights inside the cone with a little light sticking out of each hole. Black poster board was used.
I also did a little research on preparation of pine cones for decorating. Wow, that was an eye opener. Being from the South….anytime we’ve ever decorated with pine cones….we just picked up the cleanest ones…..let them air dry and used them. But according to some ? experts…..I don’t know……they suggested washing in warm soap water….rinsing……and air drying. Some suggested baking in the oven on a low heat to “glaze” the pine rosin. Some suggestions were to add some bleach to the water.
Mainly, they need to be clean, dry and free of insects. I’m not planning on baking any in my oven at this time….the last ones I picked up in the back yard were tied up in plastic bags and thrown in the garage attic that probably is warmer than 100 degrees in the summertime…..guess you could call that a slow roast…..they were nice and opened open when I used them))) Sometimes I do spray them with a little clear acrylic just to add some shine.
Burlap is so trendy right now and we have many, many burlap items to choose from. Wouldn’t this Burlap Top Hat make a nice topper to the pine cone tree!