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There is a German legend about a poor mother who went into the woods to gather pinecones so that she could  light them in her fireplace to keep her family warm on a cold winter night. As she picked up the pinecones, she heard a voice saying "why do you take my pinecones?"  She looked down to see a tiny woodland elf, to whom she explained that she was a poor woman with no means of keeping her children warm that night other than burning the pinecones that she was gathering in the forest.  The elf asked her to return his pinecones, and told her to travel just a little farther to another section of forest where she would have better luck. The woman emptied her basket, and wearily  struggled on to the farther forest that the elf had told her of. Upon arriving, she set down her empty basket so that she could rest at the foot of one of the tall pine trees. As she sat down, huge pinecones began dropping from the trees all around her to the forest floor. She gathered them quickly into her basket, and made the long journey home. When she returned home, the tired woman set her basket full of pinecones upon her hearth, started a small fire, and fell asleep in a chair by the fireplace.

When she awoke the next morning, she was astonished to see that her basket of pinecones were shimmering with a beautiful silvery light. She rose from the chair, and was overjoyed to find that each pinecone had turned to solid silver. She would no longer have to struggle to provide for her children with the riches the silver pinecones provided.

It is said to this day, that a silver pinecone on your holiday mantel will bring good luck in the coming year. Pinecones also symbolize the promise of spring, and re-birth, and make a great non-denominational decoration for the holiday season.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

You will need the following items:
    Large pinecones
    Spray Paint (I chose Krylon Short Cuts Antique Bronze for a nice antique silver finish)
    Silver metallic leaf 
    craft glue (Elmers, or other white craft glue)
    Embellishments such as crystals, silver glitter, etc.
    paint brush
    cardboard box

Step 2: Spray Paint the Pinecones

Place the pinecones in an open cardboard box, and spray paint them silver. Make sure to turn the pinecones as you are spraying so that you get even coverage on the pinecone.

Step 3: Adding Silver Leaf Accents

Allow the painted pinecone to dry.  Brush the edges of the pinecone with white glue, and carefully place sections of silver leaf on the wet glue. Smooth with your fingers, or a dry paintbrush.

Step 4: Add Final Embellishments

Add any additional embellishment that you would like. I've glued a dozen Austrian Crystals randomly placed on the outer edges of the pinecones for a bit of extra sparkle. Other ideas would be to add more white glue to the edges of the pinecone, and roll them in silver glitter, or sparkly white glitter for a 'snowy' effect.
 
Now let them dry, and you're ready to add your own lucky silver pinecone to your holiday display! 

 ...these happen to be sitting on the kitchen table and chairs that I just re-finished with Krylon spray paint in time for my holiday dinner...but that's another story!
I'm not sure of the species, but there is a California Pine tree with a cone about a foot tall.
Nice, I love the story that go with them.

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Bio: Most people know me as "the cookie lady" :) , though I've been drawing, painting, sewing, fusing glass, and making other creative things for as long ... More »
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