Introduction: Pinecone Christmas Trees

About: I'm a Mechancial/Aerospace Engineer that likes to tinker in my spare time. I make my own Christmas Cards.

We all know that pine cones are the beautiful Fibonacci's Spiraled capsules that contain future Christmas Trees, but who has the time to wait for that? Besides, those terms to be large, sappy, dropping sharp needles right where you plan to step without shoes and are difficult to give to friends or stuff in stockings. What we need to do is bring out the tiny Christmas Tree in each of them. It's a good thing you found your way here, because that's just what I'm going to show you how to do.

First thing, get on your hunter gatherer hat and bring together the following materials:

  • A pine cone
  • Colored pipe cleaners
    • I'm going with one red, one blue, two green, and two metallic silver
    • Your setup may vary with taste
  • Mini pom poms, assorted colors
  • Christmas Spirit or a good approximation
  • Glue
  • (optional) Hot Toddy

Step 1: Under Layers

To start out, use the metallic pipe cleaner to make a star. Bend one end into a zig-zag pattern with 5 points. Pull the zig-zag around in a circle to form a star. Wrap the free end of the pipe cleaner around the center to secure it in place. Now place the star at the tip of the pinecone and nestle the free end into the natural valley that spirals downward between pinecone petals. Wrap downward, following the natural spiral and pulling the pipe cleaner deeper into the cone. When you reach the bottom, keep the same direction and wind back up. Make a bend in the end of the pipe cleaner and push into the built up pile to secure it.

Now use the red and blue pipe cleaners to make an under layer. This bulks out your tree and the colors peeking through suggest ornaments on the inner branches.

Start at the tip of the cone. Make a sharp bend in the tip of the pipe cleaner to catch on one of the cone petals. Like the metallic pipe cleaner, wrap downward, following the natural spiral. Make a bend in the end of the pipe cleaner and push into the built up pile to secure it.

Repeat this again with the red pipe cleaner (or go red-blue, or magenta-turquoise it’s your tree). It might not have much effect, but I like to wrap my second under layer in the opposite direction as the first.

Step 2: Green Layers

This follows with essentially the same wrap as the last step, but with your green pipe cleaners. Try to keep the layers even and don't worry if the underlayers show through.

After two layers of green, add one final outer layer of metallic silver as a garland. Keep this wrapping loose to allow the layers underneath to show through.

Step 3: Ornaments

Apply a mix of pom pom colors to make little ornaments.

I used Elmer's Glue, which works for materials that are porous. You could also use hot glue if you like. Be careful not to burn your fingers if you do as the pom poms are small. If you have small bits of other materials you can add them also for variety. At this scale your bits could be anything suggestive of an ornament. You could even use some rice grains with tips painted orange to make tiny "candles".

Step 4: Mix a Hot Toddy and Enjoy

While waiting for the glue to dry, why not mix up a hot toddy and enjoy some Christmas cheer. Possibly enjoy some Super Cookie Christmas Trees. Elmer's Glue should dry overnight. I'll be here contemplating what next tiny thing to make. Feel free to make suggestions for mini ornaments and I'll see what I can whip up! Perhaps I'll try some tiny origami ornaments. Let me see your trees as well!

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015