I’ve been up to painting some cones. I did one silver pine cone for our own tree last Christmas – I couldn’t stop admiring it! This year I gathered some more cones and tried to take some photos for a DIY post while making my first batch. Sorry for some of the photos being somewhat blurry – the photographing conditions are any good at my apartment only when it’s sunny and around noon! Here’s THE cone from last Christmas, already impatient for another December.
Now, here is what you do:
First you’ll need:
– clean pine cones
– silver acrylic paste
– silver tone eye screws (size as small as possible, but large enough to stay firmly in your cones)
– a paint brush
– thread for hanging and scissors
It’s also a good idea to prepare a place where to hang your cones to dry once painted. I have one of those small round sock laundry hangers where I can dry my cones, acorns and other tiny painted hanging objects.
And you’ll also need somewhere to soak your cones:
1) Step One – Soak Your Cones.
I used the lid of a baking dish, I sometimes bake small cakes in it. You’ll see that couple of the cones already have an eye screw attached to them – if you want to make only one or two of these ornaments, you can skip the soaking part and fight your eye screws into a dry cone and then patiently paint every tip of each scale. I did that to a few test cones and realized that dry cones are really hard to get screws in plus it takes ages to paint each scale separately. So threw the cones into water to dry out an easier way. It took about an hour for my cones to soak up, but it may take longer for some other variety. I think it should be okay to leave them soaking overnight too, or throw them into water in the morning and then do your painting whenever you have time during the day.
2) Step Two – Screw The Screws.
When the cones had mostly closed (some cones my not close fully no matter how long they soak) I took them out of the water and dried off with a towel (choose one that won’t leave many fibres on the cones). Then I removed any remnants of twigs they might have had and screwed eye screws in their place. First with fingers and then final twists with pliers. It was a surprise how easy it was compared to dry cones.
3) Step Three – Attach Cords.
I had some leftover pieces of thread I used for drying, but if you don’t mind getting some paint on the cords by accident you can save time and put on the hanging cords at this step.
4) Step Four – The Silver Fun.
Now you’re ready to paint. Try to place your hanging rack nearby (I have a lamp just over the kitchen table with a handle to pull it down/push up, and since cones are not that heavy it’s a perfect place to hang my cones hanger), squeeze some paint out of the tube take the brush and pain. I found it easiest to begin with the tip of the cone, slowly retreating my fingers to the eye screw – which’d be my final handle. See that your cones are not dripping wet – too much water will dilute the paint and make it difficult to cover the cone. It might be more fun to spray paint the cones, if you wish. But you need a well ventilated room for that. Also, think through the safety of the painting process if you do this fun DIY with your kids!
5) Step Five – Let Them Dry.
So, now you’re almost there! Let your cones hang on the rack until the paint is dry and then you’ll have to wait another couple of days until the cones themselves dry and open up. Be sure to keep them out in the air and in a dry place! Of course, if you skipped the soaking part you’ll only have to wait for the paint do dry. If you wish to add a ribbon bow you can do it when the paint is dry but cones are still closed – easier to tie then.
And then, one day you’ll go check on your cones, and voilà:
Let me know if you tried these! How did they turn out? What kind of paint did you end up using, and did you add any ribbon?