What could be a more natural ornament to festoon your Yule tree with than a pine cone? Clearly they’re nature’s own ornaments, and they look fantastic on anyone’s tree. There’s about a hundred ways to make your own pine cone ornaments, and many of them involve real pinecones. In fact, I have a distinct childhood memory of taking a pine cone, outlining each scale with Elmer’s craft glue, and then shaking glitter over the whole thing.
I had a blast doing that, but I don’t recall those particular ornaments returning to our tree the following year. Since my mom was religious about keeping all the ornaments we kids made until they disintegrated (I’m fairly certain there’s still an ugly Perler bead ornament or two in her collection), I have a feeling these real pine cone ornaments were very fragile. Also, glitter is evil.
Of course, making artificial pinecones is incredibly easy, especially if they’re made of materials that don’t take themselves so seriously (that is, you can obviously tell the pinecones are not real). I’ve found a couple versions I really love, namely this scrap fabric number from Home Made Simple, and this really sharp paper number from The Hybrid Chick.
In either case, the underlying philosophy is the same. You take an egg-shaped base (crumple tin foil in the fabric cone, a styrofoam egg in the paper cone), and–from tip to top–you overlap individual scales atop each other, attaching them with hot glue, pins, or whatever else seems appropriate. You can cap them off with a special piece of fabric or paper, or attach some decorative greenery for a more festive flair.
Instructions for the fabric pine cone can be found at the website linked above, or your own common sense and this template. The Hybrid Chick has a great phototutorial for the paper pine cone on her page, but the basic gist is that you cut a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper into 1″ x 1″ squares, then fold two corners to the center to get a shape that looks a bit like a box house. Then you pin the scales point-down onto a styrofoam egg and hot glue some embellishments to the top. Easy peasy.