Holiday Crafting

I’ve had an idea in mind’s eye for a long time of a shinny white pinecone wreath with a green satin floppy bow. So, long ago I collected pinecones of all sizes. This involved picking up giant pinecones on the side of the road in Southern Pines where the cones are the size of giant grapefruits, and walking my neighborhood picking up cones before lawnmowers crushed them. I put bags of pine cones in my garage last year to dry out fully.

Of course I looked on Pintrest to see if anyone else had already tried to create the look I was going for of completely coated high gloss pinecones made into a wreath. No one had posted anything close to my idea. White pinecones were never very white since they were either spray painted or bleached, leaving you with a whitish cone.

So I moved ahead with my plan. I bought a can of high gloss latex paint at Home Depot. I attached a wire to the end of my beautiful giant pine cones. Setting up a dipping and drying station in the drive way where I dipped my pinecones into the gallon of paint. They were so big each one barely fit in the can.

It was amazing the amount of paint a pinecone can grab onto. I tried to drain each one, but ended up collecting the dripping in foil pans to be added back to the gallon. The newly dipped pine cones were beautiful, looking exactly as I imagined them. I wired up smaller pinecones from our neighborhood and dipped them. I left my first round of cones outside overnight to dry.

To my horror when I woke up I discovered that all my full and lush pinecones had taken in the moistures from the paint and pulled their little scales up tight into a closed form. This greatly changed the look and made them about half their size. Not what I had imagined, but I persevered.

Getting the paint to dry meant setting up a drying rack in the furnace room and hanging all the pinecones in there for two weeks. I didn’t want to give up on this project so I wired the white pinecones to a form and then hot glued them into place. They are incredibly heavy with a full gallon of paint and they don’t like to stay where I wanted them, exactly. It wasn’t bad, just not what I had envisioned.

I went ahead and sewed the green silk charmeuse I had purchased to make the bow. I was happy with the way that turned out. I add the bow to the wreath and hung it up. The overall effect is good, just not spectacular as I had envisioned.

Arts and crafts is always an experimentation. Sometimes it works, but it usually takes practice. I guess that there is no way for me to achieve the look I wanted. I did take some of the large unpainted pinecones and make a simple wreath with those. I guess you shouldn’t try and improve on Mother Nature. Mothers always know best.


One Comment on “Holiday Crafting”

  1. Stori Cadigan says:

    Next time instead of dipping the cones spray them with spray paint. They won’t close up! Awesome effort and great project. xxooo


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