I grew up in New England, where as a kid, the thought of snow for Christmas made me downright giddy. I’d trek through the woods for hours with all or any of our 5 dogs to gather things to create with and come home to a warm fireplace. I now live in the Arizona desert where the holidays mean sunshine and blue skies. I still use a lot of elements from nature when I decorate for Christmas and want to show you a snowy pine cone DIY in 3 easy steps.
I painted some of the cones so they were just tipped with white as though kissed by a frost ( obviously I’ve been listening to too many Christmas carols already!). The others I partially painted or did a full on brush, as though a blizzard had blown through. Using 3 different types of crystal glitter gives them all a different look too.
Snowy, glittered pine cones in 3 easy steps:
The materials used:
Pine cones. I foraged mine here in AZ & also in CA but you can find them in craft stores & also online.
White paint. I used a flat latex interior house paint which was left by the previous owner. It’s a great way to reuse any leftover latex house paint, interior or exterior. This acrylic paint would work just fine too.
School glue. This is also called white glue & it’s great to use because it dries clear. I’m currently using a dollar store brand but Elmer’s is a brand you might know.
Paint brushes. What size you use depends on the size cones you’re painting & how fast you want this DIY to go. I used a 1″ house painting brush & a much smaller one used for fine art.
A small bowl. This is needed to mix the paint & glue. I used a plastic plant saucer but use whatever you have on hand. Save it for future crafting projects.
Something to glitter onto. I used a flexible cutting board. When I owned a commercial Christmas decorating business, large trays & plastic bowls did the trick. Kraft paper would be fine too.
The snowy cones all painted with different strokes & different glitters. Some are heavily painted & some are just tipped. I decked them out with greens & ornaments for you!
Before starting my 1st business many moons ago, I worked for a very large florist in San Francisco. They did a lot of large events as well as many Christmas decorating jobs. I learned this simple trick from a very talented florist and decorator.
Here are those 3 easy steps:
1. Mix the white paint & glue together well. I use equal parts of both. If the mixture is super thick, then add in a few drops of water & go from there. If it’s too thin, it’ll run off the cone & make a big mess. I know this first hand!
This DIY is a great way to use up some of the leftover white house paint!
2. Paint the pine cones. How you much of the cones you paint depends on the look you want. I always go heavier with the paint & glitter on the top of the cone because that’s where the cones pick up a lot of light.
The paint & glue are all mixed up & ready to brush on. The assortment of glitters are good to go too.
3. Sprinkle on the glitter while the paint & glue are still wet. This is the fun part! Sometimes I leave the glitter on for a few minutes to make sure it really adheres.
The glitter has been dusted on & I’m letting it sit a bit before shaking off so the glitter really sticks.
Make sure the paint & glue have completely dried before handling the cones. It easily rubs off if not dry.
I used 1000’s of cones in my years as a decorator and many of them were with me the whole time. These cones will last a very long time if stored properly. You might have to touch up the glitter in 5 years or so but that’s something I don’t mind at all.
This Coulter Pine Cone looks like a tree to me. The light sprinkling of red glitter makes it extra festive.
By the way, I gave my foraged pine cones a good brushing off before starting this project. You can stick your pine cones in a 175F degree oven for an hour or 2 if you think bugs and/or their eggs might be a problem. To be safe, don’t leave the house while they’re “cooking”. If you’ve bought the cones, they’re good to go as is.
Here’s yet another look for you. The cone on the left is brushed with white & the one on the right has been lightened with bleach. Both have been sprinkled with crystal glitter.
These white, sparkly cones give a serene look to any White Christmas wonderland or snowy nature scene you might be creating. They also look elegant with silver or gold. My favorite way to use them is with evergreen branches and lots of red berries and balls. How about you?
Be sure and check out this DIY Glitter Pine Cones: 4 Ways round up post for more decorating inspiration. You’ll find glittered pine cone tutorials in silver, gold and lightened crystal. Something for any Christmas theme you’re going with this year!
Happy Creating, Happy Holidays,
Here are additional DIY ideas to get you in a festive mood:
- Last Minute Christmas Centerpiece
- 13 Blooming Plant Choices for Christmas
- Homemade Natural Christmas Decorations
- How to Make a Holiday Wreath with Plants
- Tips for Keeping Your Poinsettias Looking Good
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Nell, the founder of Joy Us garden, was born into a gardening family and grew up in Connecticut’s countryside. After living in Boston, New York, San Francisco, & Santa Barbara, she now calls the Arizona desert home. She studied horticulture & garden design, working in the field all her life. Nell is a gardener, designer, blogger, Youtube creator, & author. She’s been gardening for a very long time & wants to share what she’s learned with you.