Pine Cone Ornament DIY

I'll preface the post with this: I prefer homemade, meaningful ornaments. I cherish the time spent taking out the holiday decorations each year and reflecting on the story of each item. At my parents house, the artificial tree in the entry way is a ten foot tall color coordinated masterpiece, which I faithfully decorate year after year. But my favorite tree in their house is the real tree in the living room hung with of hodge podge of all the decorations my three siblings and I have made over the past twenty some years. Objectively it is not quite as beautiful as the other tree, but the love and memories it represents make it special to me. We spend hours pulling out the time worn ornaments and laughing over the stories behind them with Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation playing in the background. It's a special time as a family and it is one tradition from my childhood that I hope to continue with Merle.

Merle's other grandparents (X's parents) came to visit a few weeks ago and we took a day trip to the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, which is owned by Penn. They live much further away, so Merle only gets to see them once or twice per year. During our trip to the arboretum, I wanted to commemorate the visit in some way and started collecting mini pine cones while we walked through the park. I decided to use the pine cones to make an ornament, which led to today's post. I loved the look of the mini pine cones, but you could use this process for just about anything collected on a woodland walk. With a glue gun and a few items from the Dollar Tree, we made an ornament that I'm looking forward to putting on our Christmas tree year after year.


Hot glue gun + glue (I use this one)
Styrofoam ball (I used the 1.5" ball from this set)
Pipe cleaner
Mini jingle bells


Trim a pipecleaner in half. Thread a jingle bell on either end of the pipe cleaner and move each bell toward the center until they are roughly two inches apart from one another. Twist the ends of the piepe cleaner together to create one strand. Insert the pipe cleaner into the styrofoam ball. Heat up the glue gun. Once heated, use small amounts of glue to adhere each pinecone to the styrofoam ball individually. The styrofoam will crackle from the heat of the glue, so (1) be careful, (2) use as little glue as possible, and (3) give the glue sufficient time to harden before moving on to the next pinecone. The hot glue takes longer to set on the styrofoam than on most other surfaces.

The ornament took about five minutes to make and cost less than $3 for all of the materials. I love how it turned it and Merle was excited to put the "Nai-Nai and Yie-Yie ornament" on the tree. I plan on making this style of ornament in future years.

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