Back when my daughter was much younger, we had this tradition of going out in our neighborhood and picking pinecones.  I say picking, but actually, we would be picking them up.  We live in San Fernando Valley in California and there seem to be conifers all around us.  This makes for easy pickings for pinecone hunters like us.  We especially liked finding the oversized ones or even wee tiny little ones.  After coming home with what seemed like bushels, we would pinecones to decorate our house both indoors and out.

That was many years ago and even though my daughter is all grown up now, I still use pinecones to decorate at Christmas time.  So now that we are officially in the Holiday season, I thought I would share with you some ideas for decorating your home with the simple pinecone.  Keep reading for 10 Simple ways to use pinecones to decorate your home for Christmas.

pinecones to decorate

Why use pinecones to decorate?  Well, they are really quite beautiful.  They look like tiny sculptures.  Pinecones are natural, easy to find and hey they are FREE!


How to use Pinecones to decorate for Christmas

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Of course first, you will need pinecones.  LOTS OF THEM!  Big ones, small ones and even tiny little wee ones.  Get as many as you can carry.

BTW: If you happen to pick too many pinecones, never fear you can actually sell them on eBay, Amazon or even Etsy.  Think it’s crazy for people to buy pinecones?  Well, I have seen them all beaded, glammed up & glittered, fetching quite a nice penny at places like ZGallerie.  So why not make your own?!

Can’t find any pinecones where you live?  I got you covered!  Get as many as you need here.

This is a great tradition to get the kids involved.

Prepping Pinecones


How to clean pinecones

Before we do anything with the pinecones, I thought we should talk about how to clean them (DON’T SKIP THIS STEP).  Believe me, you don’t want any unexpected guests at your holiday table.  Here is how to quickly clean and debug your cones so your guest won’t flee in all directions.  While you are cleaning them, you can also bleach them, if you would like your pinecones to have a beachy, washed out look.  All clean?  Good!  Now let’s see what we can do with them.

Scented Pinecones

I am sure you have seen them, or at least smelled the scented pinecones at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joanns.  They put them right by the door so the smell will greet shoppers as they enter.  To me they just smells like Christmas.  

Well did you know you can scent your own pinecones?  You can and it’s really quite easy.  Here is a video and here are 3 Simple ways to Scent Pinecones.  Full disclosure:  You should plan ahead for this project, as the pinecones need about a week to absorb the scents well.

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Snow capping

Don’t have a week to scent your pinecones?  That’s ok.  Here’s a quick method for snow capping them that you can actually complete in a few minutes.  Jenn over at Clean & Scentsible uses Epsom salts to give a snow covered look to pinecones.

Gilded Pinecones

Want to really glam up your pinecones?  Gilding them in gold is just the ticket!  It’s another simple project using gold craft paint to make the pinecones glisten.  Martha Stewart breaks this down to a simple 4-step method.  You will want to keep these beauties!

pinecones to decorateGlitter Paint

Speaking of glistening, we can’t forget the (evil) glitter.  I actually have a love-hate relationship with glitter.  Luckily, someone heard me cursing the specks of glitter that remained well past Easter and came up with some less permanent options.

GlitterBlast by Krylon, is a great option for spraying on a nice thick layer of glitter paint and it comes in a wide range of sparkly colors.  DecoArt Glamour Dust is another glitter paint, but this one applies like craft paint.  The paint is a brush-on with ultra-fine glitter.  FolkArt Extreme Glitter is yet another brush-on applied glitter paint that uses fine glitter to give a sparkling finish.

Shop Cricut Today!

Now Go Forth and Decorate

Ok, now that we have our pinecones all dressed up and ready to party, where to put them?

10 Decorative Uses for Pinecones

pinecones to decorate

  1. Tree Ornaments – The nice sized fat ones look really nice on the Christmas tree.  Just add an eye-hook and a ribbon and they look like they grew right off your tree.
  2. Wrapping gifts  – This is where the little ones really come in handy.  Use a piece of string to tie two or three to a gift and you have a unique, sweet detail for your presents.
  3. Under the tree – A few really big ones can work out as great stand-ins under the tree until Santa brings the presents.
  4. In planters – Don’t forget to add a few pinecones to your hanging planters and pots outside.  They look great against the green foliage.
  5. Placecard holders – The medium to small ones look so sweet holding your guests place setting or attach small wire around the base of the cone to create a napkin ring.
  6. Garland – Just string similar sized pinecones on a simple string or wire to create a natural garland you could hang just about anywhere in the house or out.
  7. Pinecone Wreath – Greet your guest with a beautiful pinecone wreath.  You could either hang it on the front door or over the mantle.  Don’t worry there’s still room for the stockings below.
  8. In the fireplace – Whether you have a working fireplace or not, pinecones are a great decoration for the hearth.  Just be sure to remove them before you set a fire or Santa might not have a fireplace to climb down.
  9. Bird feeders – Got some board kids milling about?  No worries!  How about getting the kids involved in a little Christmas project.  Make bird feeders with a little peanut butter and birdseed, pinecones.  Here is how to do it.
  10. pinecones to decorateBowl full of pinecones – Finally, even just a simple bowl or basket of pinecones can make a great centerpiece.



I really miss those times when my daughter was little and a pinecone was enough to make her smile.

Keep Decorating:

Using Bamboo Design Accents

DIY Painted Custom Lampshade & Liner

Photos courtesy of:  Flickr & Pexels



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  1. Hello Adrienne, wow! I just love the decoration. It looks pretty good. I will also use these tips for this Christmas. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

    1. Thanks Kate! Pinecones are so easy to use, either as is or glammed up. I would love to see a picture of how you use them in your Christmas decorations.

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