My inspiration for this pine cone garland came from http://howtodecorate.com.
Pine cones seem to me a Christmas decoration, but with candles and fall colors with them, they look like autumn as well. They could actually stay permanently if you have an organic look in your home.
The decorating site said to use pinecones from a craft store; I used pine cones from the wild. The advantage to purchasing them would be that great cinnamon smell, they are clean, and they wouldn’t have any critters in them. The disadvantage would be the cost.
I took the boys I nanny on a treasure hunt to collect pinecones (and to play Pokemon Go on my iPhone) We gathered a 13 gallon garbage bag full, which was more than we needed. (a little more than half full would probably be perfect)
This would be a great outdoor craft since the pinecones drop some seeds and debris. * I do not have a good outdoor craft area so I just covered a table with a beach towel to protect the table from scratches and to catch the debris – just a shake outside made clean up easy.
You also need twine and scissors or wire and wire cutters. I used twine. That is literally all you need! A ruler would also be helpful.
Cut your main strand of twine or wire as long as you would like the finished garland to be. I cut approximately 5′. Cut 10″ lengths of twine. (this length will vary depending on the size of your pinecones)
Starting at the wide end of the pinecone, wrap the one piece of 10″ twine into the first spiral of ‘petals’ that are open enough to get the twine to go down between the rows. Tie a half knot, pulling tight enough to make the twine secure and hidden but not too tight you break the petals. Leave the ends out for now, we will need some of them in the next steps. Do the same to two more pinecones. Take the longest pieces of twine ends and tie two pine cones together, then tie the third pine cone between those two. These should be full knots. They need to be secure and snug.
Take your cluster of three and again using the longest tails of twine, tie it around the long garland twine. You can either tie it directly to the twine (this way there is no movement or sliding of the cluster) or tie the ends of twine in a circle around the main twine (this way the cluster will slide on the twine) I did some of each but the last cluster on both ends needs to be tied so that the cluster is attached to the main garland. This keeps everything from slipping off the end. After each cluster is attached to the main garland, you can trim the ends of twine that stick out from your knots.
Warning- I had a few with small ants in a couple of my pine cones.
My pinecones were a bit messy and I wanted to make sure nothing else was living in them so when I was done stringing the garland, I put the whole thing into the bathtub to soak for about 15 minutes. (Why didn’t I think to just blast it with the hose outside?) It got a lot of the dirt and debris off, and one pincher bug, but made a mess in the tub.
*I learned that the petals close up when you soak them so I am glad I didn’t wash the pinecones before I strung them. Even after they dried, they are not as open as they were when I strung them.
This is a quick craft! I should have timed it but I would guess it took an hour.
The boys I nanny celebrate the Jewish holiday Sukkot so I will be making one of these with them to decorate the sukkah.