Pinecone Christmas Crafts – 12 Natural DIY Decor Ideas

Pinecone Christmas crafts showing elements of creating a pinecone wreath for decoration
(Image credit: Brycia James)

Nothing adds a rustic festive flourish more than the humble pinecone – and these pinecone Christmas crafts are brimming with seasonal charm.

If you are lucky enough to have conifer trees in your own yard, then you can take advantage of these when collecting your pinecones. Otherwise, forage for them on local walks.

The pinecone is such a versatile item that can be used in many natural Christmas decorations. Paint cones to suit your festive color scheme, dust with fake snow or glitter, or leave untouched to allow their natural beauty to shine through.

Make natural pinecone Christmas crafts

There are so many beautiful ways to decorate with pinecones. Some of these pinecone Christmas crafts can be saved for future years, but when they are mixed with fresh foliage, the decorations can simply be composted.

Have fun getting the whole family involved – and if you want even more DIY decor ideas you can make over winter, then download our free ebook!

1. Add pinecones to a wreath

Christmas wreath decorated with pinecones, on old wooden door.

Pinecones add a rustic woodland feel to winter wreath ideas, and look particularly effective when a range of sizes and species are combined.

You can make a pinecone wreath without using any greenery, but to copy this design you will need a foliage base. To create this, take a wire wreath frame and attach handfuls of moss to it by wrapping around florist’s wire. 

Then, insert foliage gathered from the garden or on local walks – spruce, fir, holly, and eucalyptus are ideal. Simply poke the stems through the moss, working in a circular motion around the wreath, and secure with florist’s wire if needed.

To attach your pinecones, wrap a length of wire around each cone, between a layer of scales near the base. Then use the free end of the wire to fix to your wreath.

If desired, you can add other natural materials to your wreath, such as berries and dried citrus fruits.

2. Turn pinecones into tree ornaments

Christmas ornaments made form pine cone and hazelnut

Pinecones can be turned into wonderful Christmas tree ornaments. Simply tied with string or ribbon, they make an impact on their own, or can be dressed up with hazelnuts and bows.

To copy these ornaments, first make a loop of string and tie it around one of the scales. Then, take three hazelnuts – horse chestnuts would also work – and attach securely to the top using a glue gun.

When dry, finish by tying a ribbon around the join, which will disguise any glue and add a festive flourish.

3. Make pinecone place settings

Pine cone place setting with red ribbon and tag

One of the most simple pinecone Christmas crafts – this place setting adds a magical touch to the dinner table, and is so easy to make.

Use a long, thin ribbon to wrap the pinecone – as if it were a gift – and then attach a small decoration or name tag at the top. Alternatively, you could push a name card between the scales of the pinecone.

Place one on top of each napkin, and guests will feel extra special.

4. Use pinecones in a festive garland

Fireplace Christmas garland with pinecones and dried citrus fruit

Make a pinecone garland to sit above the fireplace and add a warming focal point to the room. 

To make your garland you will need a selection of small evergreen branches, green-covered thick wire, cut to the desired length of your garland, and a reel of finer-gage florist’s wire.

Attach the end of the reel of fine wire to one end of the thick wire. Take a handful of greenery – all facing the same direction – and secure to the thick wire by wrapping the florist’s wire around it.

Don’t cut the wire – it’s best to keep wrapping it in one continuous piece. Continue until the garland is full, then at the end tie the wires together to keep the greenery in place.

Now, use your florist’s wire to attach pinecones and any other decorations. This design uses citrus fruits and lotus seed heads, but you could use berries and ornaments, and even add lights.

5. Mix up a festive potpourri

Close up of a bowl of dried oranges and pine cones, which make up a festive potpourri

Creating your own fragrance is easy using pinecones and other fragranced items, such as dried citrus fruits, herbs, and flowers.

Add a few drops of scented oil to your pinecones – good festive choices include cinnamon, mandarin, sandalwood, frankincense, or pine.

As well as being one of the most aromatic pinecone Christmas crafts, your potpourri will be visually appealing, so display it in a bowl and it will double as a centerpiece.

6. Make pinecone bird feeders

Suet and pinecone birdfeeders on outdoor table with holly and hips

Pinecone Christmas crafts aren't just for humans – they can be employed to feed backyard birds too. These mini tree-like bird feeders are so charming, and are filled with a suet-seed mix that will help feathered friends stay nourished over winter.

You will need to place your pinecones in a warm spot to help open up the scales. When they have opened up, secure a doubled piece of floral wire at the base of each pinecone and twist together, leaving a stem for use later. 

Next, prepare your fat mix – you can use suet, lard, or coconut oil – mixing it with seed at a ratio of two parts fat to one part seed and nuts.

Gently soften the mixture in a pan – you don’t want it to be completely liquid – then dunk the pinecones into the fat, pushing the mixture into the scales. Roll the pinecones into seeds to further enrich the feeder, then shake off excess and allow to cool.

Put some moss or florist’s foam into a pot, then push the wired cone into the foam.

7. Add a natural flourish to gifts

Decorated gift box. Natural colors, evergreen branches, and pine cones. Hands decorating gift box.

Customizing your gift wrapping is one of the most versatile pinecone Christmas crafts. This rustic decoration adds a personal touch to gifts, and when teamed with simple brown paper is an inexpensive wrapping idea.

To do it yourself, tie string in the lower scales of the pinecone, pushing it in as deep as possible. Wrap your gifts with brown paper, then tie string around the middle.

Attach your pinecones to the string, then finish with a sprig of greenery from the garden.

8. Hang a kissing ball

Handmade pinecone kissing ball with a ribbon and holly foliage.

Add a rustic statement to a porch with a handmade kissing ball. Originating from days gone by when festive foliage was hung above a door to welcome guests, these are easy to make with a little patience. 

Push a piece of thick wire through the centre of a large polystyrene ball, then bend and trim off the ends with some wire cutters to create a loop at either end.

Thread one end with a loop of string. Take the pinecones and begin to attach to the ball with a glue gun, spreading the glue so the cones attach to each other as well as to the ball. 

Cover any gaps with berries or foliage, such as holly, gluing in place as before. Finally, attach a ribbon bow to the top before hanging up.

9. Add a pop of color with yarn

Handmade pine cones displayed on a string to make a decorative garland on a brick wall.

Elevate the humble brown pinecone with colored yarn, then make a simple garland or use them for a festive display. 

This idea has a much more homespun feel than painting pinecones – and is a lot less messy too.

To get the look, take your yarn and push the end between the lower scales of the pinecone. Wrap the yarn around a couple of times, securing the loose end as you go, then work your way up the layers of the pinecone.

When you get to the top, tie a knot around one of the scales, then either make a loop, so you can hang your pinecone, or cut the end and tuck it in.

10. Make mini pinecone Christmas trees

With their branchlike scales, pinecones make perfect mini Christmas trees. You will need small containers to display them in – such as plant pots or tins. Alternatively, you could attach them to corks or small blocks of wood.

Paint your pinecones using either green, for a natural look; white, for a snowy feel; or metallic paint for a magical touch. If using green, then dust the tips of the 'branches' with white glitter.

Using a glue gun, attach small gems, buttons, or pom poms to the branches to recreate ornaments, and top with a festive star.

11. Create a woodland table centerpiece

Table centerpiece with pinecones, foliages, berries, dried citrus fruit slices, and candles.

Team pinecones with foraged greenery and berries to create a natural Christmas centerpiece.

Start by placing candles in the center, which will add an atmospheric glow to the celebration. Use glass candleholders, as this will provide an extra dimension when displaying your greenery.

Next, add sprigs of foliage, such as spruce or eucalyptus, and strands of berries. Lie them all around the base of the centerpiece, and poke some into the glass candleholders.

Slices of dried fruit will enhance the festive feel, or you could use fresh flowers.

12. Add pinecones to lanterns

Lantern filled with frosted pinecones, displayed with candles

Filling a lantern with pinecones is such a simple yet effective way to make an impact. The lantern can be displayed in the room as a centerpiece, or alternatively used in a porch or other outdoor area.

Spray your pinecones with fake snow or metallic paint for an extra touch of Christmas magic. Alternatively, intersperse rustic brown cones with metallic baubles.

You can add battery-powered LED lights to bring the lantern to life in the evening, but if using outdoors make sure it is in a sheltered area.

Melanie Griffiths
Senior Editor

Melanie has worked in homes and gardens media for two decades. Having previously served as Editor on Period Living magazine, and worked on Homes & Gardens, Gardening Etc, Real Homes, and Homebuilding & Renovating, she is now focusing on her passion for gardening as a Senior Editor at Gardening Know How.

Melanie has spent the last few years transforming her own garden, and is also a keen home grower, having experimented with pretty much every type of vegetable at some point.

In her spare time, she loves to explore inspiring gardens and historic properties.