26 January, 2020
Painted Pinecone FlowersPosted in : Pinecones on by : Carrie Wente
Pinecones and their odd scaly shape are really quite interesting. They have been around for thousands of years, even longer than any other flowering plant species. They have fascinated humans throughout history and have been considered symbols of fertility by Romans, Greeks, Assyrians, and Christians.
They close when it’s cold out to keep the tiny seeds within safe. When it’s warm, they open so the wind spread the seeds. This opening and closing method can happen even after the cone has left the tree. Some species of cones stay on the tree for up to ten years, and others don’t open and release their seeds until the intense heat of a fire is near. This is how they insure the survival of the species.
Painted Pine Cone Crafts
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest there were always lots of evergreen trees around. When I moved to the Midwest a few years ago, I missed what had been taken for granted all those years. Luckily I wasn’t the only one that missed the year round needle foliage and my folks planted about 50 pine, fir, spruce and cedar trees around their home. Their reasoning was to make a wind-break out on the prairie. This made for lots of cones dropping onto the lawn that were getting mulched by the lawn mower.
Crafting has always been a passion of mine, and not any special medium either. I’ve gone from cross stitching and crocheting to painting, sewing and macrame. Doesn’t matter, I like it all and am always up to learn more about creating different things and the thought of re purposing things, or keeping them in their somewhat natural state to make them into something else seemed like a really good idea. Seeing all of those cones going to waste got me to thinking that I could do something with them. My go to being Pinterest, I combed the pages looking for something I wanted to do with them, and cutting them up and painting them to look like flowers looked easy enough.
Taking It One Step Further
All the sites and photos I came across were of pinecones that were single colors and looked mainly like zinnias. Don’t get me wrong, I like zinnias, but, BORING. They were a different variety of pinecone than the ones I had access to so that was out of the question anyway.
In future posts I will be showing you step by step photos, how to paint pine cones. The method I came up with turned out (in my opinion) pretty good. So good in fact, the wreath I have posted here on my home page got a third place at the county fair. It was entered under Dry Hanging Arrangement. Turns out, the judges weren’t (again, in my opinion) qualified to be judges. They thought my flowers were some plastic ones that I bought and glued on. They never even looked close enough to see that they were made out of some sort of dried material, much less a pinecone. But that’s the past and I have learned my lesson and will never enter anything in the fair again.
What I ended up doing was taking the cones and heating them in the oven at a low temp, about 200 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or so to kill any bugs that may be hiding out and to make them open up all the way. The aroma of the sticky sap heating up makes the whole house smell wonderful, but you may want to place the cones on parchment and then on a baking sheet so that you don’t mess up your oven or the baking sheet.
Then, it takes a little work, but you will need to cut the pinecones. Looking at them, they resemble little flowers and can be painted. If you looked at the photo on the home page you will notice that I have painted them to look like several different types of flowers. You can also use the petals that were broken off when slicing, by painting them green to resemble leaves.
Incorporating Painted Pinecone Flowers
You can really use them anywhere you would use plastic or silk flowers. I have used them on my wreaths, in table-top arrangements, and on my jute covered bottles. They really have become my signature when it comes to crafting.
Don’t worry I won’t be using them any time soon in one of my afghans. But I can’t guarantee it.