Make your own natural, eco friendly and zero waste miniature Christmas trees from Pinecones using recycled materials. Sometimes the simplest crafts are the most fun when preparing for Christmas.
There are so many options for making these cute Pinecone Christmas trees, and you could easily choose your own colour scheme and make them as simple or fancy as you like.
This one below is my favourite, partly because of its simplicity, but also because it is now a big feature in my daughter's dolls house. She adores being able to remove and redecorate the tree whenever she likes.
What you will need:
Junk or trash
A little creativity
A fun trip to the park is a great activity for kids, especially when foraging is involved. Plan your visit by staking out which locations have pine trees and, assuming you have kids, get them involved in searching for Pinecones and other nature items that could be used for decorating. It's free fun that will hopefully get them enthusiastic about the outdoors and maybe wear them out a little. Remember to take a basket or bucket for collecting otherwise you will find your pockets and handbag stuffed with foraged items. You don't need perfect Pinecones for this Christmas craft - as long as you have at least one good side to work with, it will work great as a display or hanging ornament.
Finding Recycled Materials for Tinsel
Yarn, string, foil and loads of other items are super useful. We try to use things that would otherwise end up in the bin and have an ongoing collection tin in the kitchen for any ''rubbish'' that could be used for craft. For example, the ribbons attached to clothing for hanging them on coat hangers, twine from tags, broken hair ties and ribbons from gift wrap are all useful and are likely to five you a variety of colours to work with. If you have old fabric, you can make some very narrow t-shirt yarn too. Below, I have some paper strips in different colours, fabric offcuts and cotton from sewing projects plus some cardboard packaging I received with an online purchase.
Just collect things leading up to Christmas, and you or your kids will come up with an idea for reusing them.
Making or Finding Miniature Christmas Tree Baubles
Again, foil and scrap materials are fantastic to work with. Use chocolate wrappers, foil from butter or other food wrapping, coloured paper from junk mail or raid your craft cupboard for random items you haven't used. Felt balls and beads make great baubles too.
We have been saving the red wax from cheese and finally have a use for it. As it is red, it adds to the Christmas feel and they are easy to warm in the hand and roll into whatever sized baubles you need for the Pinecones. (It also works to stick other items onto the pinecones instead of glue).
Below are some of the materials we used, including some homemade playdough which has been combined with loads of colours but passes for being kind of Christmassy. If you want to make your own no cook playdough, head to this post for an easy recipe and colour guide.
Christmas Tree Topper
You can top your tree with anything you like. We used the cheese wax by flattening it and using a star cutter for the shape. For larger Pinecones, you could use star of anise, or create one from paper or foil.
Other decorations for your miniature Christmas tree
Head to the garden to look for seeds, pods, leaves and other natural items.
If you have a hole punch or paper cutter, you can use these to make leaf cutouts to stick onto the tree. I prefer a natural look, but seeds and pods can be painted or dipped in homemade glitter.
Eco friendly Snow and Glitter
Using a bit of glue and some homemade ecofrienldy glitter ( super easy instructions here) you can add greens, reds, yellow or other colours to your pincone to add colour or keep it white for a snow look effect.
These turned out fabulous and literally took us about 1 minute. I'm seriously thinking about making several more for a table centrepiece while the kids are at school so I can avoid the clumpy look.
The great thing about this glitter, is you can make it any colour you like and as its natural ingredients, you don't have to worry about the environmental impact. It's also really easy to clean up, so let your kids go crazy with it.
Mini Christmas Tree Plant Pot
Mini tree pots can be made out of paper or cardboard. Toilet paper rolls and egg cartons are super handy too as they are already shaped and require very little effort. You can paint them black or brown or simply leave them as they are.
Store your decorated cones for next year. If you don't have space, remove any non-natural materials and compost or recycle as appropriate.
I always have a collection of Pinecones in a glass vase because I love them, but you could also use them as fire starters during winter or add some essential oils for a quick diffuser.
I'd love to know if you're going to make your own Pinecone trees, and what your using as decorations.