Sunday, 29 June 2014

How to make paint dipped pine cones - tutorial

Today I'm going to teach you how to make your own paint dipped pine cones!

This is a really simple craft that even the kids can get involved in. If you have all the bits already like I did then it's also a free craft!

What you need:
Pine cones (obviously!)  I picked up mine for free from the local park.
Emulsion paint - a 1.25 litre can that is more than half full will do.
Broom handles or bamboo canes.
Craft wire - fine gauge.
Large piece of cardboard to catch drips.
2 Chairs to balance your wood across.
Scissors or wire cutters
Optional wooden skewer

1) Set up your workspace

It's a good idea to do this outside - especially if you live in a rented property with cream carpets like I do!
Balance your brooms across the chairs. This is going to be your hanging point to dry the pine cones.
If you have a wooden skewer, use it to stir your paint. The skewer is also handy for pushing your cones into the paint.

2) Prepare the pine cones

Using lengths of the wire (approx 20cm) wrap them around the pine cones between the 'leaves.'
You could also use small screw hooks into the end of the pine cone and attach the wire through the screw - this would be handy if you wanted to make a garland out of your cones. Another way is to make a small hole in one of the 'leaves' using a drawing pin and then you can thread the wire through the hole.

In hindsight, I would buy the screw hooks and use that method as it's quite tricky to untie the wire without taking off some of the thicker paint that hides in the grooves. You live and learn!

3) Start dipping!

Now for the fun part....... submerge your pine cone into the paint until it is fully coated. I used the skewer to push it under. Hold it above the paint can for a minute or two so that the excess paint can drip off before tying the top of your wire around the broom sticks.

4) Leave to dry

It's quite sunny today so mine have dried pretty quickly. I'm going to leave them for an hour or two just to make sure though! (Top tip: when you think they are dry, leave them for yet another hour! The paint is really thick underneath...)

5) Marvel at your creation!

I used some really bright, orange paint as my lounge is really bland. This is a great way to introduce colour to a rented house without losing your deposit!

There are so many variations you can do for this project:

White cones for Christmas and then painted with glitter varnish
Ombre effect cones or two tone dipped cones
Pastel cones for an ice cream effect
Acid brights and neon cones for a trendy house
Shades of grey for a monochrome scheme
Make a garland in different colours to go over the fireplace

Some more inspiration from around the net:

Pastel, dipped and bright pine cones

Pine cone garlands and ombre pinecones

I hope you enjoyed reading about this as much as I enjoyed making them!

P.s Thanks to various people on the net for the pictures above. Sorry that I'm too short of time to credit you!