Pine cone crafts: autumn craft ideas

A small child in a yellow duffel coat arranging pine cones on a stone surface.
Get outdoors and collect some pine cones to craft with! (Photo: iStock/

Pine cones! A typical sign of autumn, pine cones contain the seeds of coniferous trees - these are trees that have needle-like leaves and stay green all year round. The scales on the cone protect the seeds as they mature and open to release them when they're ready. They only open up in warm and dry conditions as this gives the seeds the best chance of growing. That's why pine cones open when you being them indoors.

Keep an eye out for cones near evergreen conifers in woods and parks and hunt around the base of the tree. They’re great for crafting – here are some things you can make with them.

Pine cone elves and fairies

You will need:

  • a pine cone – choose one with a flat base so it stands up on its own (or you could attach a bit of plasticine to the base)
  • a pair of autumn leaves of a similar shape and size if you want wings – make sure they’re not too dried out
  • an acorn with the cap still on, or a hazelnut
  • craft glue.

To make your elf or fairy, just put a dollop of glue on the point of the cone and attach the acorn or nut to make the head. You could draw a face on it too. Let it dry and then glue on some leaf ‘wings’ if you'd like. 

A pine cone elf with a hazelnut face surrounded by gold painted pinecones.
Wood fairies and elves can have all sorts of woodland accessories, like this fetching hat! (Photo: iStock/Vranilo)

Pine cone crown

To make a colourful pine crown, you just need a collection of cones, paint and a length of thin wire. Paint the cones, let them dry and then join them together by wrapping the wire around each cone in turn. When your cone chain is long enough, shape it into a crown and you’re the queen or king of the woods!

Pine cone hedgehog

You will need:

  • a pine cone
  • a jam jar lid
  • brown paper
  • glue

Draw around the lid on the brown paper and cut it out. Make your hedgehog’s face by drawing a circle for a nose right in the middle of the paper circle and two eyes above it. Then make a cut into the centre of the paper opposite the face, shape it into a cone and glue it. You can then glue it to the end of the pine cone. Use small pieces of plasticine to make feet so your hedgehog stands up.

Pine cone hedgehog in ivy
We added little ears to our pine cone hedgehog. Cute! (Photo: Rachel Hoskins/WTML)

You can make lots of other creatures with pine cones. Try fashioning faces and ears from leaves, paper or felt, and winding pipe cleaners through the scales to make legs.

Or you could make a fab picture with our pine cone painting activity, or create some festive pine cone baubles ready for Christmas.

Other autumn crafts

There are lots of other fab things you can make with your autumn woodland treasures, such as this natural autumn bracelet.

The red, gold and russet of autumn leaves make them brilliant craft materials too. Create some cute leaf creatures, a lovely leaf mask, or a magical leaf mobile.

Or you could collect some acorn cups from under an oak tree and make these colourful, woolly acorns. They make great autumn garlands or decorations for a fairy house.

Three pinecones and used to make a  messy pattern in shades of blue paint
Pine cones are great for making interesting textures. (Photo: WTML)

Make sure you post some pictures of your pine cone crafts and other autumn creations using #NatureDetectives.

And don’t forget you can access loads more exciting activities to help you discover the wonderful natural world together by signing up for Woodland Trust family membership.

What is your favourite pine cone craft?

comments powered by Disqus