Pine cone crafts: autumn craft ideas
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.
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
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.
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.
Other autumn crafts
There are lots of other fab things you can make with your autumn woodland treasures, such as this natural autumn bracelet.
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.
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.