Friday, December 17, 2004

About Those Pinecones

pinecones in midcentury colors

In case Jeff or anyone else wants to decorate pine cones as shown here, I've taken notes on how John went about the task last year.  Here's how to do it:

1. Let the pine cones dry out before you start painting them. They open up further as they dry, which both looks better and opens more surface area.  You don't want to paint a fresh one only to have additional unpainted surfaces show up on it later.

2. Tie a thread around each pine cone.  This gives you a means of suspending it without handling the surfaces or messing up the paint.

I can't get a really good picture of the glitter.  Sorry.3. Dip each pine cone in white paint, making sure to get it into "every crack and cranny," as John put it. This seals the surface, gives the final color something to stick too, and keeps that color from sinking into or being contaminated by the pine oils and resins.

4. Hang the pine cones up to dry.  Outdoors is best, at long as it's warm and dry out there.  You may be able to speed things up a bit with a blow dryer. Obviously, you want to suspend them over newspaper or paper plates or something--maybe even a paint tray--to catch the drips.

5. When they're dry, suspend them from the threads again, and either dip or spray them with the paint colors of your choice. John remembers red and green ones from his childhood.  I remember silver and gold. (My mom also painted thistles, and maybe even Queen Anne's Lace.) Depending on what effect you want, you may or may not want to cover all the white with the new color. Hang the painted pine cones for a while to dry, but not completely this time.

5. While they're still tacky with half-dried paint, blow glitter onto them. John did this by twirling them and literally blowing on the nearby glitter.  Pouring glitter or dipping them in it will have a much less delicate and pleasing effect.

Have fun!



jeff466 said...

Thank you for the instructions :)  Jeff

deabvt said...

Good Work, John!!