3 DIY Pinecone Christmas Tree Ornaments

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Handmade Christmas ornaments add so much personality and charm to a tree or tablescape. And one of the most versatile ornament starters is the humble pinecone. You can use pinecones to create countless ornaments, each more ingenious than the next. Here, we're transforming pinecones into three delightful holiday decorations — gnomes, penguins and angels. Not only would they be perfect on a tree, but they would also make great gifts that would put a smile on anyone's face.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Things You'll Need

  • Pinecones

  • Wood beads

  • Felt of different colors

  • Hot glue

  • Pompoms

  • Ric rac trim

  • Cotton ball

  • String or fishing line

  • White paint

  • Black paint

  • Pipe cleaner

  • Ribbon

  • Gold metallic paint

  • Colored paint markers

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Gnome Pinecone Ornaments

Step 1: Start With the Nose

Turn a pinecone upside down so the pointy end is on the bottom. Hot glue a small wood bead at the top, positioning it between two or more pinecone scales. The wood bead I used was about a half inch and made for a prominent nose.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 2: Make the Hat

Cut a piece of felt in a quarter circle shape, about five inches.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Roll it into a cone and hot glue the ends together to maintain the shape.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

I like bending the hat so it doesn't look like a dunce cap. Fold the hat and add hot glue where the bend is.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Attach a pompom with hot glue to the tip of the hat.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 3: Attach the Hat

Hot glue the hat to the top of the pinecone right above the nose.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

If you'd like, decorate the hat some more at this point. I hot glued some ric rac trim around the base of the hat to give the gnome a more festive look.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 4: Add the Beard

Stretch out a cotton ball to about four inches.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Place it around the gnome's face to create the beard. While you can glue it in place, you can also just tuck the cotton in between the pinecone scales to secure it. As you can see, the beard really distinguishes the gnome's face. It actually looks like his eyes are squinting as he's smiling.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 5: Add a Hanging Loop

Tie a piece of string into a knotted loop.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Hot glue the loop to the back of the gnome towards the top of the hat with a small piece of felt covering the knot of the loop.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

With these ornaments, it'll be "gnome sweet gnome" this holiday season.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Penguin Pinecone Ornaments

Step 1: Create a Taller Pinecone

While penguins' bodies tend to be more slender, the pinecones I got at the crafts store were more short and round. To create a pinecone with a more penguin-like shape, take two pinecones, one slightly smaller than the other.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Use some shears to trim the top scales of the larger pinecone. This will leave space to fit the smaller pinecone.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Attach the smaller pinecone on top of the larger one with some hot glue. Now that's a penguin shape.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 2: Paint the Pinecone

Paint the pinecone white. You don't need to cover all the scales with paint. It actually looks better with just the outside edges painted white.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 3: Make the Feet

Cut some penguin feet out of orange felt. You're not going for anatomical accuracy here. Just cut something that resembles webbed feet.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Hot glue the feet to the bottom of the pinecone.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 4: Add the Flippers

Cut two flipper shapes out of black felt. They should be just shorter than the height of the pinecone.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Hot glue the flippers to the left and right sides of the pinecone.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 5: Paint the Head

For the head, we're using a wooden bead. The appropriate size will depend on the size of your pinecone. I used a wooden bead that was about one and a half inches in diameter. Start by painting it white.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Then paint the head black, leaving a white heart shape for the face of the penguin.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Add two round eyes, one in each half of the white heart.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 6: Give It a Beak

Cut a small triangle out of orange felt.

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Glue it to the face between the eyes.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 7: Add Some Earmuffs

To up the cuteness factor, let's give the penguin some earmuffs. Cut a small piece of a pipe cleaner so it wraps around the top of the head, with a little head clearance. Hot glue the ends to the sides of the head.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Hot glue some small pompoms to the tips of the pipe cleaner to finish the earmuffs.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 8: Attach the Head

Position the head on top of the pinecone body and secure it with hot glue.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 9: Make a Scarf

To hide any hot glue between the head and body, wrap a piece of ribbon around the neck and glue it in place. Now the penguin has a stylish scarf to go with those earmuffs.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 10: Attach a Hanging Loop

Tie a piece of string into a knotted loop and hot glue it to the back of the penguin's head. Cover the knot in the loop with a small piece of black felt.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

You'll definitely want to chill with these penguins.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Angel Pinecone Ornaments

Step 1: Paint the Pinecone

We want this angel to sparkle, so paint the pinecone with some metallic gold paint.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 2: Draw the Face

For the head, we're using a wooden bead that is about an inch and a half in diameter. With permanent paint markers, draw two eyes, a nose and a mouth. It's easier to draw closed eyes than open ones, and the closed eyes actually look very peaceful and angelic.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 3: Add a Headdress

So the angel is not bald, let's add a headdress. It's also easier than trying to make hair. For the headdress, cut a small piece of ric rac trim and wrap it around the head to frame the face. Hot glue the ric rac in place.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 4: Make the Halo

Cut a circle out of yellow felt that is slightly larger than the head.

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Hot glue it to the back of the head.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 5: Attach the Head

Turn the pinecone upside down so the pointy tip is on the bottom. Hot glue the angel's head to the top of the pinecone.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 6: Shape the Wings

With a piece of three-inch wide ribbon, create a bow with two loops and two tails. Tie it in place with some wire, string or fishing line.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Secure the body of the angel to the wings by wrapping some string or fishing line around the pine cone and tying it to the bow. The tails of the bow also function as the angel's gown.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

Step 7: Add the Hanging Loop

Tie a piece of string into a knotted loop, and hot glue it to the back of the angel's head. Cover up the point where the hot glue hits the knot with a small piece of yellow felt.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong

This angel would also make a heavenly tree topper.

Image Credit: Jonathan Fong