Sunday, December 6, 2009

In the holiday spirit

This weekend my husband and I embarked on our alternative Christmas tree adventure. The thought of having a fake tree bothers me, and the thought of cutting a tree down bothers my husband. Our compromise last year almost ended in the death of a beloved house plant (you may remember my post about it). So this year we settled on recreating the pine cone tree from country living. Their directions are rather vague, so if you decide to try this at home, here are some more details:

Supplies for a 2.5 foot tree

cone shaped foam base
wire cutters (+ pliers and gloves optional)
wooden floral pics
sheet moss
appx 70 cones of varying sizes**
pot or decorative stand

**We purchased our pine cones from Michaels, but a friend told me that you can also find them at Wild Oats. You could also use a florist. If you gather the cones yourself, be sure to bake them in the oven before using them. And please be careful: I would hate for you to poke an eye out with a piece of wire flying throught the air. Just be warned.


Start out with the largest pine cones and wrap a five inch wire tightly around the lower spokes (being careful not to break or damage them) leaving a few inches of wire with which to anchor the cone into the foam base. (I would suggest wearing gloves because my husband has all sorts of little cuts on his hand from this step). Insert the cones into the foam at an angle and repeat this process working around and up the foam base using progressively smaller and smaller pine cones. For the smaller cones, I was able to use wooden floral pics, but you could conceivably use wire the whole time. Last but not least, stick sheet moss in between any gaps in the cones so that the white foam base does not show through. Decorate as desired.

Now we have a great-smelling, festive tree to get us in the holiday spirit. I bought some twinkle lights as per The Owl's Closet's suggestion, but we bought the wrong size batteries so I don't have a picture of it yet.

What kind of decorations are you using this year? Any recommendations for holiday crafts?


  1. Your tree looks fabulous! We really aren't doing much holiday decorating, but I have been making homemade gift certificates to give as gifts. I like the idea of giving my time as a gift. I won't go into detail...just in case one of the recipients gets a glimpse of this comment :) I'm taking a short break from pottery, but I'm knitting away...scarf gifts. Lastly, I saw some of the coolest holiday knitting projects in a Japanese book I saw in Japantown (SF) yesterday. My favorite was little colorful rings of knit yarn attached to make a garland. I'd love to make it this year, but I'm afraid I'm running out of time... Okay--longest comment ever.

  2. Oh my gosh, I just love this idea! If I didn't already get a white tree, I would have done this. Great job guys!! xo

  3. Denise - hand knit scarves make such wonderful gifts! A knit yarn garland sounds wonderful!

    Shannon - thanks for the compliment! I love white trees!

  4. wow, it looks great!! love it! awesome job! can't wait to see it with the twinkle lights;) thanks for posting these directions! i've gotta try this =D

  5. How ambitious of you but it really turned out great. Pinecones are so hip right now.

  6. It's very nice-looking--festive and seasonally appropriate without being tacky--and as a bonus one gets to be artsy/crafty as well. Well done! I'll promote it up here, since it seems to be a project perfectly suited to NYC apartment life.

  7. Are we missing part of the story with wire flying through the air? Nice job. Sal

  8. What a fabulous DIY. It turned out superbly!