Many years ago, when Christmas ornaments weren't so plentiful like they are today, I saw my mom doing all kind of crafts for this beautiful holiday. I guess I inherited her skills--though not her imagination--so when I saw an ornament I wanted I preferred to do it myself. Even if the first one wasn't always the best, I persevered and finally got some nice ornaments for decorating my home for Christmas.
That was how I started to make the pinecones candle holder. I saw one at the store and wished I had one too. I had no idea how the pinecones were stuck together, but I started to think about it. Since I have always been interested in repairing my furniture at home, I knew wood can be glued with a white glue, which I already had. So I tried to glue together two pinecones and it worked ! This encouraged me to start creating the holder I wanted.
The one I saw at the store had a few pinecones glued on a round cardboard, with a small candle in the middle, some plastic pine tree branches and a few red berries. I wanted to make a bigger one, which I thought would be a wonderful decoration for the Christmas dinner table.
My best quality is patience, so when I saw the ornament on Christmas I told myself I could make one for the next Christmas.
That summer I spent many hours in the park, searching for pinecones. Since I already had great schemes for making many ornaments, I started to pick up all kinds of pinecones. The smallest ones, from the Pinus sylvestri pine trees, seemed to be the best choice for my project.
At first, I found lots of pinecones under the trees and selected the clean and dry ones. But then, when the pine trees started to bloom and made new pine cones, I realised those were better for a good reason: they were clean and fresh, not like the ones which had stayed in the grass for who knows how long. Everyday I watched them like a hawk and waited patiently for them to fall down so I can pick them up. I still have a few bags full of pinecones which I picked up on those days!
Fall came and went, and here was December again, with all the snow and freezing weather, like our winters used to be. I'm not a very scheduled person, so I delayed starting the decorations until it was almost Christmas.
One evening, when I didn't have much to do, I took a piece of cardboard and started to cut a round form, which was about to be the base of the candle support. Then I brought up the bags full of pinecones. I had a red candle and tried to build up the candle support around it, like a round pyramide. The hardest thing was to choose the right cones, all of the same size. I chose other pine cones for this first ornament, some I found down the road, when they had to cut back some branches in a pine tree to start a construction. It was a Loblolly pine tree (Pinus taeda) and the pinecones were so cute, some of them being still closed. After matching up the pinecones together, so they could form the basic wreath, I started to glue them with their tops up and a bit leaned to the outside. I made a second wreath over the first one and a third too, much smaller, which surrounded the candle. After I glued all the pine cones , I needed to decorate my centerpiece. I thought something red, green and something shiny would be best for Christmas. Inspired by other ornaments I saw at the store, I made the small "gifts". As for the bows, they are my invention. This solved the need for something red and the shiny.
The final decoration for the candle holder added green: small fir tree branches, stuck through the pinecones. Although it wasn't so well done, my first ornament has been my favorite for years!
Through the years I have made many pinecone candle holders for Christmas gift for my friends. Now I've figured out a better form, much easier to make. I'm always saving different cardboards, which come in handy.
First I choose pinecones of the same size and arrange it on the carboard, so they would form two wreaths. This way I can figure out how big the round cardboard will be. Usually they fit to a small plate from the coffee cup. I use the plate to draw a line and then I cut up the round form and arrange the pine cones.
The first row of pine cones is on the edge of the cardboard and I glue their bottom on the cardboard, with clear sylicone, tops pointing to the outside.
The petals are joined together, forming a wreath. Then I stick up the candle in the middle of the cardboard, using a lighter to melt a bit the wax on its bottom and push it on the cardboard.
The second row of pinecones comes over the first one, close to the candle, each one being glued between two pine cones of the basic wreath, with their top pointing up. These have to be smaller than the ones from the base and they are glued on every touching point: bottom, left, right and to the candle too.
Once the pinecones are glued in place, I let them stay for a few hours, or even until the next day.
Then I glue on the other decorations, small "gifts" and bows, which I'm making myself.
Usually I'm making lots of "gifts" and bows when I have more time so I can have them ready when I'm making the decorations. My working table is such a lovely and shiny mess!
A few fir tree branches and my ornament is ready!
You can decorate around the candle holder with glitter garland, red bells and gold bows, all that shines and makes the Christmas magic!
Or maybe you would like to put your candle support inside a fir tree wreath, decorated with poinsettia flowers, also made of corrugated paper. You may be asking about how I made the poinsettia flowers,but that will be the subject of another article!
Either way you'll choose to use your pinecones candle holder, Christmas is a magical time every year and decorations makes us feel it better! Even if we are alone, let's decorate our homes and greet Christmas at our best!
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !
About Adina Dosan
I'm a Romanian plants and pets addicted, always happy to share my experience.