A pine cone is for life - not just for Christmas.
Seriously though, they are such a great natural crafting material and there's tonnes of different things you can make with them.
I made these little photo holders in next to no time. You can use them for pictures, kid's artwork, memos or to hold business cards on your desk. They look great as place name holders too on a party table, but don't wait til Yuletide, and you don't have to paint them gold either.
I love to use bright, bold colours, I like the juxtaposition of the natural object and the in-your-face colour, but of course you could leave them au natural too.
Poster paints and acrylics work well, as does spray painting, but for these I used ordinary household emulsion paint. I stocked up on a wide range of colours as Dulux currently have tester pots on 3 for £1 - seriously good value!
Kids love to paint the pine cones, but if they can be persuaded that less is more, I adore the look when you just brush the tips of the cones.
Choose cones which have a nice symmetrical shape, and ones with a flat bottom so they sit upright - if they list slightly you can always sit them on a little bit of blu-tac.
You'll find that the top tip naturally splits in two to hold your photo, but if not just tease it apart with a sharp craft or Stanley knife.
I shared this craft with Red Ted Art on her latest hangout. It's fair to say it wasn't our finest hour as the event was plagued with technical problems, from broken microphones, to falling cameras to lost connections! You can see the edited version here, but please do take a look at the following links from the other participants for loads of pine cone inspiration. You can also check out my pine cone bird feeder, made with possibly the biggest cone in the world!
Kid's Chaos made an adorable hedgehog using a cone and air drying clay.
Plus 2 point 4 did some printing with pine cones, lovely for wrapping paper.
Zing Zing Tree made a very adaptable felt animal creation, that you can mix and match.
The Frog & The Fairy made some adorable small world play trees and a Christmas tree for a doll's house.
Mum at the Madhouse made a gorgeous owl (and has lots of other lovely ideas in her post)
Domestic Goddesque shows us how to make a beautiful iridescent door hanging,
and of course, our lovely host, newly published author Red Ted Art shares some pine cone babies from her book.
Maggy's book is launched tomorrow, so don't forget to order your copy.