Bleached & Frosted
Pine Cone Tassels
See how to bring nature in soft colors into your home for Christmas and beyond with bleached and frosted pinecones
Spending more time taking walks and hiking has really awaken my use of nature in my decorating.
I’ve always loved pinecones. What is it about them?
I still remember visiting Myrtle Beach with friends many years ago and shipping back a box of pinecones. Who does that? I go to the beach and collect pinecones . . . along with my required shells.
But these pine cones were like none I had ever seen,
When they arrived home, I dry-brushed the tips with gold paint and I still use them! 30 years later!!!! Don’t believe me — here’s just one example from last year’s Christmas stockings.
But my friend Michele at VintageHomeDesigns taught me a new trick — bleaching pinecones. Check out her’s here.
I fell in love with this very neutral, light and fresh pinecone. So I gave it a try, following her directions.
But then I needed to take it just one step further — I wanted them sugared. Frosted. Clear glittered. Whichever term, I knew I wanted to give them just a bit of Christmas sparkle.
And then, well then, I thought they’d be perfect on the ends of my rattan garland, like tassels. Sparkly pinecone tassels!
I wanted to keep this room simple, cozy & comfortable. I’m being drawn to neutral and nature-inspired touches. Probably my salve for the crazies of the pandemic. So I filled the mantel with a very simple but lush long needle pine garland, hanging all the way down and puddling on one side.
I brought in natural elements with a sweet little rattan sleigh loaded with more bleached and frosted pinecones, plus an asymmetrical tiered rattan garland, made of reclaimed rattan chain Yes, it’s re-claimed from a previous life as a boho room partition or doorway curtain.
But those rattan chains needed a finishing element. An element from nature. An element with a touch of sparkle — it is Christmas after all!
Jump to this mantel decorating blog post to see just how I hung the rattan chain for garland and added the bleached, frosted pinecones tassels.
But here, now, let’s make those pinecones and the pinecone tassels:
Step 1) Bleach your gathered pinecones
— jump over to Michele’s post for all the deets.
Step 2) Coat your pinecones with glue
Spray glue would probably be the fastest, but my can was practically empty so I dug out an OLD bottle of school glue. (How old? when I went to loosen the orange nozzle, it crumbled, literally crumbled in my hand. So I went to loosen the top and it broke into pieces!!!). I mixed in about an inch of water to the 2 inches of glue.
Used the end of a paintbrush to thoroughly mix the diluted glue.
Wipe it off and flip that brush around to “paint” the pinecones with the diluted glue. Be sure to get the both sides of the pinecone scales.
Step 3) Glitter!
Sprinkle generously and even roll them around in the pile of glitter that will accumulate.
You can stop here if your pinecone are for lounging in a bowl or sitting about. But if you want to hang them, keep going:
Step 4) Prepare your chain
Cut 4 – 6 inches of thin wire. I’m using 30 gauge. Remember, the higher the number the thinner the wire. I know, I think they just want to test us.
Attach the wire through the loop of whatever you want your pinecone to hang from whether it be rattan chain like mine or a loop of ribbon or wood beads . . . whatever. Wrap each end of the wire around the hanger so it’s secure.
Now with the two wire ends sticking out in opposite directions, hold that hanger tight against your pinecone and gently pull the wires between and under a couple of scales. tuck then ends of the wire in tight. Long tweezers can help with this. Even a toothpick can help to push the wire in tight places.
That’s it! Your pinecone tassel is ready to hang out wherever you need a bit of sparkle.
Or just sit pretty if that’s your preference.
Please Pin this (it really is helps me — and hopefully you, too):
Wishing you and yours a holiday season overflowing with love and laughter, blessing and bliss.