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Project

Pinecone Candle Vine

Introduction

Lay your eye level with the scales of the pinecone and you'll find that each one is as beautifully wrought as a flower petal. This resemblance inspired us to turn pinecones into lustrous golden-brown blossoms, perfect for table decorations and gift embellishments that will last not only for this Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for many holiday seasons to come.

It's amazingly easy to effect the transformation from cone to bloom. Just snip the scales off the stem, and then glue them together in the shape of a flower. The resulting blossoms may be as dainty as a violet or as spiky as a dahlia. If a variety of cone types isn't abundant where you live, look online or in crafts stores. All you'll need to coax blossoms from your finds are floral supplies: cutters, wire, and glue. When you place these adornments alongside the season's bounty, you'll likely conclude that nature has come up with some wonderful decorating ideas.

These climbers include flowers made from Sabulosum cone scales, buds from the tamarack tree, and leaves, which are really single Norway spruce cone scales. The finished vine can be tightly coiled around a candlestick.

Pinecone Glossary:

You'll need cone scales and a decorative center for each bloom; both are available at crafts stores.

1. Eastern white pinecones have long scales. Brown, natural canella berries are good centers for flat blooms.

2. The tiny cones of the Sabulosum tree are ideal for delicate flowers. Use snipped cloves or the top of a poppy pod for centers.

3. Douglas fir cones result in plump blossoms. Tamarack buds can be used as centers or as buds.

4. For zinnia-like florets, use blue spruce cones combined with rice grass as centers.

5. Norway spruce cones can be layered to create big flowers; dried weeping grass makes pretty tufted centers.

Materials

  • Tamarack buds
  • Large Sabulosum cone scales
  • Norway spruce cone scales
  • Heavy floral wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Brown floral tape
  • Tacky glue
  • Cardboard box with hinged lid
  • Card stock
  • Scissors

Steps

  1. Step 1

    With floral cutters, remove the pinecone's base. Starting at the cone's bottom, slip one blade of the cutters behind a scale; snip it off. Continue, working upward until all scales have been removed and only the stem remains.

  2. Step 2

    To make buds and leaves for a vine, affix tamarack buds and large scales to 4-inch-long wires: Wrap floral tape around wires and bases of bud or scale, adding tacky glue where necessary.

  3. Step 3

    Cut a piece of heavy floral wire as long as desired length of vine. Alternate florets with buds and leaves: Lay stem against the floral wire, wrap it in place with brown floral tape, lay the next against the wire, wrap it, and so on until vine is complete.

  4. Step 4

    Add pinecone blossoms.

  5. Step 5

    Fill a small bowl with scales. Snip 4 inches of floral wire; form a small hook on one end. From card stock, cut a disk a bit larger than the desired size of the bloom's center. Secure disk to box top by poking wire through both, letting hook rest in the center so the wire won't fall through.

  6. Step 6

    Using tacky glue, affix scales in a flower shape to disk; the hook will become covered with glue. For a fuller blossom, add another layer inside the first, using smaller scales, adding up to five layers for larger blooms.

  7. Step 7

    Use tacky glue to attach one or more cloves or tiny plant parts in the center; let dry, and remove bloom from box.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 2005

Reviews (21)

  • Debbie4600 18 Nov, 2011

    Your kidding right snowmoonelk! Tacky glue = tacky glue, take a trip to michael's or some other craft store. Or buy a hot glue gun

  • snowmoonelk 22 Nov, 2010

    I can imagine how to make this craft, however, what on earth do the instructions actually mean???!!! What is tacky glue, for a start? Not easy to follow at all.

  • sylvia831 20 Nov, 2008

    If you want to be involved with crafts from Mother nature, you first must learn the about the trees and plants that are found in nature. If you don't want to educate yourself then use man-made items from Micheals.

  • samanthaprince 16 Nov, 2008

    Martha, Martha,
    We need the craft projects to fit the following criteria:
    sustainable
    easy to read, see, and do
    no terms that are undefined
    pictures that young women--maybe not children--just young women can understand, especially young women from diverse backgrounds
    Please meet this challenge..otherwise you and we too are in the dark and when I say dark...I mean the dark ages.

  • carabau 14 Nov, 2008

    Click on the uper right 'Also Try'-Pinecone Crafts.3rd page makes this project easier to understand

  • denisejacobs 14 Nov, 2008

    When I clicked on this idea I was thinking the same thing that Sandy said. Time and time again these ideas are placed on the site and I have no idea how to actually accomplish the task. Please give some picture how toos or something, but not laced with lengthy adds, I just don't have the time.

  • SandyWhitten 13 Nov, 2008

    I do not know nor do I care who is responsible for placing the 'Craft of the Day' on Martha Stewart's website - what I do know is without more descriptive details, and photos to help inspire/understand what we're supposed to do, I am so tempted to unsubscribe to these ideas. Come on people, if you can't come up with better, more detailed instructions/photos, maybe you should think of us all as children - helping us understand these projects.

  • ladylocks 13 Nov, 2008

    I agree. Detail photos are needed. If you look to the top left of this page on the sidebar, you will see Crafts by Materials. Click on it . Next page will give you Leaves, Flowers, Plants. Click on that. Listed under this are Pine Cone Crafts. There are better photos of pine cone flowers. When you see the larger examples, they will make sense and you will be able to produce them. The box lid bit is just to have a place to anchor the card stock disk while you work on the flower.

  • pwomen 13 Nov, 2008

    I feel your pain chervargas, payytcake and Heartmart, MANY of the daily crafts are more frustrating than inspiring or informative.
    I have been tempted to just drop the daily craft all together! Please give us the amount of information we need, or what is the point!

  • chervargas 13 Nov, 2008

    Martha, Do you even know this site exists? Does any staff member ever read or care about the comments or suggestions??? Martha???

  • pattycake1217 13 Nov, 2008

    I would make more of your projects if I could see them, Martha. Martha?

  • Heartmart 13 Nov, 2008

    The effect is lovely, but close ups please! None of those trees grow in my area so I would have a hard time recognizing the right cones or substitutions, if I could find them in the wild, or in a craft store. Detail photos that show the cone and the individual scales, as well as the finished "blossoms" would be very helpful.

  • Heartmart 13 Nov, 2008

    The effect is lovely, but close ups please! None of those trees grow in my area so I would have a hard time recognizing the right cones or substitutions, if I could find them in the wild, or in a craft store. Detail photos that show the cone and the individual scales, as well as the finished "blossoms" would be very helpful.

  • Heartmart 13 Nov, 2008

    The effect is lovely, but close ups please! None of those trees grow in my area so I would have a hard time recognizing the right cones or substitutions, if I could find them in the wild, or in a craft store. Detail photos that show the cone and the individual scales, as well as the finished "blossoms" would be very helpful.

  • disposableactor 13 Nov, 2008

    You make the blossoms out of scales you pull off of pine cones. They don't grow anywhere. There are instructions for the pine cone blossoms if you run a search.

  • rebeccawatson 13 Nov, 2008

    I have found some really pretty stems with leaves, glittered flowers and beads on them in fall colors at the craft store. They are already wired. I just used these to wrap around the candle sticks and even the stems on wine glasses. It was a great idea but a bit too much work so going fake worked just fine, took less time and I can keep them forever. Great idea to work with.

  • Susieq211 13 Nov, 2008

    Honestly- does anyone actually know where to find the organic materials for this project, even if we could see what it's supposed to look like? It would be nice if they had included some alternative plant materials in case you don't have tamarack trees living on your property or pine cone blossoms. Could they try to be a little more "in touch" with the average person?
    Susieq211

  • PastorChar08 13 Nov, 2008

    I agree about being unable to "see" the picture up close.

  • AuntKate64 13 Nov, 2008

    We absolutely need a CLOSE-UP. Who can see what these really look like from this photo? They look pretty but I have no idea what actually look like up close.

  • Dg40 13 Nov, 2008

    I agree. I think grapevines would be easier for most people to get. I like the design, but a closeup would be helpful so we could see the details better.

  • MartinMaven 11 Nov, 2007

    I like the photo of the vine climbing a lovely candlestick. It would make a nice accompaniment to a lovely Thanksgiving tablescape or any special time. However, I think that the materials are too difficult to find for most people so I would encourage the idea but use decorative vines found more easily in one's local area.