A pine cone wreath offers an alternative to holiday greenery to greet guests at the front door. Making the wreath requires a structure of some sort to hold the pine cones in a wreath shape, such as a narrow grapevine wreath or a foam wreath form.
Perfect Pine Cones
Choose pine cones in assorted sizes for the wreath -- large specimens are ideal for the perimeter of the wreath, while small ones fill in the gaps. Select pine cones that appear clean and dry, or purchase them from a craft store. To remove the pine sap or pitch, bake pine cones on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes; do not bake them while they are wet, as they may discolor. Check the pine cones every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they do not burn.
Creating the Basic Wreath
A hot-glue gun and an abundant supply of glue sticks are key to getting the pine cones to stick to any kind of base. If you're using a foam wreath form, select a multi-purpose glue stick that works on foam. For the actual wreath form, any sturdy object shaped like a wreath will do, or create an unusual twist by using a square or rectangular picture frame, minus the glass and backing board. Cover the work area with newspaper to protect it from glue; then hot-glue the largest pine cones to the form first, arranging them around the perimeter in any alignment you like. Cover the front with medium-sized pine cones and fill in the gaps with the smallest pine cones. Keep the wreath on the work surface as you glue the pine cones to it; since the wreath will be resting against a flat surface such as a door, there's no need to cover the back. But if you plan to dangle the wreath from a hook away from a wall or door, cover the backside as well.
The Holiday Treatment
Once the glue dries, the wreath is ready for the holiday touch. Paint the entire wreath green with spray paint if you want it to look like an evergreen wreath, or give it a dusting of white spray paint or spray snow for a wintry effect. Apply spay paint or snow outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, using newspaper or a large cardboard box beneath and around the project area to catch overspray. For a layered color effect, spray paint the wreath an icy blue color; then apply a light spray of white as faux snow. A light coating of gold or silver adds an elegant touch. Add glitter by brushing a clear glue on the tips of the pine cones, sprinkling the glitter onto the wet glue. Catch the loose glitter in newspaper beneath the project and reapply it. Wrap strands of metallic red or green beads randomly around the wreath, securing them with hot glue or with floral wire. Add a large red ribbon or bells to the bottom of the wreath with hot glue or floral wire for a colorful touch.
Protecting Your Wreath
Protect the wreath from the elements using a spray-on polyurethane sealer. Remove items such as beads and ribbons before spraying, as the spray may discolor or mark them. Spray the sealer on in a well-ventilated area, setting the wreath on a plastic tarp first. Dust the wreath whenever it needs a gentle cleaning by using a soft brush such as a makeup or artist's brush. Hang the wreath safely using a wreath hanger or with a large ribbon strung through the top of the wreath. A large pine cone wreath may be heavy, so an over-the-door wreath hanger is an ideal option that can hold the weight; no nails required.