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DIY Glitter Pine Cones

*This post contains affiliate links.

Yesterday, I posted about making scented pine cones. So, today it’s time to get all sparkly and make glitter pine cones. 

I love these things, but I’m part magpie that way. Or maybe I’ve just watched too many episodes of Gypsy Sisters and have developed an appreciation for all things glittery and blinged out. 

No matter, these colorful babies are everywhere.

They’re in bowls. . . .

DIY Glitter Pine Cones

 

On plates. . . . 

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And in my bedroom.

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Supplies Needed:

Pine Cones

Glitter (in your preferred colors)

Spray Adhesive (such as Elmer’s Spray Adhesive)

Aluminum Foil (or Wax Paper)

Disposable Gloves

Ziploc Bags

First, gather together as many pine cones as you want. You can get them from craft stores, Walmart, Big Lots, dollar stores, or if you’re like and love anything free, from the yard. 

Which is exactly what I set out to do a few days ago, and after just a couple of minutes walking around our yard, I ended up with an armload plus some of project material. Which was great until I noticed a buzzing against my arm. Completely thinking that it had to be some gigantic stinging insect attached to said project material, I was on the verge of dumping every last carefully gathered pine cone when it dawned on me.

Not a bee. Not a wasp. Nor any other type of bug.

Nope. It was my Fitbit. One of those pesky little pine cones must’ve been bumping it as I walked.

Yeah, what can I say? It was a ditzy moment. But back to our glittery project. . . . 

If you picked your pine cones up outside, it’s a good idea to sanitize them by baking on a foil lined cookie sheet in a 200F degree preheated over for at least 30 minutes.

IMG_2779 Once, they’re cooled, take them outside cause this is the messy part and there will be glitter and glue everywhere. 

I placed mine on a piece of aluminum foil to protect the table I was working on, but you can use anything you have on hand. . . old newspaper, wax paper, cardboard, etc. 

Wearing gloves (because seriously, you’ll have glue and glitter all over your hands if you don’t), spray the pine cones one at a time with the adhesive. 

Then, place in a ziploc with the glitter of your choice. . . . 

I chose three different colors: gold, turquoise, and white.

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Once in the sealed ziploc bag, shake it. Shake it like a polaroid picture!

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Once each pine cone is sufficiently glitterized to your tastes, let them air dry on the aluminum foil and voila!

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DIY Scented Pine Cones

I don’t know about you, but there is one thing about this time of year that I love.

One thing that, as the second I walk into a store and smell them, I can’t help but smile cause I know Christmas is on its merry way. . . . Cinnamon pine cones. 

I’m a serious lover of all things cinnamon, especially these bad boys. In fact, come for a visit and you’ll likely find some tucked into a basket all year long, not just during the holidays. 

But let’s face it, it seems like every year the price goes up. And for something I can gather up in the yard. 

Which brings us to this post, DIY-ing scented pine cones. 

DIY Scented Pine Cones

The best part of this, other than the fact that it’s a lot cheaper, is that if you’re not like me and aren’t too crazy about cinnamon-y scents then you can customize them with any fragrance of your choice. You could have lavender pine cones. Or peppermint. Or how about Elf Sweat?

Supplies Needed:

Pine cones

Essential or Fragrance Oil (just a few drops)

Plastic Bags

Oven

Cookie Sheet

Aluminum Foil

Once, you’ve gathered up all the pine cones you want, it’s a good idea to sanitize them to get rid of any creepy crawlies that might be present. 

Simply place on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake in a 200F degree preheated oven for at least 30 minutes or until they’re fully opened. During this time, keep a close eye on the baking pine cones in case of smoke or fire.

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Luckily, neither of those have ever happened with mine.

Next comes the fun part. After the pine cones have cooled down, place in a plastic bag, add a few drops of the essential oil or fragrance of your choice, seal the bag, and shake to disperse the oil evenly.

Because of my soap making obsession, I have bookoodles of fragrances and essential oils to pick from. One of our most popular fragrances in soaps is Apple Jack Peel (you can purchase AJP from the same supplier I use, here), which is described as an apple scent with notes of cinnamon and cloves. I had just a little bit left in the bottle after making the last batch of Apple Jack Peel soap (currently listed in our Etsy shop), so I used that. 

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Just to be safe (and cause pine cones can be pretty prickly), I double bagged mine. 

Allow the pine cones to remain in the sealed bag for at least 48 hours or longer. Even up to a couple of weeks if you have the patience to wait that long. . . . I didn’t. 

Put them in a pretty basket or bowl and enjoy their wonderful scent!

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Some of mine are in the cute rooster basket I found at a thrift store a while back. 

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DIY Boxwood Wreath

One of my favorite ways to decorate during the holidays is with fresh wreaths and garlands.

In fact, I spent the other week going to five different places in search of fresh garland to drape on the mantel, starting with the places that always have it. Only they didn’t this year. Kissing balls, wreaths galore, tiny trees, but no garland.

I was starting to worry that I’d have to resort to a little DIY magic, something I’m not sure how to even start, when finally I scored some garland (discounted, too) and all was well in my world, again. 

DIY Boxwood Wreath

While I don’t have the foggiest how to DIY garland, this wreath was so simple and easy that I’m a little embarrassed to be blogging about it.

And have I mentioned inexpensive? One of my favorite words.

I spent a dollar + tax to make it. Seriously. You can’t beat that. 

Well, you could, but not by much.

Supplies Needed:
Wreath 

Boxwood trimmings 

Scissors or pruning shears

Floral Wire (optional)

Ribbon (optional)

Hot Glue Gun (optional)

I used a willow wreath as a base ($1.10 in all from Dollar Tree) to attach my boxwood sprigs to. 

And the boxwood? From a couple of shrubs at the corner of the house that needed a little haircut. 

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Then, I set to work with the wreath, boxwood clippings, and most importantly, the remote (so I could tune to some Christmas music).

I began by wedging the boxwood pieces into the wreath. 

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In some places the wreath was a little loose, so I used floral wire to secure the boxwood to it. 

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Once through, I made a bow out of some ribbon I had on hand. . . . If you didn’t know, I’m a ribbon hoarder. Seriously. But it comes in handy sometimes. Like now. 

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A little glue for the bow, and ta da!

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Did you notice a second wreath in the picture up above? Well, this one turned out so cute, I decided to make a second wreath to go above the kitchen sink.

Only this time with rosemary from the garden. . . . 

Rosemary Wreath

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Burlap Tree Skirt

I’m just gonna go ahead and throw this out there:

I usually go naked. . . . As in, no skirt under the Christmas tree. 

What’d you think I was talking about? 😉

But after perusing the Christmas decor at TJ Maxx and seeing this beautiful ruffled burlap tree skirt, I decided our tree needed clothes. Like yesterday. 

The only problem – the skirt was $30. I don’t know about you, but I’m a little frugal. Okay, okay, I’m downright cheap. And it’s Christmas time, which means my budget is already tight.

Being a lover of anything DIY and Pinterest, I decided to make one of my own.

Burlap Tree Skirt

Tree Skirt

I’m going to be honest with you, it took longer than I thought (at least 4 hours of cutting, gluing, and glue burns), and about halfway through, I was started wishing I was a little less frugal.

But it turned out beautifully, and the fact that I made it myself makes this tree skirt so much more memorable than if I’d just bought it. 

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Items Needed:

3 yards of burlap

1 inexpensive tree skirt

Hot glue gun

Scissors

and last, but not least, time and patience

Directions:

I found a 56 inch tree skirt from Fred’s for $5 to use as a base, but you can certainly recycle an old skirt instead. 

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Cut the burlap into strips about 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide. This is where it starts to get messy. And I mean really messy. By the end, there was burlap everywhere

And since it was everywhere, it was a good thing I had some help. . . . 

Sophie and tree skirt

I had the hardest time keeping Miss Sophie off of this project, so I eventually gave up.

Start off by gluing the end of the first burlap strip to the bottom edge of the base tree skirt. Then, using your fingers crimp the burlap to create ruffles, securing each ruffle with glue.

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Continue repeating the last two steps until you’re finished. 

Then, trim the frayed bits of burlap (something I was able to do only after coaxing Sophie and teddy off of it – I’m telling you, I think she was convinced I was making a new bed for her) and enjoy!

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Soap Pencil Lines.

I love trolling the net looking at pictures of hand crafted soaps. In fact, it’s become an extension of my soap obsession. But I guess it’s time well spent as I do use it for research for designing upcoming soaps. Or at least, that’s the story I’m going with 😉

 
One of the things I’ve noticed a lot of soapers doing is pencil lines. What is a pencil line? Notice in the pictures below, the dark line running through each bar. It’s such a simplistic and modern look, and while I don’t usually like simple (or modern), I love the look of pencil lines. I’ve done it three times, now, and each time has presented its own challenges. And while all three times, the soap hasn’t turned out exactly as I’d hoped, they’re still nice looking. And I’ve learned with soap making that the soaps that don’t turn out perfectly like I want them to are usually the first ones to sell out 😉

These are the most recent two soaps made this past weekend:

Japanese Cherry Blossom (the pink was colored with Cosmetic Fluorescent Strong Pink, the white with Titanium Dioxide, and the pencil line was made with Activated Charcoal).

Bay Rum (uncolored – this fragrance oil has a .3% vanilla content, so it should darken somewhat- and the pencil line was made with Black Walnut Hulls Powder).

Pencil lines are essentially a thin layer of powder (such as micas, activated charcoal, cocoa powder, ground coffee, etc) sandwiched between two layers of soap. To achieve this effect, you can use a tea infuser or a small mesh sifter (which is what I used).

Once the first layer of soap is poured into the mold, simply dust a small spoonful of your chosen powder on top of it. The fun part is that you can make the pencil line straight or jagged just by smoothing out the first layer soap or leaving it more texturized. After you’ve added the pencil line carefully wipe the sides of the mold to clean up the excess powder. Now, it’s time to add the second layer of soap. So that the second layer of soap doesn’t break through and disrupt the line, pour it over a spoon or spatula.

Tip: When you cut the soap, turn the whole loaf on it’s side. This keeps the pencil line from being dragged through the whole bar of soap. This also works great when you slice soap that is topped with oatmeal, jojoba beads, calendula, chamomile, etc. Also, wipe the blade of your cutter clean after each time. 

My soap cutter is unfortunately not tall enough to cut soap on its side, so I had to use a knife. And I am horrible at cutting straight, even bars using a knife. So, before I do any more pencil line soaps, I’m going to have to purchase a different cutter – maybe a good cheese slicer like this one here.


 

Updated on February 14, 2015:

Two years later, and this is still one of my favorite soap making techniques. In fact, browse our Etsy shop and you’ll almost always see at least one pencil line soap (check out our shop here).

 A couple of recent pencil line soaps:

Japanese Cherry Blossom. . . . same scent and same design from above.

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Indian Sandalwood with a very thin line of gold mica (brown swirls were colored using cocoa powder). . . .

Fallen Leaves with a thin line of gold mica (colored with titanium dioxide, red oxide, and Moroccan Clay).

Tips I’ve learned over the last couple of years. . . . 

A cheese slicer is a fantastic cutter for pencil line soaps.

Always turn the soap loaf on its side while cutting to avoid smearing the pencil line.

Use the smallest sifter possible to avoid getting your pencil line colorant on the sides of the soap mold. I now use one even smaller than the one pictured above.

It’s a fine balance between too much and too little. . . . Too little and the pencil line doesn’t show up as well. Too much and the soap might split in half right at the pencil line.

Use a vegetable peeler to clean up the sides of the bars and make them neater.