Blogmas Day #9: DIY Pinecone Ornaments



Here's another tutorial for Blogmas! We are on Day Nine, and I am horrific at boosting my motivation levels because all I want to do is read Bagginshield fanfictions, and I found this awesome one today and I cannot tear my eyes away from it. It pains me so much to have to write this entire post because I want nothing more than to sip tea and read, read and read some more. I'm seriously all too tempted to just go "bugger it", close this document, and go to the other tab where Bilbo and Thorin wait for me in their angsty glory.

Ugh.

Me: I'm going to get into Speedy Gonzalez mode and churn this out in record time. 

Also me 3 hours later: Ah shit, I failed.

I got distracted by my friend Cat, and then when she went to sleep (it was 2:30am her time) I went back to the fanfic. Once that was finished I ended up watching a good few episodes of Please Like Me. I'm so not feeling the motivation today. My sister is trying to tempt me into reading manga, and I'm having a hard time not giving in. The desire to not write is intense!


So, this is a relatively simple tutorial, and it doesn't take more than a few minutes to construct a pinecone ornament.

Materials:
Pinecones
Oven
Scrubbing brush
Hot glue
Bakers twine or string of choice
1" wide ribbon
Fabric scissors
Candle and matches

Directions:
1. Bake the bugs out of the pinecones. You really don't want to be waking up to bugs swarming you out of house and home, so it is best to bake the pinecones. It also helps when it comes to drying out the cones, because when they're wet they close up and feel heavier than when they're dry. I baked them in the oven at about 120ÂșC for 30-40 minutes. I freaked out at first when several of them opened up so much that they looked really ugly that I steeped them in water and let them dry outside for several days. Same result. Turns out all you'll get some ugly ones whether you like it or not. Let the cones cool.
2. If your cones are a bit muddy or dirty, use the brush to dry brush it clean, scrubbing away the dirt.
3. Plug in your glue and let it heat up. Cut lengths of the strings so that they're long enough for the pinecones to hang on the tree comfortably. Tie the ends of the string together so that the glue has a better hold on it.
4. All of my cones came with stems that I couldn't be bothered removing, so I just attached the strings to the back of the stems with the hot glue, but if you don't have any stems, just go right ahead and glue them to the tops.


5. Start making your bows. I don't't cut the ribbon until after I make each bow so that there was minimal wastage with the ribbon, and if I needed to do it again, then no problem! I've shown somewhat of a step-by-step series of how to do a bow, but I fear that it may not be as clear as I'd like. Basically, you want to make a loop between your index finger and your thumb, the short end on the front. Take the long end and wrap it around the back of the finger and over the loop. Carefully pull your finger out of the ribbon, and push the loose end into it so that it makes a loop through it. Put a finger on one hand into one of the loops, and the finger on the other hand into the other loop and adjust so that the middle bit tightens, and use the middle fingers with the thumbs to pull the ends to make the loops smaller if needed. Give the ends a snip, and lightly singe the edges with the lit candle so that the ribbon doesn't fray.
6. Let the ornaments hang on your finger for a moment to see where gravity leads it because I find that there's no symmetrical distribution of weight to them, so they tend to rotate until they stop spinning. Whatever side is facing you is where it's best to attach the bow, though you can put it directly on where you attached the twine to the pinecone, or onto the stem itself. That's it, the pinecones are finished!




Yes, yes, I'm very aware that my nails are short and sad, but no one is perfect, especially when times are stressful and one of your nervous habits is to bite them. I've pretty much grown out of this habit (I was a serial nail biter as a child and teenager) but during times of stress, I tend to absentmindedly nibble at them and the skin around the nail when I find imperfections in them like uneven edges or excess skin. It's not healthy, and I hate the way they look afterwards, so I try to maintain my nails so I don't have a reason to pick at them. However, there's not much that I can do when I've accidentally jammed a thumb into the door frame and it breaks the nail.

Anyhow, I've finally managed to write this! Now I can read! *Imitates Bart Simpson* So long, suckers!

I'll be back to annoy you all tomorrow, I promise. I love you!

Have you worked with pinecones before? What have you made?

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