Glittery Pine Cones

Beautiful, right? These gorgeous old redwoods shade our neighborhood park and make me fall in love with that park time and time again. After our ritual slide run and swing toss we like to set up snack or lunch in the shade of these trees, practice “climbing” them (which is really just climbing thought the gap between their close-growing bases), and occasionally harvest their little 1″ pine cones for mysterious who-knows-whats.

While my husband and I busied ourselves with countless chores this morning, my daughter called out, “I’m ready for an art project! I’m sitting at my table and NEED an art project!!” So demanding! Forget that she’s got a sweet little self-service area all set up where she can access paper, markers, scissors (yes, that’s right…scissors…lucky kid!), glue, and glitter glue. But she wants MORE! So, my brain starts cranking a little faster, and I hustle to pull this pine cone glitter bonanza together for her.

N chose the paint colors, brushes, and glitter colors, and we spent a good deal of time mixing up a batch of “magenta” paint with red, purple, and white. It didn’t really turn out looking like magenta in the end, but at least we could name the strange, emerging color something other than red, which it was clearly not.

And this was not just for my daughter…my husband and I jumped in the fun, too. (Thanks, Susie, for the gorgeous bronzy glitter. Scott made some good looking pine cones way sparkly with it today!).

Excess glitter found its way into this baggie, and my husband showed N how she could cover a glue+paint coated pine cone with glitter by dropping it in and shaking it about.

A tray full of mini pine cones. Isn’t it surprising that the world’s largest tree should bear such a tiny cone?

We really can’t seem to get enough of the sparkly stuff. Anyone else have a child who’s nutso for glitter?

Extension ideas

  • You don’t have mini pinecones to paint? Try big pine cones, leaves, sweetgum balls, rocks, or sticks.
  • Bring a basket on a neighborhood walk and provoke your child with a question like, “Let’s collect items to paint/glitter/decorate/etc. What could we collect?”
  • Add glue to your paint mixture to ensure that the glitter sticks to the pine cones

Happy New Year!!!


  1. says

    We just so happen to have a basket of pine cones we’ve been using to decorate since the fall. Maybe it’s time to turn them into pretty valentine decorations!

    • rachelle says

      Nice idea…Red and pink pine cones would be fab! I have Valentine’s Day on my mind, too.

  2. Emily Smith says

    we do glitter pumpkins at halloween and they are always a big hit. it’s a big mess, but as is often the case, the bigger the mess the more the fun. : )

    • rachelle says

      I saw these done by Martha Stewart, and also love the look. And you’re so right about messy=fun 🙂

  3. sheila says

    Well, I have a couple grown daughters who love glitter, and I know a certain great-grandma Bessie who had a daughter that loved glitter almost more than anything. I think art projects go particularly well when a certain N can’t quite get around like she’s accustomed to. Nice shot with I in the background, btw.

    • rachelle says

      Gosh, who would those daughters be, Mom? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I suppose…and grandma would have been the queen of glitter, rhinestones, and sequins! And you’re probably right, that N’s inability to cruise around like a monkey is making her my art prodigy! I’ll enjoy it while it lasts 🙂

  4. says

    A basket of these would make great gift too!…What You Need ..pinecones.white glue.glitter your choice of colors.cinnamon.decorative container bowl or basket..What You Do ..Be sure to choose pinecones that are open spines should be spread apart not flat against the side of the cone.