Today I am going to show you how to make your very own gorgeous (!) pine cone balls.
The cast of characters:
Two 10" styrofoam balls, conveniently already packaged in plastic.
A couple of grocery bags of pine cones... it takes a LOT of pine cones to cover a 10" ball
Hot glue gun and LOTS of glue sticks
Jute string about 18" long- two pieces
Knitting needle or skewer to poke the jute string into the ball
Leave the plastic on the styrofoam ball!
(If your styrofoam ball does NOT have a plastic covering, cover it in a kitchen trash bag, securing with hot glue.)
First knot one end of the jute string a few times. Poke a hole into the ball about 6" to 8"deep.
Stick that baby with a knitting needle or skewer.
Squirt a bit of hot glue into the hole. Force the knotted end of the jute string into the styrofoam ball. Squirt more hot glue into the hole to hold the string in place.
Poke the string into the ball.
Start gluing the pine cones to the plastic covered styrofoam ball. Gloves help with this project as some of those pines cones are pointy! Leaving the plastic on helps keep the styrofoam from getting soaked since this will be an outdoor ball. I started near the string and interlocked the pine cones as best I could. There were still some gaps but I went back to those after covering the entire surface with the larger cones.
Keep the pine cones as close as possible.
Try to interlock them as you go.
Once the entire surface is covered, go back and fill in the gaps with smaller pine cones or dried seed pods or whatever else you can find that suits your fancy. There are at least three different kinds of pines on this property with different size cones, the smallest of which was perfect for the gaps.
Once done, tie a loop in the jute and hang. A ribbon can be added if desired but I like the simplicity of no ribbon for this cabin.
Warning: After hanging these outside, I noticed the next morning that there were HUGE gaps of white styrofoam showing between the pine cones on one of the balls. Immediately I assumed the squirrels had somehow managed to eat my pine cones or the birds had attacked or possibly the hot glue had failed and the cones had just fallen off. But once outside I realized that the pine cones that had been open when I glued them had just closed up. Who knew they could even do that? I guess they were freshly off the tree. A couple of days now and the cones are open and seem to be staying that way. No more white showing through.