DIY Candy Corn Pine Cones ~ a fun, fast and inexpensive craft to dress up your porch or home for autumn. Perfect fall family craft!
DIY Candy Corn Pine Cones is an idea that was part of last fall’s project line-up at my house, but the initial execution didn’t go as planned … it happens sometimes in the land of DIY. But I didn’t give up on the idea and just shelved it until now, after I’ve had some time to re-think where I went wrong and how I could improve the process.
Last year I tried to achieve the candy corn look by hand-painting the cones. Fail. Far too time-consuming and they didn’t look quite the way I had envisioned. After bouncing the idea off a production-minded and solution-savvy friend, I decided the plan of attack should be in the form of spray paint instead of attempting to hand-paint each cone scale (the part of the pine cone that sticks out).
At work my husband has access to plump pine cones so I often submit a harvesting request to him for use in my projects … they’re great for decorating, especially in autumn. And they complement nearly any Christmas arrangement. And they make great bird feeders. Versatile, cheap and fun! While we have evergreens in our backyard, they’re just reaching the point of maturity where they’re putting off pine cones, but they’re still too small to use … but by next year I’m sure I’ll have an abundance of my own to choose from.
Before working with pine cones — or other similar fruit, such as acorns or Sweet Gum “balls” — I arrange my cones on a baking sheet on parchment paper and bake them on low (200° or less) for 30 minutes or so to kill any critters that may have survived the harvest and/or the ridiculous amount of shaking that immediately preceded them entering the oven. While I love the outdoors, I don’t love stowaways who have legs, teeth, eyes or other appendages that out-number mine many times over. Those few minutes of prevention and preparation save my sanity — there’s no wondering if I just saw something emerge from a crevice — and spare others’ ears of my bug-sighting shrieks. 😉
I used pine cones that were similar in size for my own preference but you can use a variety of sizes — bigger cones may be easier to handle during painting, though, and it might be easier to see the tri-colored candy corn effect with a larger cone.
As for the other supplies, I used spray paint in white, orange and yellow; spray can of finishing sealant; Mod Podge and brush; and glitter in white, orange and gold. On traditional candy corn the orange is the largest area so I began by spraying the entire cone orange. After the orange coat was dry enough to handle, I held the bottom of the cone to spray the tip white. Again, after the white paint was dry enough to handle, I held the tip to spray the bottom yellow. It wasn’t an especially humid day when I sprayed mine so each color was dry within 15 minutes or so.
I allowed my cones to dry overnight before attempting to add glitter. I used my handy-dandy Mod Podge applied by brush to the scale tips and then sprinkled on the appropriately colored glitter. While I like the cones that are just painted, the ones with glitter definitely pop.
This is definitely an inexpensive and fun way to dress up your home for fall, and a great way to use up any extra pine cones your pine trees have dropped during the summer. And while you have your paint out, do like I did and paint a few of them white so you’ll already have some on hand for Christmas. I mean, you already have all the supplies out and ready, right? Have fun! 🙂