Precious Pine Cone Ornament

ornament measures 4" x 3"
 

When I look at a pine cone, especially one dusted with snow, it brings back memories of growing up in New England.  That’s one of the reasons I’m fond of pine cone ornaments.  I’ve found them in stores but quality ones can be very expensive.  I decided to design my own ornament so I could make several for my tree this year. 

Made of clay, my pine cone measures about two inches long.  I dusted the edges with SnowTex for texture and a realistic look, then added a little glitter and pale green Swarovski beads. There’s no special design talent required here.  Small circles of hazelnut clay are stuck together then baked in the oven.  This is definitely another “Create It For Less” project for the holidays.

Directions

step 1 - Condition and roll out the clay to about 1/8” thick.  With a 1/2” cookie cutter or other cylinder, cut out about 18 circles of clay.

step 1 - Condition and roll out the clay to about 1/8” thick.  With a 1/2” cookie cutter or other cylinder, cut out about 18 circles of clay.

step 2 - Form a clump of clay into a teardrop shape.  It should be twice the length of a circle.

step 2 - Form a clump of clay into a teardrop shape.  It should be twice the length of a circle.

step 3 - Roll the edges of the top half of each circle toward each other.

step 3 - Roll the edges of the top half of each circle toward each other.

step 4 - Press the rolled edge onto the thin bottom of the teardrop shape.  Add another beside it working around the teardrop.

step 4 - Press the rolled edge onto the thin bottom of the teardrop shape.  Add another beside it working around the teardrop.

step 5 - Working up to the widest part of the teardrop, add more rows. 

step 5 - Working up to the widest part of the teardrop, add more rows. 

step 6 - When the pine cone is the size you want, use a sharp blade to cut the top of the teardrop flat.  Pinch the edge of each circle between your thumb and index finger to shape them and make them thinner.

step 6 - When the pine cone is the size you want, use a sharp blade to cut the top of the teardrop flat.  Pinch the edge of each circle between your thumb and index finger to shape them and make them thinner.

step 7 - Make a hanger by curving a piece of wire around a cylinder, like a marker.  Stick the ends into liquid polymer clay before slipping them into the top of the pine cone.  Handling the wire before the clay is baked will enlarge the holes and cause the wire to fall out so add the wire right before you bake.

step 7 - Make a hanger by curving a piece of wire around a cylinder, like a marker.  Stick the ends into liquid polymer clay before slipping them into the top of the pine cone.  Handling the wire before the clay is baked will enlarge the holes and cause the wire to fall out so add the wire right before you bake.

step 8 - Stick the pine cone onto a wood pick to make it easier to work with. Use another pick to lift the pine cone edges away from the teardrop core and give it fullness and shape.

step 8 - Stick the pine cone onto a wood pick to make it easier to work with. Use another pick to lift the pine cone edges away from the teardrop core and give it fullness and shape.

step 9 - Cut two small pieces of green clay to about 1/2” wide and 3/4” long.  Make slits in it with a craft knife, stopping 1/4” from the edge.  Use a wood pick to press the solid edge to the center top of the pine cone.  Press the other piece in place facing the opposite direction.

step 9 - Cut two small pieces of green clay to about 1/2” wide and 3/4” long.  Make slits in it with a craft knife, stopping 1/4” from the edge.  Use a wood pick to press the solid edge to the center top of the pine cone.  Press the other piece in place facing the opposite direction.

step 10 - Bake the clay in a 275 degree oven for 15 minutes on a foil lined pan.  Set the piece down gently to avoid flattening the individual circles.  Make any last minute adjustments to the shape.  Curve some of the greenery so that it isn’t all just sticking straight out.  Remove the wood pick.  Allow baked clay to cool completely.  If the hanger should fall out of the clay, it can be reattached after the clay has cooled with jewelry glue like Dazzle Tac.

step 11 - Fold a piece of wire in half with a bead in the fold.  Twist the bead, causing the wire to wrap around itself.  Slip another bead onto one of the wires.  Slip one more on and twist is 1/2” from the other bead.  Keep adding and twisting until you’ve attached enough beads to make an attractive grouping (9-12).

step 11 - Fold a piece of wire in half with a bead in the fold.  Twist the bead, causing the wire to wrap around itself.  Slip another bead onto one of the wires.  Slip one more on and twist is 1/2” from the other bead.  Keep adding and twisting until you’ve attached enough beads to make an attractive grouping (9-12).

step 12 - Slip the wire ends into the hanger and wrap them around to secure them.  Bend the wires to distribute the beads across the top of the pine cone.  

step 12 - Slip the wire ends into the hanger and wrap them around to secure them.  Bend the wires to distribute the beads across the top of the pine cone.

 

step 13 - Place the wood pick back into the bottom of the pine cone to make it convenient to handle the piece while you apply Snow-Tex to the thin edges of each circle.

step 13 - Place the wood pick back into the bottom of the pine cone to make it convenient to handle the piece while you apply Snow-Tex to the thin edges of each circle.

step 14 - With a small paint brush apply a thin coat of glue on the circles and immediately sprinkle with glitter.

step 14 - With a small paint brush apply a thin coat of glue on the circles and immediately sprinkle with glitter.

 

Supplies

At Michaels

  • Artistic Wire 18 gauge
  • Artistic Wire 26 gauge
  • Sculpey 2 oz. hazelnut clay
  • Sculpey 2 oz. leaf green clay
  • Liquid Polymer Clay
  • 9-12 Swarovski bicone beads 4mm
  • Snow-Tex
  • craft knife
  • 1/2” cylinder or cookie cutter
  • small paint brush
  • white glitter
  • Aleene’s Jewel-It glue

Misc.

  • Aluminum foil

 

 

 

Recommended Polymer Clay Books