Introduction to Creating Faux Pinecones

Pinecones are a fun and festive decoration that can add natural flair to any space. However, real pinecones can be expensive and don’t last more than a season or two. That’s where faux pinecones come in! With just a few simple materials, you can easily DIY realistic-looking faux pinecones to enjoy year after year.

Crafting faux pinecones is an enjoyable weekend project and a great way to get creative. The variety of shapes and sizes found in natural pinecones also means you can customize your faux pinecones in many different ways. Add glitter, paint, or other embellishments to match any decor. Faux pinecones can be used to make wreaths, centerpieces, holiday decorations, and more.

Ready to try your hand at creating some beautiful faux pinecones? Keep reading for step-by-step instructions, helpful tips, and pinecone craft ideas to inspire your next project!

Supplies Needed for DIY Faux Pinecones

Before you begin making faux pinecones, you’ll need to gather a few basic craft supplies:

Pinecone-Shaped Objects

The base of your faux pinecones can be made from several different materials:

  • Real pinecone skeletons – Use leftover pinecone shells from last year. Remove any debris or loose scales.
  • Styrofoam pinecones – Purchase craft Styrofoam cones in assorted sizes. These tend to be more uniform than natural pinecones.
  • Wadded paper – Crumple up pieces of brown packing paper or newspaper to form pinecone-like shapes.
  • Cardboard – Cut cardboard into pinecone silhouettes. Cereal boxes or shipping boxes work well.


  • Hot glue gun – Helpful for attaching the pinecone scales quickly.
  • Craft glue – White glue or tacky glue work well. Useful for steps requiring more precision.
  • Spray adhesive – Can be used to coat pinecones and attach scale pieces faster. Provides a neater appearance.

Pinecone Scales Material

  • Felt – Use fuzzy sheets in brown, tan, rust colors. Cut into scale shapes.
  • Fabric – Scraps of cotton, burlap, linen work well. Cut into triangles.
  • Cardstock – Sturdy paper for cutting precise pinecone scale shapes.
  • Foam sheets – Adhere foam scale pieces easily with hot glue. Paintable surface.
  • Natural materials – Try coffee filters, leaves, or wood slices to emulate nature.

Embellishments (optional)

  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter, rhinestones, beads
  • Spray finish like shellac, varnish, or polyurethane


  • Scissors – For cutting fabric, felt, cardstock into scales
  • Craft knife – Helpful for detailed cutting
  • Tweezers – Makes placing small scales easier
  • Paint brushes – If painting pinecones
  • Protective gloves – When using hot glue or spray adhesive

Step-by-Step Guide for Making Faux Pinecones

Follow these simple steps to craft stunning faux pinecones:

Choose a Base Shape

Select one of the pinecone-shaped base options from styrofoam, cardboard, crumpled paper, or natural pinecone shells. Consider the size and number of pinecones you’d like to create. Varying the shapes and sizes will give you a more realistic final product.

Cut Out Scale Shapes

Using scissors, a craft knife, or pinecone-shaped paper punch, cut out triangular “scales” from your chosen material like felt, cardstock, foam, fabric scraps, etc. Cut the scales in assorted sizes – some small towards the bottom of the pinecone and larger towards the rounded top.

Apply Adhesive to Base

Coat the entire base shape in hot glue, craft glue, or spray adhesive. This will help the scale pieces adhere better as you attach them.

Attach Scales from Bottom Up

Begin attaching the scale pieces at the narrow, bottom portion of the pinecone base. Working row by row, cover the base shape with scales pointing upwards as you move towards the round top. Overlap the scales slightly as you move up the pinecone for a natural look.

Vary Scale Sizes

Use a combination of differently sized scale pieces. Smaller towards the bottom, medium size through the middle, and larger scales towards the pinecone crown. Blending sizes will mimic real pinecones.

Consider Embellishments

If desired, add decorative touches like metallic paint, glitter, beads, and more. Do this between adding scale layers or after the pinecone is fully covered. Spray with sealant if needed.

Allow to Dry

Let the finished faux pinecones fully dry and set before handling. This can take 30 minutes up to 24 hours depending on materials and adhesives used. Display proudly or incorporate into craft projects!

Tips for Making Realistic Faux Pinecones

Here are some helpful pointers to keep in mind when making faux pinecones to get the most genuine, natural appearance:

  • Vary the pinecone sizes and shapes. No two pinecones are exactly alike in nature.
  • Use an uneven, spiral pattern when attaching the scales. Real pinecones have a helix growth pattern.
  • Choose scale materials with interesting textures. Fuzzy felt, burlap, and natural leaves add realistic detail.
  • Apply scales loosely and randomly. A little messy looks more natural than perfectly even.
  • Dip pinecones halfway in paint or glitter. Concentrate embellishments towards the top and around the “petals.”
  • Use natural shades like brown, tan, rust red, and evergreen. Avoid bright, unnatural colors.
  • Mist pinecones with water and allow to air dry for added texture. Creates a timeworn, weathered look.
  • Insert a wire stem into the bottom before adding scales. Allows for decorative display options.
  • Group pinecones together in a bowl or cluster them on a garland. Looks more natural than solitary pinecones.

Inspiring DIY Faux Pinecone Craft Ideas

Faux pinecones are extremely versatile for home decor and handmade crafts. Here are some inspiring ideas to spark your creativity:

Faux Pinecone Wreath

Adorn a grapevine wreath form by wiring on assorted faux pinecones. Accent with pine sprigs, ribbon, pinecones, and other natural elements for a rustic winter wreath. Hang on the front door to welcome guests.

Glittered Faux Pinecone Ornaments

Transform plain faux pinecones into dazzling tree ornaments. Paint pinecone “petals” with glue and sprinkle glitter over the sticky areas. Add ribbon loops to hang on the tree.

Faux Pinecone Candle Holders

Turn faux pinecones into gorgeous candle votives. Use a drill or craft knife to hollow out the bottom of a medium/large pinecone. Drop in a tealight candle for instant ambiance.

Faux Pinecone Garland

String together a mix of real and faux pinecones for textural appeal. Intersperse with pine sprigs and raffia bows. Drape the pinecone garland over fireplace mantels or stair railings.

Painted Faux Pinecone Centerpiece

Spray paint faux pinecones white, gold, or silver for a glamorous table centerpiece. Arrange painted pinecones in a bowl, vase, or tray. Accent with evergreen trimmings and candles.

Faux Pinecone Critters

Get the kids involved in this cute craft. Turn faux pinecones into adorable animals. Add googly eyes, pompom noses, and pipe cleaner legs. Let their imagination run wild!

Woodland Faux Pinecone Wreath

Embrace a magical woodland theme with this easy pinecone wreath. Adhere mini faux pinecones all around a basic wreath form. Accent with tiny animals, mushrooms, and flowers for an enchanting look.

The possibilities are endless when crafting with faux pinecones! Let these project ideas spark your creativity. Customize pinecones using your favorite colors, textures, and embellishments to suit your personal style.

Frequently Asked Questions About Faux Pinecone Crafts

What is the best glue to use when making faux pinecones?

Hot glue works well for quickly attaching pinecone scales. For more precision, use tacky craft glues. Spray adhesives allow you to coat the base easily. Choose the glue based on your base material and scale media.

How do you get pinecone scales to stay on?

Make sure to fully coat the pinecone base with adhesive before applying scales. Apply firm pressure to each scale piece and hold for 30 seconds. Let the finished pinecone dry completely before handling. This helps secure the scales.

Can you use real pinecones to make faux pinecones?

Yes, natural pinecone shells make excellent bases for faux pinecones. Remove any debris, then spray painted or cover the shells with new scale materials. Real pinecone bases add authentic texture.

What can I use instead of pinecones?

For different shaped bases try corks, clothespins, walnuts, plastic Easter eggs, or small cardboard boxes. Cut and apply scale pieces the same way. Get creative with materials like felt, buttons, sequins, or beads for the scales.

How do you preserve faux pinecones?

Spray finished faux pinecones with clear acrylic sealer or decoupage medium to protect them from moisture and dust. Store pinecones in a dry spot out of direct sunlight. Hand wash gently if needed.

Can you use pinecones from your yard?

It’s best to avoid pinecones directly from the ground, which may harbor dirt or insects. Source pinecones from a craft store, or thoroughly clean and disinfect pinecones from your yard before crafting.

Crafting realistic faux pinecones is an enjoyable hobby for all ages. Follow the tips and techniques outlined to create gorgeous pinecones to decorate with year after year! Embellish pinecones to suit any theme or complement your unique home decor style.


DIY faux pinecones are a crafty way to add natural flair to your living space without spending a lot. With a little creativity and some simple materials, you can craft stunning pinecone decor to display or give as handmade gifts. Customize faux pinecones using different scale materials, sizes, colors, and embellishments to match any aesthetic. Group them in floral arrangements, wreaths, garlands, and more for gorgeous rustic or woodland appeal. The next time you want to spruce up your home for fall or the holidays, try your hand at making some faux pinecones using this easy tutorial and inspirational project ideas. Let your creativity pinecone!