My son H has been planning for weeks for his playdate today with two girls (!!) from his kindergarten class. He informed me that they were “really into art, Mom”, so we should have some projects for them all to do (what? a playdate without Star Wars Legos?? what to do???).
I have to admit to you (since they’re in the picture below) that I had just BOUGHT pine cones at Michael’s (embarrassing b/c we are surrounded by pine trees, but we just spent a morning collecting pine cones, and they were all kind of falling apart. And HUGE. Not great for crafting. And the pine cones were only $1.50 at Michael’s for 15. But yes, I still feel somewhat sheepish for buying pine cones.) And I had some supplies leftover from daughter S’s 4th birthday party where we did fairy crafts (more on that another day.) So, we had the makings of something…
Felt — yes, those are little hats sewn from felt – leftover from the birthday party. More on that in a minute.
Wooden doll heads (from craft-store; I used 25mm and the smaller size)
Metallic wire ribbon (just something fun we had on hand)
…And it so happens I recently pinned this super cute image on Pinterest of what I imagined to be a beautiful woodland fairy family, which be great to decorate a holiday table (I ignored the fact that they were dressed for Valentine’s Day in the picture.) So we set out to make our own Pine Cone Fairy Family.
We affixed the heads onto the pine cones first. Some of us glued the head directly onto the pine cone; for others, the tip of the pine cone wasn’t a cooperative shape, so we needed to affix it better – so used a pipe cleaner poked through the top and wrapped around the pine cone.
The pipe cleaners created cute arms, so even if we didn’t need them to hold the head on, the kids wanted to wrap them around the pine cone for arms.
After getting the heads on, we moved on to decorating the rest of the fairies. That included gluing on those cute little hats. I know, you’re probably rolling yours eyes right now – “really?? You want me to SEW a fairy hat?!” Yeah, I hear you. That’s what my husband said when I stayed up til all hours sewing 30 of them for the birthday party (but those are the irrational things that mothers do for their children’s birthday parties).
Here’s the deal: they are super easy – you just cut a triangle out of felt and sew up one side with embroidery thread and a needle. Here’s a basic tutorial. But if you don’t have thread or a needle, I bet you could wing it with a stapler. Or skip the hat and cover their noggins with just a piece of felt, or yarn, or a rolled up pipe cleaner, or just color / paint on some hair. I’m sure your kids could come up with a million more creative ideas and would never miss the silly gnome hat.
I would, however, advise picking up some sparkly wire ribbon if you’re ever at a craft store. It was very easy to manipulate for all of my 4-6 year old crew and quite a hit, especially when used as a crown… Meet our Fairy Queen below:
Then there was a clamor for “MARKERS!” We brought out the special Sharpies, and the kids got to work on faces and hair.
I gave our gang free rein on all the finishing touches, so some decided to add wings (naturally – they’re fairies, after all) – so we cut out some wing shapes and tied them on with embroidery thread. (Wire ribbon or pipe cleaner would also work instead.)
I just love the range of personalities in our little Pine Cone Fairy Family! Two of them went home with their creators, and the other two are nestled in beside the gingerbread houses on our table.
Stay tuned for another pine cone activity to come next week! What are your favorite pine cone projects?