This week, Benzie is delighted to bring you a tutorial from guest blogger Jeanna of @properpenny! We spotted Jeanna's felt pinecones on Instagram and knew that Benzie's creative community would love them. Not only will you learn how to make felt pinecones, but Jeanna also shows you how to turn them into a hair clip, napkin holder, and garland! This wintery craft adds a touch of sophistication to any holiday gathering.
My biggest design influence has always been nature. It’s full of texture, color, depth and organic wild lines. When I set out to create these pinecones, I was just experimenting. If you like to die cut felt like me, you’re always looking for new ways to use a trusty steel rule die. This tutorial uses an old favorite from Sizzix. The best thing about these pinecones is their versatility. You can use them in decor, accessories, anything! You’re only limited by your imagination!
Skill level: Intermediate
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Die Cutting Machine
Sizzix Roses Steel Rule Die
1. Begin by dipping a paintbrush into Mod Podge or tacky glue and painting a uniform coating over a 9 x 12" sheet of Castle felt.
2. Place a 9 x 12" sheet of Nutmeg on top, matching the corners. Press. You can set a book on top for added pressure and move onto the next step.
3. Cut a 9 x 12" sheet of Olive felt into (2) 9 x 6" pieces. Further cut each sheet into ½" strips (1/2 x 6" each.) Cut a piece of floral wire into four or five even lengths using a wire cutter.
4. Snip along the strip to create a fringe. The width is up to you. I aim for 1/8" wide pieces. The remaining edge that is uncut should run the whole length of the strip. Keep it slim, also around 1/8". The thicker it is the further apart your “needles” will be.
5. Using your hot glue gun, place a bead of glue at the end of the floral wire.
6. Take one of the Olive fringe strips and place the glued end at the bottom far right of the fringe. Wrap the fringe around the floral wire and hold until it feels stuck.
7. Take the remaining fringe and pull slightly taut. Run a thin ribbon of glue about an inch along the fringe from the glued seam. (Less is more.) Pulling away and slightly down from the top glued section with the piece of felt in one hand, twist the floral wire to the left with your right. This will wind the glued section around the floral wire. You want the felt to just barely overlap on itself on the wire.
8. Twist and glue until you’ve reached the halfway point on the piece of floral wire. Snip off the excess.
9. Flip the floral wire over and repeat from the other end. You will have a single branch with needles facing opposite directions going outwards. The amount of twigs you make depends on how many pinecones you want and what you plan to do with them.
10. Return to the Castle and Nutmeg felt sheets. They don’t have to be fully dry, it just needs to hold together. Divide the sheet evenly to produce (12) 3 x 3" squares. I cut them into (4) 9 x 3" strips first, then cut each strip into three squares.
11. Take one of the squares and place it on the smallest rose shape on the die. Make sure it is fully covered. Run through your die cutting machine and remove the cut shape. Repeat until you have 12.
12. Take the outside edge of the cut rose shape and stretch upward so Castle felt is on the inside facing you. Place a bead of glue just inside the edge of the Castle side of the shape. Roll the edge backwards into the glue. Place a short thin ribbon of glue on the inside the strip leading away from the just glued center and wrap around, taking care to taper your way down until you’ve glued about 3" of the rose. It should look like a tiny little crown.
13. Now take one of the felt balls and using your glue gun, place a bead of glue on it roughly the size of a pea. Push the glue upwards into the the underside of the little crown. Hold until secure.
14. Continue to wrap around, gluing into place until you’re mostly out of rose. You should be following the shape of the ball and tapering back in to create the rounded bottom of the pinecone. I like to glue the little circle shape so it sticks up a little, but you can make it so it seamlessly sets into the shape.
15. Make as many pinecones as your heart desires!
16. Time to assemble! Take two of your twigs and overlap them into the shape of an X. Twist the centers around each other until they are secure. Use the flexibility of the floral wire to curl them up or down, however you like. Add a bead of glue to the center before you twist for extra hold.
17. Take two of your pinecones. Place a bead of hot glue on the bottom of one pinecone.
18. Place it just lower than the center of your pinecone twig twists. Repeat with a second pinecone above it.
1. Cut a small rectangle of felt just long enough to cover the underside of your hair clip. Open the hair clip and slide onto the the piece of felt. Flip your pinecone and twigs upside down.
2. Using your glue gun, thinly cover the entire clip (except the handle) and exposed piece of felt in glue.
3. Flip over and press into the center of the upside down pinecones. You may have to apply more glue to the edges.
4. Flip over and you have a perfect holiday hair clip. The same steps can be taken with a nylon headband or hard headband.
1. Cut a piece of your twine about 2' in length. Glue the pinecone to the twine. Cut a small rectangle of olive felt and glue over the twine to the pinecone back for extra strength in holding.
2. Fold your napkin into quarters and roll. Place the pinecone right side up in the center and wrap your twine around the back and back to the front. Tie into a bow.
The length of garland is up to you and the space you want to cover. The example garland I made is 6' long. I used nine felt pine twigs, nine pine cones and 16 small felt balls.
1. Cut twine to desired length. Putting the two ends together and pulling, you’ll find your center. Take one twig and holding the twigs center against the twine center, twist together just like we did earlier with the two twigs. Twist around several times until it feels relatively secure.
2. Repeat about every six inches until you reach the ends, leaving almost a foot of empty twine for tying on each end.
3. Take one of the extra small felt balls and your snipping scissors. Snip into the felt ball about halfway. Repeat with the remaining.
4. Take a piece of your floral wire and cut into eight even smaller sections with your wire cutter.
5. Using your glue gun, insert the tip into the cut in the felt ball and fill with glue. Be careful not to overfill or the glue will spill out.
6. Insert one end of the wire into the hole.
7. Flip the wire over and repeat with the opposite end until you have eight little felt barbells.
8. Take a little barbell and place against the twine in between two sets of the felt twigs. Twist them around until they are touching. The tighter the better so less floral wire shows. Be mindful of the ends, too much pressing and pushing will pop them off the wire despite the glue. If this happens, add a bead of glue to the bare wire end and reinsert into the felt ball.
9. Finally, add a thick bead of glue to the bottom of a pine cone and press into the center of a felt twig where it twists with the twine. Repeat until all twigs have a pinecone.
10. You can double up pinecones, and add more twigs as you wish! Now you have a cute little pine cone garland perfect for draping or laying around the decor on a table runner.
Congrats! You’ve created something beautiful that will brighten up your home decor all winter long!
We'd like to give an extra special thanks to our guest blogger Jeanna of @properpenny for transforming her pinecone design into tutorials for the Benzie blog! Check out Jeanna's feed for lots of holiday cheer, including peppermints, holly, Christmas trees, candy canes, and more!