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How to Make Pinecone Gnomes

How to Make Pinecone Gnomes main article image
Posted on September 27, 2022 by Julie Richards
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I am a gnome addict! I don’t care how big or how small, they are all just adorable. I have them in my garden, on my shelves, sitting under my houseplants, and any place I can find to sit one. My grandkids think it’s a game of hide-and-seek so to them it is a great game to see who can spot the most gnomes when they come to visit. I make gnomes for almost every holiday. But I make pinecone gnomes for the Christmas holidays to give as gifts and to hang on my tree.

Pre-Treating Pinecones for Crafting

Pinecones open fully when they are dry. However, you may not know that if you get a pinecone wet, it will close back up.

To avoid this happening, you must heat-treat the pinecones. To do this, I bake my pinecones. I set the oven temperature to 250⁰ Fahrenheit and let it reach that temperature. I cover baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil so the sap that may be in the pinecones doesn’t ooze out onto the baking sheets. I lay the pinecones on the baking sheets in a single layer and bake them for about 30 minutes. When the pinecones are dry, they all open to their fullest. That is when I remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.

The Supply List

You need a variety of fabrics to make the hats for the pinecone gnomes. I like to use durable fabrics from denim to burlap and just about everything in between. You can also double up thin fabrics to make the hats more durable. You may prefer a thinner fabric to make your pinecone gnomes. Felt is a good material to use as well. There are no set rules when crafting. Just choose the fabric you like for the hat.

For the nose, I use a large wooden bead. The actual size is determined by the size of the pinecone. The larger the pinecone, the larger the bead. If you do not have wooden beads, you can use a piece of nylon stocking filled with cotton to create the nose. Even a pompom made from yarn will work. Use what you have on hand to create a round ball that will work for the nose.

I make the beard and hair from either craft fur or extra thick yarn. When I use the yarn, I comb it out to make it fluffy. I have even used cotton quilt batting or cotton balls. I just pull at the batting or cotton balls to fluff it out to make a fluffy beard. If I want the beard a dark color, I will spray the cotton with brown paint that I have watered down to make it the color that I want.

The Process

Once you have heat-treated the pinecones, measure the length and the circumference. You need to know how big around the pinecone is so that you can make the hat to fit. You need the length so that you know where the nose should go. The nose is attached in the middle. In other words, if your pinecone is 4-inches long, you would glue the wooden bead 2-inches from the top and 2-inches up from the bottom. I always add the bead first.

After the nose is in place, I add the beard. For the two pictured in this article, I used craft fur. I cut the backing of the fur in a triangle that would reach from one side of the pinecone to the other side and down to the bottom of the pinecone.

This makes the pinecone gnome look more uniform and consistent. I glue the fur into place and comb it out to make sure it looks good.

I make my hats in two different ways. One way is to use an infant sock for the hat. To do this, you simply pull the sock down over the pinecone, with the front going to the top of the gnome’s nose and the back going to the bottom of the pinecone in the back. I secure the sock in place with hot glue.

The other way I make the hat is to cut an oversized triangle from my material of choice. I use fabric glue to fasten the two sides of the triangle together, leaving the bottom open. Once the sides are secure, I push the top of the hat back through to the bottom so that the seam is on the inside.

To attach the hat, I start at the front and glue the hat at the top of the bead nose. I then glue the back of the hat at the bottom of the pinecone to secure it in place. Then I glue the sides of the hat to the pinecone to secure it in place.

Decorating

You can decorate your pinecone gnomes any way you want. I like to add tiny embellishments like charms, leaves, flowers, or berries. You can keep the decorations as simple as you want, or you can embellish them to your heart’s content. Once they are decorated, you can set these pinecone gnomes on your shelves or hang them on your Christmas tree.

Hanging the Pinecone Gnomes

If you want to hang your gnomes, the process is simple. Use a strong thread and make a stitch through the top of the hat. Create a loop and stitch back through the hat. Tie off the thread with a simple knot and attach an ornament hanger from the thread. You can even hang these cute pinecone gnomes from your garlands that you use to decorate your home. You may even want to hang them in the middle of your Christmas wreath.

Depending on the size of the pinecone you use to make these gnomes, you can attach these adorable little guys to your Christmas presents. You can add them as stocking stuffers or just give them away as little gifts to co-workers and friends. They are very simple to make and will put a smile on anyone’s face. Have fun crafting!


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Comments
2 Comments
Wendy Boulay

September 28, 2022

Oh now, this is adorable!! Thanks for sharing!

Julie Richards's profile picture
Julie Richards

September 29, 2022

Author

Thank you so much!


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