Saturday, December 21, 2013

Guest Post: Festive DIY Decor for the Whole Family

Disclosure / Disclaimer:  I received this Guest Post, free of charge,from Home Depot, for blog posting purposes. No compensation,  monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post/review. Nor was I told what to post.

christmas idea moose

The kids are officially on Christmas vacation.

You can scream now. Loudly. get it out of your system, before it gets BAAADDDD.

You know- the 'I'm Boreds' are matter HOW many toys they get for Christmas...

How about a fun activity that the kids will love, and you'll love for it's decorative appeal?
Home Depot's Rheney Williams has just the thing!

pinecones on mantle

One of my favorite aspects of the holiday season is picking out and dressing up the perfect Christmas tree. There's just something about the twinkling lights, shimmering ornaments, brightly colored ribbons and beautiful green branches that just feels like Christmas; I look forward to it all year.

A great coordinating accent piece to the perfect Christmas tree is also a member of the tree family: pinecones! And dressing them up is as simple as painting them in fun and festive colors.
For more on this family-friendly DIY craft project that you can do with your kids this Christmas, check out how I made my painted pinecones and start thinking of the wonderful ways you can work them into your own holiday décor!

Preliminary Prep Steps
Before we go crazy with the craft paints, let's cover a couple of housekeeping items. You may have developed your own system over your crafting career; these are just the tricks that I've picked up along the way that have paved the path for a much more enjoyable project experience.

First, I'm a fan of keeping my craft 'stations' as clean as possible and whenever paint or messy supplies (and little kids!) are involved, I cover all surfaces and containers with tin foil or plastic wrap for super simple clean-up.


For this particular project, I've covered a basic sheet pan with foil so that I have an easily transportable surface to cart my cones outside on the porch to spray them and while they're still wet, I can bring them back inside without having to touch them. Basically: Move the platform, not the pieces!

Meanwhile, as you prep your work area, send the kids outside to gather an assortment of pine
cones in various sizes.

*Tip: Just let them have fun with it and don't worry if some of the cones they bring back are misshapen or have broken bits because those can be the ones that get designated for spray paint duty.

Merry Materials
On that note, decide on the different paints you want to use for decorating your pine cones. 

rustoleaum spray paint

I've selected a metallic silver spray paint (above) and two different colors of acrylic craft paint (a turquoise blue and metallic white, below) that will coordinate with my Christmas tree ornaments and fireplace décor.

paint supply

In addition to the paints and pinecones, gather:
  • Craft brushes, one for each color you are using
  • Glass vase, basket or similar container to display your painted pinecones
  • Length of wired ribbon or trim cord to tie around your container (optional)

DIY Painted Pinecones
1. Sort through your pinecones. I separated mine into 3 piles: large ones for spray painting silver, small ones for painting blue and a third group that I did not paint. By mixing them up, I was able to have the little pops of turquoise and a few natural pinecones to add dimension to the finished display.

plain pinecones

2. Take one group outside to spray paint them and you can either leave them outside to dry or bring them back in (like I did, just to keep the big picture in front of me as I worked on the little cones).

silver pinecones

3. Carefully hand-paint the little cones in the craft paint. Make sure to get all the sides, nooks and crannies as far into the cone as your brush will reach. I painted six blue cones total and when they dried, I coated three of them with a light layer of the metallic white paint to add a bit of shimmer.

Here's a shot of the finished ones and notice how the cones on the right have a slightly metallic quality to them.

*Tip: When coating the blues with the white, you don't have to cover the entire cone; just lightly brush the edges and the sides to create the appearance of snow!

4. After at least 2 hours, the cones should be dry enough to handle and you can arrange them in your containers however you wish.

pinecones in jar

I mixed all of my cones into a large glass vase lined with acorns (that I gathered from my yard when I picked up the pinecones) and added random bits from a package of cinnamon-scented potpourri bowl fillers to lend a delicious aroma to the display!

From here, I tied a large wired ribbon around the base and placed the vase on my mantle.

If something grounded is more your speed, consider filling a natural fiber basket and placing it on your hearth or as the centerpiece on a coffee table – wherever you want a pop of Christmas-y color!

pinecones in basket

What are some of the other family-friendly DIY decorations you've made for the holiday season?

Rheney Williams has always embraced color and sparkle in home decor and explored both of those design elements in conjunction with her education in Theatre Arts and stagecraft. As well as writing about projects for The Home Depot, Rheney can be found embellishing home decor pieces ranging from refinished furniture to accent pillows.

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