I love using pine cones in my winter planter arrangements. They’re a nice decorative touch.
You can buy pine cones with sticks already attached* to them, so that you can anchor them into your arrangements. But if you want to use loose pine cones, whether from your own trees or those you’ve purchased, you have to figure out how to attach a stick to them. In most cases, you can’t just sit loose pine cones in an outdoor arrangement and hope they stay–blowing winds will send them skittering down the street.
For small pine cones with a fairly solidly structured base, I have drilled a hole in the bottom of them, and hot glued in a stick, similar to the method I demonstrated in an article on how to make planter decorations.
But if you have a pine cone with a more loosely structured base or a protruding stem, including the giant pine cones* popular for decorating with at this time of year, you need a different method.
My technique is to pick off some of the bottom scales on the pine cone on one side (which will become the “back” side), lay a stick against the pine cone, and then wrap floral wire* around to secure it.
For the support stick, you could use a dowel or even a wooden bbq skewer. What I used in this example was a piece of a pine branch that I’d trimmed off while creating the rest of my planter arrangement. Really, any stick will do as long as it is sturdy enough to support the weight of the pine cone–the larger the pine cone the bigger the stick required.
Also,the bigger the pine cone the more of the stick that will need to be secured to the cone. If I’d only attached an inch or so of stick to this large pine cone it would have been very wobbly. But an inch of stick would have been plenty for a small (say 3″ long) pine cone.
I take care to embed the wire in between the scales as much as possible when I’m wrapping it around the front side of the pine cone. The wire is still visible if you look closely, but once the pine cone is inserted into the arrangement it will not be prominent, and in many cases will be covered over with greenery anyway.
Here’s a side view:
And this is what my giant pine cones, with their sticks attached, looked like once positioned in an arrangement:
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