Bring the forest's beauty inside this season with an easy craft.

Seasonal décor can be as simple as getting creative with paint and pinecones. Create a Midwestern forest vibe by using these winter decorating ideas inspired by the Northern pines.


Painting Pinecones

Acrylic paint applied with a foam brush is the easiest way to bring color to pinecones. To get in the small spaces between the tines, choose an old or inexpensive brush as its bristles may get frayed in the process. Follow up with a second coat if needed for coverage. You can dip the entire pinecone in paint to get the job done faster, but the liquid of the paint might make the pinecone close up. White paint makes the pinecones look as if they were made of porcelain, although any color can make a pinecone pretty.


A Colorful Edge

A variation on the painted pinecone is to brush the paint on the tips only. Choose colors that you like and which complement your home. I selected jewel tones such as teal, magenta and lavender that aren't traditionally used for the holidays. Going light on gold, red and green will give your pinecone display the relevance to last past New Year's.


What's in a Name?

Painted pinecones can perk up your décor in multiple ways this season. Holding place setting name cards for holiday meals is one of my favorites. Dressing up the table with pinecones gives a simple yet sophisticated touch for holiday meals. You might carry the woodland theme through the centerpiece as well, adding pinecones or spruce sprigs for a true forest feel.


Adorn the Tree

Pinecones were used for seasonal decorating long before commercial ornaments existed! For quick tree decorations, wrap a twist tie around the bottom of a painted pinecone so it can be affixed standing up on the branch.


Around the House

A collection of painted pinecones in a basket or bowl makes a cheerful coffee table topper. Throw a few of your favorite pinecones on sprigs of pine for a quick mantle or tabletop display. For other pairing ideas besides baskets and pine boughs, you can't go wrong with juniper and eucalyptus. For fabrics, try a tablecloth in lace or plaid.


Pinecones have been a symbol of winter and the holidays for centuries. By making handmade seasonal decorations for your home, you can add a heartfelt contrast to the deluge of store-bought items this time of year. The Midwest winter will feel a little brighter with your painted pinecones.