Last year we had a tree fall in the forest on our property, and part of it landed on the driveway. So, no choice but to cut it up and move it. It was a black locust, which is really nice hardwood. So, in exchange for giving the wood to our wood-worker neighbor, he was asked to slice some discs from the trunk for me. He was happy to do this, and I got about 6 wood slices. I let them sit in the garage for a couple of months to totally dry out. Four of them had a fairly even slice, and I set to cleaning them. I decided not to sand them smooth, I like the rustic look to them.
I used a stiff brush to knock off any bark that was loose, and all the dirt in the crevasses. I scrubbed the cut surfaces too, to be sure any sawdust was gone. Then I tried a spray varnish.
This didn’t seem to work well, the porous wood just soaked it up. So, I scoured around in the basement and found some varnish that was a matte finish. This is just what I wanted, not shiny. So, using a foam brush, I put on three coats on both sides, making sure to get all the bark well covered. Allow the wood slices to dry thoroughly. If you don’t have a tree to cut up, these are available online and at a couple of the big box craft supply stores.
Next I got out my supply of pine cones, and picked out several that were about the same size. I have a huge basket of pine cones, some from friends, and some from estate sales. The pine cones were chosen by how solid the base appeared. Any stem remaining was cut off with plier cutters.
Six pine cones made a nice ring around the edge of the wood slice.
Once all the pine cones were attached with hot glue, the spaces between were filled in with sweet gum balls. Our back yard is full of these little things.
To make it easier for the sweet gum balls to be attached with hot glue, I trimmed off part of one side with scissors.
Acorns are added between the sweet gum balls and the pine cones to fill in the small spaces remaining.
All done, and I added just a bit of hot glue between the pine cones where they overlap just for stability.
I added a tall candle to the center, just for show. Red or Green candles could be used for Christmas, but for now I am going with an Autumn color. If you want to use a real candle, be very careful as the pine cones might catch fire. It would be better to use a votive holder with a tealight, or better yet, a battery operated light.
Then I entered it into the Mountain State Fair, and won a blue first place ribbon for the category of Crafts Using Natural Materials. It was exciting that it was selected to show in the cases.
This will be a centerpiece for a rustic tablescape I have planned for later in the year. The crackle glass votive candle holder fits well too. It is a pretty leaf design with autumn colors. I have three and they come out every year at this time. Keeping the flame below the top of the glass holder is safer.
I like this a lot. Our home is being bombarded with acorns right now. Seems like just as soon as DH gets them swept up and thrown into the woods for the squirrels, the trees drop a whole new load. You do have to watch your head right now, it is easy to get beaned by one. So, I think I need a couple more crafts to use up more acorns.
Do you like to craft with pine cones? Share your pine cone crafts with us on our Autumn Jubilee Flickr group.
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