Pine Cone Crafts – Secrets To Painting Pinecones (The Right Way)

Painting pine cones is a fun thing to do for adults and kids alike!  Pine cones are free and so this is budget friendly! Make a batch of painted pinecones to decorate your holiday home or to give as pretty gifts with this tutorial.


There are pine cone crafts galore that you can do, including making pine cone wreaths, holiday ornaments, dolls, animals and more! But let’s face it…pine cones are a dull brown when picked up off the ground. Paint is perfect for displaying them with more pizazz. I’ve tried spraying them and a few other techniques, but this one works best, so let’s get started!


Secrets To Painting Pinecones The Right Way

We don’t have a ton of pine trees here in South Florida where I live, but we do have some. I’ve gathered them throughout the years on my morning walks and love to display them and do a bit of crafting here and there. I’ve painted pinecones white (pretty and typical), I’ve glittered the heck out of them, I’ve tried my hand at bleaching pinecones, wax coating them…but honestly my favorite pinecones of all are these PINK PINECONES that I painted years ago and bring out to use every Christmas season.


Here are some tips to painting your own pinecones the best way…the right way. I’m saving you the trouble here of failed attempts, because I’ve had many!!

One of last year’s trees had some of the PINK PINECONES mixed in and I used them on the table as well.

First, if you are bringing in pinecones from outside your might want to consider the fact that they could have some nasty critters living in them that you may not see right away. Unless you’re planning on bleach them I would bake them in the oven because heat kills any lurkers!Bake in an oven that is set to no more than 200 degrees because any higher and they could burn. Bake on a cookie sheet lined in parchment paper or foil and keep an eye on them and watch how they open up by baking. Turn over to prevent burning just keep an eye on them. There is no specific timing on this, depending on your oven and the moisture content of the pinecones.

Once debugged they are ready to paint. Take some floral wire and wrap loosely around the top (flatter) part of the pinecone until secure enough to hold and dip into the paint. Keep the length of the wire long enough to create a little curved “hanger” on the opposite end. You’ll want to set up a small spot to hang the pinecones and allow the paint to dry. Be sure to line wherever that is with newspaper or a dropcloth because the paint will drip. I use my laundry room tray sink that has a closet rod over it for drip drying fine washables.

I like to use household latex paint for my painting pinecones projects. It just so happened with the pink ones that I make years ago that I had some pink paint leftover from a baby nursery project, so that’s what I used. Obviously use what you have and in a color that you love! I don’t like spray paint for pinecones because it just gives a light mist and I prefer better coverage.




Simply dip the pinecones one by one into the paint and suspend from the closet rod (string, outside on tree branches…etc) to dry. Don’t touch…just be patient and let it dry! One it is dry you’ll just need to remove the wire and you’re done. For these I wanted a little bit of glitz, so after they were dry I painted the pinecones with regular school glue (the white kind) using a paintbrush and sprinkled on some glitter. EASY.


Pretty in PINK (NAVY)…or any color that you choose for YOUR HOME. Painting pinecones is fun to do with your family and the perfect gifts!

As a bonus today I have some wonderful tutorials for you to check out below for more ideas to use those pinecones with in CRAFTING FOR CHRISTMAS!

Pinecone Project Ideas For Christmas – DIY

  1. Pine Cone Christmas Trees from townandcountryliving.com
  2. How To Make Beautifully Bleached Pinecones from sandandsisal.com
  3. Christmas Wreath from placeofmytaste.com
  4. Painted Pinecone Wreath from pmqfortwo
  5. How To Make A Christmas Kissing Ball With Pinecones from ourcraftmom.com
  6. Create Perfectly Flocked Pinecones from dukemanorfarm.com
  7. Glass Glitter Pinecones from makingitinthemountains.com
  8. Pinecone Swag from smallhomesoul.com

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  1. I have learned that if you want to just paint the outside tips of a pinecone you can do them in warm water and they will close back up then let them dry for awhile ( 1 or 2 hours) then with a small brush paint the entire outside and add glue n glitter. Then set them out to dry overnight and when they open back up they are nicely tipped.

    1. Nice tutorial! From someone who paints-consider pouring some paint in another container, then dipping the cones. Anything that chips off from the pinecones contaminates the paint for future projects. You may waste a bit of paint, but worth it- when your paint gets low, just pour it slowly over your last pinecones.

  2. I’ve washed in vinegar and water then put them in the oven they are open I’ve painted them as paint I’d drying they close up how do I keep them open plx

    1. Honestly I think that it depends on the actual pinecone itself. Some seem to stay open and others not, so I’m uncertain on any suggestions Cathy.

      1. Katie Hill says:

        Pinecones close up when exposed to moisture or humidity. I placed mine in a 225 degree oven for about 45 minutes but I suspect they might open up eventually if allowed to dry for a few days.

  3. How do I know if I baked them long enough to be debugged?

    1. I’m not an expert on that, but have never had a bug issue. All pine cones seem to be different.

      1. I’ve read 90 minutes at 200 degrees. That is what I did. Haven’t seen any insects

  4. You and my mom would get along great! She used to do more things with pine cones than you’d think possible! But I don’t remember her painting any – this is a great idea! Thanks for the excellent inspiration and tips! 💗

  5. Nice tutorial! Thank you. I can’t find anything on the internet regarding staining pinecones. I am wondering if I can dip them in a dark walnut stand, dry them and then paint the tips with glue and a frosty glitter.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks again,

    1. Hi Pam…thank you! Yes, I’ve never tried that but I don’t see why not. You likely won’t be able to wipe the stain off like one would traditionally do when staining furniture, so something to keep in mind. Would love to know if you try it!

  6. LORI TOUPS says:



  7. Hi Janet,
    enjoyed all your wonderful tips about painting pine cones!
    The pinecones I dipped in paint I let dry for a few days and are some are partially opening ,can you put these painted pinecones in the oven to open up quicker?Also I have attached a wooden skewer to them. as well. If so could you explain how. Don’t want to burn the house down!
    Much thanks,

    1. Hi Allyson! I would not put the painted pine cones in the oven, no. If you don’t want them to open in the future you could put them in the oven to dry out prior to painting. For the skewer, just use some floral wire to attach. Hope this helps! Janet

  8. Janet those are just gorgeous thank you for sharing the how to.I would have sprayed them and probably not got the finish I wanted. I love you style and ideas.

  9. Charita Grant says:

    What size glass cup did you use? Thanks!

  10. Marthalene Richardson says:

    Thanks for the pine cone painting idea. I picked up some a few weeks ago while visiting my sisters in Charleston, SC. My favorite color is pink; I love your idea. Again, thanks.

    1. I’m so glad that you found this painting technique helpful Marthalene and have fun with the pine cones!

  11. I have always loved this tutorial and the pink pine cones! I’m glad that you bring this out to share!

    1. Who knew that this silly craft would be so viral, lol!! I do love those pine cones though 💕

  12. Nancy Sutton says:

    Justin very pretty and I like them and I want to make me some too maybe red white and blue for 4th of July it could be I like purple I like all different colors but I’m glad somebody came up with a good easy way to do it 😁

    1. Red, white and blue would be so cute for an Americana display Nancy!