The Star-Herald

How to make colorful floral arrangements using pine cones

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Spring in Aroostook County often provides many opportunities for children to get outside and discover the nature in their own backyards. But did you know that families could take a small objects such as pine cones and turn them into beautiful “flower” arrangements?

That unique craft project is one that 12 students recently learned at Wintergreen Arts Center, courtesy of center manager and avid crafter Kara Addington. Addington showed children in the Pizza ‘n Art for Teens and Tweens class how to make floral arrangements of pine cones using either a picture frame or a glass vase with thin wooden sticks called “skewers” to replicate the appearance of real flowers.

Most students chose to try the picture frame option, for which they needed a frame, glue, acrylic paint, paintbrushes and at least 10 pine cones. For folks making the pine cone art at home, Addington suggests that they first arrange the 10 pine cones inside the frame to see if they need more.

Kapri Griffeths, 10, and her grandmother Anne Blanchard enjoy pine cone art projects offered at Wintergreen Arts Center on Friday, May 17. (Melissa Lizotte/Star Herald)

“You’ll want to use bigger pine cones because they’ll take up more space inside the frame,” Addington said, during the class on Friday, May 17. “It’s like putting a puzzle together. You want all the pine cones to fit exactly what you’d like them.”

The next step is to use a small-tipped paintbrush and gently paint the pine cones. Addington recommends using bright colors such as yellow, red, purple, pink, blue and orange so that pine cones fully look like flowers. Crafters can also paint their picture frame to make their project stand out even more.

“You could also paint the center of your pine cones yellow. A lot of flowers have yellow in their center,” Addington said. “If you paint your frame you’ll need a larger paintbrush to finish more quickly.”

Pine cone flowers are meant to be a short craft project that could easily be completed within an hour. After letting the paint dry, crafters then glue the flowers into their chosen arrangement. When finished they’ll have a beautiful piece of art that they can display in their home or flower garden.

“It’s a very basic but really fun project that people can do on their own,” Addington said, about why she chose pine cones for the Pizza ‘n Art class. “There’s a lot of different things you could do with pine cones.”
Another option is to paint skewers green to resemble flower stems and glue them to the pine cones. Combined with a vase the pine cones and “stems” create unique floral arrangements of their own.

That’s the project that Anne Blanchard and her granddaughter Kapri Griffeth, 10, chose to make on Friday evening.

“We thought it would be a great way to spend the evening together,” Blanchard said. “I like how fun the project is and the conversations we’ve been able to have with each other.”

Griffeth has frequently taken Wintergreen classes and said she also enjoyed the chance to try a new art project.

“I like that you can make different flowers with pine cones,” Griffeth said.

Haddie Cogswell, 11, and Haley Hines, 11, turn pine cones into “flowers” as part of a recent craft project at Wintergreen Arts Center on Friday. (Melissa Lizotte/Star Herald)

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