Oh, look at all those beautiful zinnias!
But wait, what do you mean they are actually pine cones??
Yes yes, it's true.
These are pine cones pretending to be zinnias.
Pine cone bottoms that is!
You see, these came about in the most curious and unexpected manner.
One day very recently, I was sitting at my work bench, feeling rather lack luster.
I had my hand on my chin, wondering what I wanted to make or do.
I was actually rather bored that day, as I sat and stared at some less than perfect pine cones sitting on my studio work bench.
I had collected them off the ground under my pine tree for holiday decorating.
And here they sat, 3 months later.
In my way really.
I picked one up, tossing it about in my hand.
When the most curious thing happened!
I took my pine cone as you see below and flipped it over.
Only to reveal a zinnia on the bottom side of the cone, as seen below.
I gasped really, I was so surprised.
So, I grabbed some standard acrylic craft paint, and painted a few pine cone bottoms.
Pretty much just to prove to myself that what I thought I was seeing was true.
With each stroke of the brush, a real zinnia emerged.
I was utterly amazed.
Zinnias hiding under pine cones?!?
After I painted some up I realized you could either leave the tops pointy, in their regular state, as below, or...
You could use craft cutters to remove some of the pine cone petals and reveal a stem, like below.
Either way works just fine.
I think they are easier to arrange in a bowl if you just leave them as they are in their natural state.
You can also paint your pine cone bottom white first and let it dry before applying brighter colors.
Then add the colors of your choice.
Don't be afraid to layer different colors and layer shades for depth.
This is not time consuming, simply use a medium to large paintbrush and glob the paint on.
It's that easy.
A little paint and there you have zinnias that never ever fade.
Are you as gobsmacked as I was?
Who on earth knew that zinnias would be hiding in such a place?
Right on the bottom side of a perfectly regular pine cone?
I sure didn't.
Such an easy and pretty craft.
All you need is standard acrylic craft paint of your choice, a medium to large brush and you'll be well on your way to a perfect bouquet of zinnias.
Great for gifts for any occasion.
And the things you could make are ever so many.
From centerpieces to wreaths and beyond.
You can sparkle them up if you want too, the options are endless.
They sit perfectly in a bowl, those wonderfully tricky pine cone bottoms.
So, if you find yourself kicking around pine cones on your walks, pick up a few.
Turn them over and look for a zinnia hiding on the bottom.
Take them home and give them a whirl.
I'd love to see yours.
If you make some feel free to send me some photos.
Pine cone fun!!!
Let's get crafting.
This one's too easy to pass up, don't you think?
PS: Regarding pine cones...
I don't know what kind of pine tree it is or specifically what kind of pine cones these are.
(although someone mentioned that they are loblolly pinecones)
I did this project on a whim never thinking so many people would be interested in it, the response has been incredible! Wow, I'm so amazed!
The cones are from a pine tree in my garden in Southern Arizona nonetheless.
If you are unsure if your pine cones will work, simply turn them over and look at the bottom side to see if you spot the classic shape of a zinnia. If you do, then paint away <3
I get so many emails and questions about this project, which I just did for fun with the paints I had on hand.
Many folks ask if they can use spray paint and the answer is, I don't see why not?
It would probably be super easy and the spray paint colors out there are amazing.
I can't see why you can't try any paint you want, the sky is the limit.
I used regular acrylic craft paint and just mixed up basic colors that I layered as I painted, nothing outrageous.
Another question I get everyday is about baking the pinecones first to remove bugs.
Now, being the wild woman I am, I didn't even worry about this.
Mainly because I never saw a bug emerging ever.
However, I live in the desert where the temps reach 100+ all summer.
So I'm quite certain my cones are baked/dried naturally.
But, my mom told me you can wash them in white vinegar and water.
Big bowl water and about 2 cups of vinegar, just soak and slosh around for an hour.
They might swell up and look funny when soaked but will go back to normal once they dry.
Then set them on paper towels to air dry for up to a week.
If you want to really make sure you have no bugs, then after you wash them just put them in the oven on a foil lined cookie sheet at 200' - 250'F for an hour, checking carefully to make sure they don't burn.
Then just let them sit around on paper towels for 2-4 days.
Like I said, I've never done any of that, because I live in a dry dry dry desert climate.
So, don't hold me to any of it pretty please :-)
And please don't burn anything.
If you are still unsure just google, prepping pinecones for crafts, and you'll find all sorts of info.
I'm sorry if I haven't answered everyone's questions via email, but I try ♥
Thank you so much for the huge response to this fun craft I discovered on a whim, simply to amuse myself on boring day. I am so glad you liked it! ♥