The holidays bring a buzz of activity: from parties to shopping to visiting friends near and far. Sometimes, kids need a little downtime doing something creative one-on-one with their favorite grown-up, and this reindeer pinecone fits the bill. It’s easy, low cost and the end result is pretty hilariously adorable. Because of the gluing and the balancing involved, you’ll want to sit down with the kiddos and spend 15 minutes or so working on this craft together. It’s holiday bonding, at its best. Read on for the step by step.
You will need:
Two pinecones, one smaller than the other. (One is for the reindeer body and the other for the head.)
Sticks! You want 4 sticks of even size for the legs and small sticks for the antlers. You could sub pipe cleaner antlers if you prefer, but you’ll need sticks to hold the body up (pipe cleaners are not strong enough).
Googly eyes. If you don’t have these, find a couple of cute wayward buttons or make a pair of eyes out of cardboard.
A red nose: we used a red spice drop but you can use a small red fabric puff ball, a red button, a mini ornament…be creative!
A hot glue gun. We highly recommend the hot glue because it sets quickly, thus requiring less “holding” up of the project. If you don’t have it, use another glue. You may need to balance the head in place a little longer than with hot glue.
Something to cover your table or work surface with to prevent glue-related incidents.
Step 1: The Body
Balance your pinecone body by putting the sticks in place. You basically just jam them in the cracks of the pinecone, then gluing them in said cracks. We suggest sticking them in as a trial for balance, then removing them one by one and gluing them in place.
Step 2: The Face
Oh, that face! We tried it both ways and discovered it is much, much easier to put the eyes and nose on the face before attaching the entire face to the body. Glue eyes and nose on. We used googly eyes and spice drop but you can use buttons, fabric or anything else you think looks good.
Add the antlers using the same method as the legs (put antlers in place without glue first; decide if it works or needs adjusting and then apply glue one at a time). You can use much more elaborate antlers for that “stag” look. You can even craft something out of pipe cleaners. Go wild!
Step 4: Optional
If you like the way this little guy looks, just grab some twine or ribbon and use the head by itself as an ornament or flair for your wreath). Otherwise, move on to…
Step 5: Attach Head to Body
Attach head to body. This is probably the trickiest step of all. You need to make sure that the pinecones kinda connect together, but also put enough glue to make it secure. The best thing about hot glue is that it is easy to remove, so you can keep trying with the placement if you need to, but the glue does set pretty fast.
Step 6: Display and Enjoy
Will you try some pineconey fun this crafternoon? Share your attempts and tips with us in the comments below.
—All photos and copy by Amber Guetebier