Little Brother: Festive Fir Cones

Fir cones have been scattered in precarious little piles all over our house for months. Little brother just loves them.

Big ones, small ones, fat ones, thin ones: if they are dry and don’t contain too many creepy crawlies they come home with us. His favourites are miniature ones that we find dotted along the path on the way to his sister’s school.

Over the past few months we’ve amassed quite a collection and I’ve had it in the back of my mind to use them for Christmas decorations. So this week we went on a hunt for materials to turn our humble fir cones into something festive and glittery.

At our local stationers (one of our all time favourite shops) Louis picked out a set of rusty-toned metallic poster paints, some natural twine and some multi coloured, sparkly, pipe cleaners (well the twine was really my choice, but the sparkly pipe cleaners were most definitely Louis). After a few minutes spent haplessly trying to convince him that subtle green pipe cleaners would work best with our decorations, I conceded defeat and he clutched his bag of goodies in delight.

He spent the following afternoon carefully painting his beloved fir cones, meticulously covering each one – and most of his fingers – in the process. He tried dipping a few of the smaller ones into the paint which resulted in a gloopy mess but overall the effect was great and really showed off the texture of the fir cones beautifully.

Next we set about creating some wreaths to attach our miniature fir cones to. I taught Louis how to secure them by twisting pipe cleaners around parts of the stem, but he was more interested in making pipe cleaner spiders so we changed tactics and decided to make a garland from the larger fir cones instead. This was so simple and fun, like threading beads onto a necklace. Louis loved seeing it take shape and grow bigger and bigger.

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Take a long piece of twine and work from one end to the other tying a loop around each fir cone. Pull tight enough that the twine slides in between the crevices but not so tight that it breaks the fir cone. To finish off make loops for hanging with the remaining string at each end. The paints we used are by Jakar, £7.99.

Kate Midda is an interior designer. She has two children – a girl aged 5 and a boy aged 3. Her perfect winter Sunday is a hearty breakfast, walks on Hampstead Heath then hot chocolates all round. Follow Kate on Instagram @soloskates