These pretty potted pine cone trees make adorable holiday accents

Decorating for the holidays shouldn’t have to break the bank. Get in the Christmas mood by making fun little “trees” to set on your mantel or end table. They are made from pine cones you can harvest from your backyard!

I love using what I already have to make seasonal decor for my home. It saves me money and gives me a sense of crafty pride. For this project, I repurposed inexpensive terra cotta pots I had lying around and some giant pine cones I gathered on a recent visit to my sister’s house. The pine cones are from Longleaf Pine found in the coastal regions of North Carolina. They are huge!


DIY pretty potted pine cone trees: Supplies

  • Pine cones (mine are ginormous: 8-9 inches tall)
  • 4-inch pot (to accommodate my pine cones, use one that fits your pine cones)
  • Hot glue
  • Paint and brushes
  • Moss (you can gather some from your yard, or purchase dried moss at a craft store)


Step 1: Paint

DIY pretty potted pine cone trees: Step 1 Paint
  • I painted the pot a muted bronze color. I am going for a natural but modern look.
  • Use a water-based craft paint.
  • Terra cotta soaks up a lot of paint, so go heavy. You might need to let it dry and then go over some of the thin spots.

Step 2: Add a decorative paint layer (optional)

DIY pretty potted pine cone trees: Step 2 Decorative Paint
  • Use painter’s tape (or in my case, washi tape) to section off a geometric pattern. I purposely taped the pots so that they wouldn’t match each other. I did not measure. I taped them freehand, shooting for a random geometrical pattern.
  • Paint the taped area another color. In my case I stuck with a monochromatic theme and used a lighter bronze.
  • Wait until the paint is completely dry before you remove the tape.
  • Touch up any smudges with more paint.

Step 3: Add the moss

DIY pretty potted pine cone trees: Step 3 Add moss
  • Heat up the hot glue gun.
  • Break up the moss into smaller pieces.
  • Quickly but carefully glue the moss down on the rim of the pot. I did a pretty thick layer. This is what will hold up your pine cone tree.
  • When the moss layer is glued down and dried, add your pine cone. You can glue it down if you want. I opted not to.

Some variations

This project is so versatile. Try using burlap or fabric to cover the pots and secure with a decorative ribbon. If you are not a fan of the moss, you can fill the pot with newspaper or tissue paper to help support the pine cone. Another variation is to paint your pine cones or bedazzle them with glitter. The sky is the limit.