Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Nature Inspired Pinecone Fall Swag


Fall is here and what fun it is to look in your outdoor surroundings for goodies to make nature-inspired craft projects! Welcome to our Sustainable Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop hosted by Julie @Sum of Their StoriesThe purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all of us to create a project that a) is inspired by a pin on one of our Pinterest boards and b) have some sort of a sustainable element to it. This could be an upcycling or recycling element, or something that reduces waste, uses leftovers, etc. September's blog hop theme is Nature - which makes it very open to interpretation for creating a project! I was inspired by this pin for this challenge.


Amazing natural treasures can be found outdoor for crafts of all kinds. In my neighborhood, those of us (me) living on the north side of my street have an open hilly berm surrounding our backyards and it's filled with lots of pine trees and ornamental grasses among other pretty garden foliage. 

For my project, I just walked up the berm and picked a few pinecones off the tree limbs.
And this ornamental grass happens to be in my yard, so I snipped off a few plumes here and there!  They're great for pretty fall vases, too!

How to make a Nature Inspired Pinecone Fall Swag:


  • Pinecones 
  • Plumes from ornamental grasses
  • Ribbon (1.5") and Bowdabra bow wire
  • Beacon Quick Grip adhesive
  • Faux leaves and berries
  • Scissors
  • Clamps

Since I picked the pine cones off the tree, I didn't think there were any bugs in them. They looked clean so I didn't put them in water and detergent first - as some recommended. I do know there was lots of sap since the cones were very sticky. I don't think water and or detergent would have helped removing the sap, though. It was very hard to remove the sap from my hands by scrubbing with soap and a paper towel so I know it would have been harder to try removing the sap from the pine cones. Anyway .  .  .

I began by spreading nine pinecones out on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper and baking at 225 degrees for about 30 minutes. 
Baking them helped to remove some of the sap (by dripping onto the parchment paper) and the remaining sap on the pinecones spread out along the scales making them quite shiny. Once the pinecones cool off, the sap dries to a nice shiny finish. 

Next, cut strips of ribbon, starting at 22 inches - and gluing each ribbon on with  Quick Hold adhesive by the makers of E6000 instead of hot glue which is not good to use if you plan on hanging the swag outside. And .  .  .
cutting the next 19 strips down by approximately 2 inches each. The last strip being 6" long - for a nice cluster look when placed together.
Decorate the top of each pine cone by gluing on stems of ornamental grass, faux leaves (since the real leaves haven't start to turn yet)and berries.
Dovetail all the ribbon ends including the end hanging on top of the pine cone by folding each ribbon together at the end and cutting at an angle from the fold to the opposite end creating a "v" shape.

And finally, make a six loops bow ribbon secured with bow wire and .  .  .

wrapping the wire around the ends of the pinecone ribbon and knotting together, creating a loop in the back for hanging.
Now, it's time to meet the other Sustainable Pinterest Challenge participants and their "Nature" projects!


  1. Your pinecone swag is just divine Gail! I love the colours you've used with the ribbon and leaves, it's even nicer than your pinned inspiration.
    It's funny you say your real leaves are not ready yet for a craft like this, because here in the UK a lot of our leaves have turned early this year. We haven't quite got full autumn colour yet but there's a lot more yellow around than normal for early September. They say it's because we had such a hot, dry summer, the blackberries also ripened much earlier this year too.

  2. I love the ornamental grass tucked in with the pinecones, Gail. So pretty! Our leaves haven't turned yet either, but I thought I saw a bit of color on the top of one tree the other day....soon!

  3. You made such a pretty fall swag for your door Gail. I hope you enjoy the rest of the week.

  4. Very pretty Gail. A darling fall swag to decorate your door. No fall weather yet, but I am ready.

  5. Your fall door swag looks wonderful! I love that you used the ornamental plumes for additional texture. I don't have any thin oblong pine cones in my stash. That shape is perfect for a swag.

  6. I love this swap! I've been really slacking about creating wreaths for my front door, but this swag makes me want to create one of my own. I really love how you included the ornamental grass in the swag.

  7. Beautiful project Gail. I have never tried making a pine cone swag with ribbon so thanks for showing how to attach the ribbon to the pine cones. Pinned!

  8. Beautiful swag! It's perfect to use all the way until Christmas, then you can swap the bow out & add some faux snow and you're good to go through December. I love this. I wish I had those plumes in my yard! My husband would probably try to run them over with the lawn mower, but I would protect them with my life to fill all the vases in my house lol! Happy hopping!

    1. You are too funny, Niki! I don't know what it is about this ornamental grass bush, but my hubby wish it would go away and keeps suggesting pulling it out and replacing it with something else! Men!

  9. How pretty! I have those pretty leaves, too, the very same ones! I adore ornamental grass.

  10. Beautiful swag and I love that you could walk outside and gather a lot of what you needed! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Pinned!

  11. So pretty Gail. I'll be featuring your swag on this week's Crafty Creators. Thanks for sharing!

  12. What stunning colours. Would totally make this if I could find the pinecones for it!


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