Want some winter magic? These DIY snow covered pine cones & branches will instantly transport you to an enchanted snowy wonderland!
This year we are using lots of pine cone crafts in our Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations. These beautiful DIY snow covered pine cones & branches are SO easy to make, not to mention they are really beautiful and practically free! I will share with you 3 easiest proven ways to make them, and how to choose which method to use.
We will also explore some creative examples on how to use these frosted snowy pinecones and branches in holiday and winter decorations such as Christmas table centerpieces, frosted mason jar candles, and Christmas gift toppers.
This pine cone craft is great for the whole family. Have fun gathering your pine cones! When you come back, let’s create some beautiful pinecone decorations for the holidays and New Year!
Check out the DIY snow covered pine cones video tutorial below, or skip to step by step written tutorial.
Technique 1: Make DIY snow covered pine cones & branches with salt or epsom salt.
( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
This fun and fast technique is great for use indoors, or outdoors protected from rain.
REALLY HELPFUL TIP: the difference between salt and epsom salt is that if you use them on fresh branches, epson salt ( or the technique 2 & 3 ) works better because salt can discolor the green foliage after a few days. On pine cones or dry elements, salt works great.
Materials you will need:
The snow is in your kitchen! You can use Epsom salt, regular salt or kosher salt. We used Morton Coarse Kosher Salt here because the larger flakes look beautiful as snow. ( See REALLY HELPFUL TIP above on the differences!)
You will also need any craft glue that dries clear, like Elmers glue, or mod podge ( I used the original matte version here)
The key to success here is to work quickly so you can apply the “snow” before the glue starts to dry.
Coat the edges of a pinecone, a branch, or clusters of leaves with a generous coat of glue or Mod Podge, some spots will have little puddles of glue, which is fine. They will look like thicker snow later.
Take a handful of salt, sprinkle onto the glue coated surface as you rotate the pine cone or branch. Don’t touch the glue and salt coated surface.
When you finish, set them aside to dry. It will take only 10 minutes. Once they are dried, gently brush off the excess salt on the surface, you will still have plenty left for the snowy look.
I used these DIY snow covered pine cones & branches in our enchanting snowy DIY mason jar centerpieces, tutorial here!
Technique 2: Make DIY snow covered pine cones & branches with artificial snow or glitter.
If you plan to use your DIY snow covered pine cones and branches outdoors where they are exposed to rain, this technique is great because unlike salt, the “snow” will not be washed away.
This method is very similar to technique 1. The only difference is that we are using artificial snow flurry ( you can also use white glitter ) instead of salt.
You can see in the photo above that the artificial snow flurry we used really resembles fresh snow!
My only reservation for this technique (besides the safety note above) is that materials like plastic is not bio-degradable. I like the idea of returning everything back to nature or the compost bin, instead of just throwing things away in trash, which goes to the landfill. If you make your snowy pincones with them, try to use them again next year, because they will last a long time. 🙂
Another great way to transform pine cones is to make them look bleached. Here’s the secret on how to make “bleached pinecones” without using any bleach!
Technique 3: Make DIY snow covered pine cones & branches with paint and a tooth brush.
I love this technique because it is just as easy as the previous ones, and you can use your DIY snow covered pine cones & branches outdoors both indoors and outdoors.
A tooth brush is the best kept secret here! I used this tooth brush technique when painting these watercolor trees with fall colors, tutorial here.
We are using the tooth brush in 2 ways here. First, dip the tooth brush in some white paint, and tap on the pinecones and foliage quickly to create spots of “snow”.
Then, use your fingers to press and release the bristles to create small random splatters that look like specs of snow.
I will have another example of a DIY snowy tree Christmas gift wrap using the same technique, tutorial coming soon!
I love this technique because it is so easy and so beautiful! It is also non-toxic and so much fun as kids crafts.
I used a combination of technique 1 and 3 ( start with paint, then use glue and salt) to create a more 3 dimensional look in these Snowy pine tree DIY table centerpiece decorations. Tutorial here –
Choosing which one of the 3 techniques to use:
If you are making these DIY snow covered pine cones and branches with kids as a great craft project, or if you want to return the pine cones and branches back to the soil, use technique 1 or 3, because the materials are easy to work with and biodegradable. I mixed the snowy pine cones and branches made with these 2 techniques in a Christmas centerpiece!
For outdoor locations exposed to rain, use technique 2 or 3.
If you prefer more 3 dimensional details, use technique 1 or 2. You can also use a combination of technique 1 and 3.
You may also love this pine cone craft: an easy DIY pinecone wreath great for fall, winter, and Christmas decorations!
Happy creating! See you soon!