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How to Paint Pine Cones and Create Stunning Angel Wings 

Transform pine cones into beautiful angel wings with our easy painting guide. Perfect for Christmas decorations, winter decor, and other pine cone crafts.

I always seem to have a pocket full of pine cones. Almost every day, I go for a coffee in my local park, where I can’t help picking up pretty dropped pine cones. I used some of my collection to craft a gorgeous painted pine cone decoration for my gallery wall.

Not only do I have a thing about painted pine cone crafts, but I also love to craft angel wings. I’ve created map angel wings and even upcycled shuttlecock angel ornaments. I mashed these two crafting themes together to make a lovely pair of pine cone angel wings for my gallery wall.

This pine cone craft involved using many pine cones of different sizes, cutting them to look like flowers, and painting them. After the pine cone angel tutorial, there is a round-up of other fantastic pine cone craft ideas. There are more Christmas nature crafts here.

How To Paint Pine Cones For Crafting

There are several ways to paint a pine cone: by hand, with spray paints, or by dipping them in paint. I like to bleach my pine cones before painting. This lightens them a bit but doesn’t make them go white. I put the pine cones in a large jar with 50/50 diluted bleach and leave them for 24 hours.

bleaching pine cones

The pine cones will close up while soaking in the bleach. Just remove them from the jar and rinse off the bleach. Then, leave them to dry in the sun or a warm place. As the pine cones dry, they will open up again.

Painting by hand

Bleached pine cones can be easily painted by hand using a small paintbrush and craft acrylic paint. This method works well when you want to paint them in different colours. For example, when creating pine cone flowers, the centre can be a different colour from the outer scales (petals). Also, the edge of the scales can be lightened with white paint.

Painting pine cones by hand
painted pine cone flowers

Spray Painting Pine Cones

If you want to change the pine cones to one colour, the easy way is to spray paint them. This ensures a more even coverage. Quick-drying spray paints are advantageous over other paints as the pine cones won’t get too wet.

If pine cones get too wet and don’t dry quickly, they will start to close up again. I’ve spray-painted pine cones gold before to make fall mason jar decorations. I’ve also spray-painted them green before making mini pine cone Christmas trees.

spray painted pine cones gold

Dipping Pine Cones

This is the method I used for the crafted pine cone angel wings. I hooked wire around the pine cone and dipped it into a pot of leftover diluted latex wall paint. The pine cone was then left in the sun to drip dry. I used diluted paint as this is quicker to dry than thick paint, and thus, there is less chance of the pine cones closing up.

pine cone on wire

Also, it helps to do this on a sunny day so that they can dry quickly. I recommend using wire around the pine cones instead of string. Pine cones are light, and the wire can push them into the paint pot. If the pine cones were just on a string, they would likely float on the top and not get covered.

Even though this method is a bit messy, the pine cones are completely covered, and I like how they look.

Dipping pine cone in paint

FAQs Painting Pine Cones:

Q: Can I use any paint for pine cones? A: Yes, you can use various types of paint, such as spray paint, acrylic paint, or even latex paint. Choose based on the effect you want to achieve.

Q: How long does it take for painted pine cones to dry? A: It depends on the type of paint and the drying conditions. Spray paint usually dries quickly, often within an hour. Acrylic and latex paints might take longer, mainly if applied thickly.

Q: Can I use the pine cones I found outside? A: Absolutely! Clean and dry them thoroughly to remove any dirt or insects before painting.

Q: What’s the best way to keep pine cones from closing up after painting? A: Use quick-drying paints and avoid getting the pine cones too wet. Dry them quickly in a warm place to keep them from closing.

Q: Can painted pine cones be used outdoors? A: Painted pine cones can be used outdoors, but they may not last as long due to exposure to the elements. For outdoor use, consider sealing them with a clear varnish or sealant.

How To Make The Angel Wings

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What you need

How To Make The Angel Wings

Step 1: First, cut the top 2-3 rows of pine cone scales to make them look more like flowers. I use a pair of garden secateurs for this.

cutting the top scales

Step 2: Next, paint all the pine cones using one of the methods above. I dipped my pine cones and left them hanging in the sun to dry.

dipped pine cones drying in the sun

Step 3: Draw your angel wings on cardboard and cut them out, or use my template. Then, place the cut-out angel wing in the centre of the picture frame and draw around it with a white pencil.

Drawing out the wing shape
Angel wing template

Step 4: Paint the drawn angel wings the same colour as the pine cones.

Painted angel wings on board

Step 5: Gather the painted pine cones and lay them on the angel wings. Play around with the arrangement. I tend to put the larger pine cones at the top of the wings and the small pine cones on the tips.

Painted pine cone angel wings
laying out pine cones

Step 6: When you are happy with the arrangement of the pine cones, stick them to the board using a hot glue gun. Lift the pine cones one by one, cover the base of the cone with hot glue and then stick them to the board.

adding hot glue to the pine cones
sticking down the cones

All that remains now is to hang up the pine cone angel wings. As there is no glass on the frame, the picture is surprisingly light, as pine cones are very light.

Painted pine cone angle wing crafts
DIY pine cone angel wings

If you love pine cones, like me, there are some wonderful vintage illustrations on Pictureboxblue. These would also look fabulous framed on the gallery wall.

DIY Painted pine cone angel wings

Painted Pine Cone Crafts

A collection of fabulous crafts and DIYs that use painted pine cones.

Painted pine cone crafts

I also collect the fallen acorns in my local park and paint them for crafts. You might also want to check out these fun paper pine cone ornaments.

If you want more craft ideas, check out my collection of cool craft ideas for adults and more DIY Boho Decor ideas.

Naush Samama

Monday 12th of October 2020

I love pinecone crafts. Tons of possibilities with them. Love how your wings turned out. Stunning. Thank you for sharing it with us at Meraki Link Party. Naush

Claire Armstrong

Tuesday 13th of October 2020

Thank you, they re a fun free crafting resource.

Michelle Leslie

Sunday 11th of October 2020

You have such a wonderful imagination Claire. Love the unique texture or interest the pine cones give the angel wings. I'll have to go hunting for some pine cones soon ;-)

Claire Armstrong

Monday 12th of October 2020

Thank you, there are so many of pine cones in my park I just had to make something with them.

Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Thanks for sharing this wonderful project! It is beautiful. Every fall I collect the small pine cones from my yard and look for ways to use them. So I certainly appreciate how wonderful this project is. Thanks for visiting and sharing this week with us at #HomeMattersParty

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Thank you, there is just something appealing about pine cones and they are fun to craft with.


Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hey Claire, I love these pinecone projects! So many ideas, it's amazing. I may have a go at making one or two. I do like the rustic wall art hanging as well :) Thanks for sharing!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Thank you, pine cones are a great free resource for crafting with. Have fun crafting with them.

Jennifer Dynys

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

You are a pinecone craft rock star!! So many amazing projects here! Thank you for sharing at Embracing Home and Family!

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Thank you, I just love crafting with nature and the things around me.