Pine cones are usually the domain of kindergarten crafters, but these place settings are an simple and elegant way to spruce up a rustic table.
They're perfect for dinner parties, or even an autumn wedding, and they're cheap and incredibly easy to make.
Time: 1 hour
Materials Pine cones
To start off you'll need to actually get some pine cones. You can sometimes buy these from craft or garden stores, but why pay for them if you can get them for free. Find a nearby pine tree and search along the ground.Try and find pine cones that have opened up, and aren't damaged. Collect more than you need, and then you can sort through them at home.
Once you've got them home place them in a small bucket or bowl of water. Shake them gently to help get rid of any dirt, leaves, or creepy crawlies.
Leave them in the sun to dry.
Start painting the tips of your pine cones, like you're painting toenails. Paint underneath as well, because chances are your pine cones aren't going to sit completely vertical.
Metallic colours like gold and silver are the more traditional way to go, but don't feel like you can't be a bit bolder with bright pinks, yellows, or blues.
Leave until the paint is completely dry.
Hand write or print small name tags on white card. Try to keep them simple, you want the pine cone to be the main feature.
If using a computer, print and cut them out.
Now you can assemble your pine cones. Just place the pine cones so you can see how they naturally sit, then find a slit where the name tag will go.
If you want your pine cones sitting vertically, you can use a saw to flatten the bottom, and also to make a small incision in the top of the pine cone for the name card to sit in.
They're ready to go, and you can set up the rest of your table. Place the pine cone at the top of each plate so that all your guests know where they'll be sitting. Don't place them on the actual plates, while they've been washed they can still leave little bits of pine cone and you don't want this getting in your food.