Christmas Centre Pieces – Easy DIY

This post is part of my Christmas planning in July series.

For the last few years I have chosen a theme for Christmas. I am often asked if this an expensive way to go about decorating for Christmas. Well it could be if you set about buying everything new each year, but I try to work with what I have as much as possible and try to get creative with some easy DIY which are inexpensive.

This year I have made Christmas centre pieces for the table and the only cash outlay I made was $20 for the spray paint. As you can tell from the photos, my theme this year is red and silver (with bird emblem as well, always like a bit of bird!).

I have wanted to do something with pine cones for a few years, but have never been organised enough before to collect them at the right time. This year though, I collected some pine cones back in January in Mildura and then more at my aunt and uncles property in Beveridge a few months ago.

Winter is a great time to get some bare twigs and branches from trees, so last weekend I cut some from our backyard. With those branches I had everything I needed to start creating the easy DIY Christmas centre pieces I had in mind.

What you will need:

If you would like to do something similar you will need:

  • Pines cones
  • Branches
  • Spray paint – I bought mine from a local hardware store.
  • Glitter
  • Plenty of newspaper to protect the working area.
  • Disposable gloves

What to do:

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Due to the smell of the spray paints and potential mess, I recommend doing this activity outside. Underneath the newspaper I placed an old picnic blanket with the rubber side up, in case I was a little heavy handed with the spray paint – I didn’t want it seeping through onto the painted cement.

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I sprayed each pine cone individually, holding the pine cone lightly by the top and turning gently around to make sure I achieved a consistent level of coverage.

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I had a number of little helpers with me to make the Christmas centre pieces, including my nephew. I really liked this as I spoke to them about why I was doing it so early – Christmas was months away they told me!  Always love an opportunity to talk to the kids about planning and advanced preparation.

And when we get together at Christmas we already have a shared memory of making this together. This goes for my niece and nephew in Mildura who helped me collect the pine cones in a park one day and my other relos in Beveridge. The creation of these decorations is a whole broader family contribution which I love.

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We added glitter to many pine cones immediately after we spray painted them. Adding the glitter when the paint was wet meant it would stick. We did a range of combinations – silver paint with silver glitter, silver paint with red glitter, red paint with red glitter and red paint with silver glitter, as well as leaving some just painted.

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The spray paint doesn’t take too long to dry (a couple of hours on a cold day) and if like us, you do have some paint go somewhere you don’t want it to, if you wipe it off soon after with mineral turpentine there is no permanent damage.

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We then spray painted some branches we had cut from the back yard and added them to the paper to dry.

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Once dry there are so many possibilities for how to display the pine cones as a Christmas centre piece. I went for a large collection in a basket.

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I was glad we used glitter as well as paint as I think it gave them a little more festiveness.

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To display the branches, I used a large vase I bought last year and filled it with pine cones. The pine cones helped to keep the branches firmly in place.

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We will either leave the branches bare or perhaps use them to hang some of the decorations the kids make and bring home.

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So for now, I will disassemble the Christmas centre pieces and put the pine cones and branches into a safe box in the attic. It is great to know when December rolls around, I can retrieve them and put them together quickly to add some Christmas festivity to the house!

Do you make your own Christmas centre pieces?