Christmas Crafts for Children: Glittered Pine Cones

Tree top with decorated pine cones

Glittered Pine Cones on a Christmas Tree

Glittered pine cones is one of the easiest Christmas crafts for your child. You can easily follow the picture instructions to create a successful holiday decoration for your tree or mantle.   As always with our teaching method, the key is preparation and removing all distractions before beginning.  Never give a young or special needs child a whole bottle of glitter glue and expect anything positive to result.  Please follow the pictures under the adult heading to see how to set up the activity for your child.  Then have your child follow the pictures to complete the craft.

Before you begin, you’ll need to decide which way is “up” for your pine cone.  Some pine cones have nice flat bottoms, which makes them excellent for table arrangements.  Others have very nice stems at the end, which is perfect for hanging from a tree.  Let your child know which side of the pine cones petals to paint before you start.  Alternatively, you can simply have them spread the glitter glue on both sides and worry about it later.  This is also one of the most forgiving Christmas crafts for autistic children.

You will have the best luck with brightly colored glitter glue.  I found that green didn’t show up well when hung in a tree, for example.  Silver and gold were the best colors, although red, yellow, and light blue also worked.  I also used cinnamon scented pine cones one year, which made my daughter very calm and contented.


  1. Non-toxic Glitter Glue in bright colors
  2. Pine Cones (however many you want)
  3. Paper plates for the glue and to paint on
  4. Paint Brushes
  5. Paper towels
  6. 18″ ribbon per pine cone if you are going to hang them

Adult:  Set up a tray as shown in the picture.  Do not give your child more glue than you want them to use at one time.  You can always add more later.  They do not need water to clean their brushes between colors.  Simply wiping it on a paper towel is enough and much less likely to cause a problem.

Tray with craft supplies on it.

Set up the supplies for your child this way.

Child:  Follow the pictures to make a wonderful decoration!  Tap on the pictures to go through the steps.

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Adult:  Once the pine cone is dry, you can tie the ribbon to it to hang it from a tree or wreathe.  Or you can simply place it wherever you want a pretty little touch of sparkle.

Set of four decorated pine cones next to other holiday decorations.

You can add your decorated pine cones to any table arrangement.

Finished Pine Cone with Ribbon

This pine cone can be hung from a tree or wreathe.


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