If you’re looking for a simple nature craft for your kids to make before going back to school, this pinecone apple necklace craft is perfect! It’s a fun craft for 5-10 year olds, but easy enough for preschoolers make with a little assistance.
You may also like our painted washer necklace craft.
Apples are synonymous with back-to-school and fall, so it seemed only fitting that one of our last crafts of the summer would be an apple craft.
Recently, I gathered up a bunch of pinecones from the backyard and set them aside for crafting. The hooligans love crafting with items that we find in nature, so I knew we could put them to good use. A few days later, when I was planning some apple crafts for fall, it occurred to me that our pinecones would make cute little apples if we painted them red.
Then, it occurred to me that pinecone apples would make pretty cute pendants for homemade necklaces too. I suggested both ideas to the kids, and there was a big round of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” for the apple necklaces.
They all wanted to wear them on the first day of school, and make one for their teacher.
So pinecone apple necklaces it is folks! The mobiles will have to wait for another day. The month of September is always dedicated to apple crafts and activities, so we’ll definitely get around to them.
For now, I’ll show you how easy these adorable pinecone apple necklaces are to make.
For our pinecone apple necklaces, you’ll need:
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- green felt
- green or brown yarn
- glue or glue gun
- red paint (we used acrylic craft paint)
- green felt
- paint brushes
Turn those pinecones into apples:
To start, wash your pinecones to remove any dirt and debris, and let them dry thoroughly in a sunny spot. I laid ours out on the deck, and let them sit in the sunshine for a few hours.
How to get your pinecones to open up:
When pinecones are damp, their scales close up tight. To get them to open up nice and wide, place them somewhere warm and dry. A sunny spot works well, as does a spot by the fireplace or a furnace vent.
We painted our pinecones with red acrylic craft paint, and we used brushes that were thin enough to wiggle between the scales of the pinecones.
While the kids were painting their pinecones, I cut a bunch of small leaves from a sheet of green felt..
To dry our painted pinecones, we gave them a blast with the hairdryer. Acrylic paint dries quickly, so you could also sit them in the sun for a few minutes.
Attaching your yarn:
Once the paint is dry, it’s time to attach some yarn to your apple pendants.
Have each of the kids cut a long piece of yarn to tie to their pinecone, making sure it’s long enough that they’ll be able to slip their necklace over their head once you’ve tied a knot in it.
To attach the yarn to the pinecone, we wiggled our yarn in between some scales at the top of the pinecones, and we knotted it tightly.
This part will be a bit tricky for your youngest crafters, so they may need some help. Rather than jumping right in to do it for them, let them know they can ask for your help if they need it. Allowing them to try and do it themselves will help to develop critical thinking and fine-motor skills.
Once your yarn is tied tightly to your pinecone, you’ll need to glue your felt leaf in place. Using a glue gun or regular school glue, attach your leaf by tucking it in between some of the top-most pinecone scales. Because we didn’t want to wait for school glue to dry, the kids used our low-heat glue guns for this step.
To finish, knot the ends of your yarn together tightly, so the necklace can be easily slipped over the head.
And there you have it! Adorable pinecone apple necklaces that your kids can wear when they go back to school!
Be sure to make extras so they can take an “apple” for the teacher on their first day back!
For more fun and easy apple crafts, check out:
More Necklace Crafts for Kids:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.