A ubiquitous feature of the autumn season, the humble pine cone is often found scattered beneath the branches of the conifer tree.

The well-known woody cone (called a “strobilus” in botanical parlance) with overlapping scales that spiral in Fibonacci sequence, is actually the female. Underneath these scales are seeds that are wind pollinated by the smaller, herbaceous male cones. While still attached to tree or lying on the forest floor, pine cones open their scales during dry periods to disperse their seeds and close them up again when wet, year after year. It’s an amazing reproductive cycle that has ensured the pine tree – as well as other evergreens – thrive all over the world.

When it comes to decorating the home – for the season or just because you love the bucolic look – the nice thing about pine cones is they’re free! And they are especially easy to source this time of year – you can collect them by the bushel when taking a stroll through a forest.

Once you’ve amassed a trove of pine cones (be sure to collect them in all sizes), you’ll want to clean and sanitize them first. Then you’re ready to get crafting! If finding pine cones in your local area isn’t possible, then you can purchase a variety of shapes and sizes from this page on Amazon.

Here are some fabulous ways to turn pine cones into beautiful works of art:

1. Pine Cone Roses

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Because pine cones have alternating scales that resemble petals, they make for a lovely array of faux flowers that can be enjoyed year-round. Simply scavenge pine cones large and small, as well as a few twigs that serve as their thorny stems, and anoint them in your favorite colors.

2. Pine Cone Wreath

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There are perhaps thousands of ways to create a wreath of pine cones, but we especially like this number for its cheery display of autumn hues.

3. Pine Cone Topiary

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Another project that takes advantage of the pine cone’s resemblance to little rosettes, pine cone tops are glued to a styrofoam ball, lightly spray painted in white, and placed upon an elegant planter.

Read more: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/pine-cone-crafts/