Instructions for how to cover a styrofoam ball with fabric to resemble a pine cone

Written by ainsley patterson
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Instructions for how to cover a styrofoam ball with fabric to resemble a pine cone
Use the design of real pine cones as inspiration for using up fabric scraps. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Several winter crafts, from ornaments to wreaths to centrepieces, make use of pine cones, but just because you don't have a pine cone-producing tree nearby doesn't mean you must miss out on such creative endeavours. With a little extra creativity and time you can fashion your own pine cones from styrofoam balls and fabric scraps to use for such wintry crafts.

Things you need

  • 1/2 metre (1/2 yard) cotton fabric
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • 5 cm (2 inch) styrofoam ball
  • Flathead pins

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  1. 1

    Cut a 1/2 m (1/2 yard) piece of fabric into 5 cm (2 inch) wide strips. It doesn't matter which direction you cut the strips. Cut the 5 cm (2 inch) strips into 5 cm (2 inch) squares.

  2. 2

    Fold all but one of the squares in half twice so you end up with 2.5 cm (1 inch) squares with the right side of the fabric facing out. Iron each folded square.

  3. 3

    Place the unfolded square of fabric over the top of the ball. Secure it in place with a flathead pin at each corner of the square.

  4. 4

    Place one of the folded squares on the styrofoam ball so the corner of the square formed by the two folded edges points toward the top centre of the ball overlapping the square of fabric you already pinned to the ball. The folded square is now oriented to look like a diamond. Pin it in place with two flathead pins -- one in the left corner and one in the right.

  5. 5

    Place a second folded piece of fabric on the ball next to the first with the corners overlapping 6 mm (1/4 inch). Pin this piece in place the same way you pinned the first. Continue adding the folded fabric squares to the foam ball this way until you make it all the way around to the first square.

  6. 6

    Add a second row of folded fabric squares to the ball overlapping the bottom half of the first row. Continue adding rows this way until you reach the bottom of the styrofoam ball.

  7. 7

    Place one last folded square on the bottom of the ball to finish covering the ball. Secure this square in place with a single pin through the centre.

Tips and warnings

  • Make fabric pine cones of different sizes using the same size fabric squares, but with different sizes of foam balls. You can also use foam eggs for a more traditional pine cone shape. The amount of fabric you need may vary, but start with a 1/2 m (1/2 yard); you can cut more if necessary.

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