How to make pine cones with fabric and styrofoam balls

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Pine cones have long been used in home decor, especially around the Christmas. Whether plain or embellished, the shape, scent and versatility of these seeds make them a crafting favourite. For a twist on the pine cone tradition, create a fabric pine cones using fabric. These easy, soft ornaments are perfect for decorating your Christmas tree and gift giving, or create several to fill a decorative bowl. If you sew regularly, this project is also a way to use up the fabric scraps that are taking up space in your sewing room; using a variety of fabrics gives the cones a shabby chic effect. Even if you want to use just one type of fabric, these ornaments come together in no time.

Cut the fabric into at least 48 6.3 cm (2.5 inch) squares with the rotary cutter and mat. If you do not have a rotary cutter, use sharp scissors and go slowly to ensure that your squares are even.

Fold the fabric squares. Start with the fabric facing right side down. Fold in half from top to bottom with the wrong sides together. Fold again from left to right. Press with a warm iron to keep the folds together as you work. Leave two squares unfolded.

Place one of the unfolded squares on the top of the styrofoam ball and pin in all four corners. Repeat on the bottom of the styrofoam fall.

Begin pinning the folded fabric squares on the styrofoam ball, starting around the top edge of the ball, or the narrow end if you are using an egg shaped form. Place the fabric square so that one of the points is pointing up; take care that the finished edge of the fabric is facing up. Pin the fabric on the left corner only.

Repeat the fabric square placement, overlapping the second folded fabric square over the right corner of the first square. Pin in the left corner only.

Continue pinning folded fabric squares until you have completed an entire row around the styrofoam ball. On the last square, pin both the left and right corners of the square.

Start a second row of fabric squares below the first. Place the first fabric square so that the point is between two points on the top row, and place and pin fabric as you did on the first row.

Repeat the process until you have covered the entire styrofoam ball. Gently fold the points of each square outward to give the pine cone shape.

Add a ribbon hanger to the top of the styrofoam ball if you plan to use the pine cone as an ornament. Loop a length of ribbon that's at least double the height of the styrofoam ball and attach it to the top of the ball with a drop of hot glue and a pin.

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