Colorful Christmas Scented Pine Cone Trees

When the calendar page turns to December, I go into full – on Christmas mode. I start listening to Christmas music all day long, decking the house, shopping for gifts, baking cookies and bringing that wonderful Christmas tree scent into the house.

I also like to make a few gifts, small ones to give to hostesses, friends, neighbors, and more.  Today I am sharing how I make scented pine cone trees using pine cones from my yard, crayons, (yes, crayons) and Balsam Fir and orange essential oils.

Holiday gift ideas to make using pinecones and essential oils. Pine cone crafts to make for Christmas.

I love the pine scent that makes the house smell so good when we bring the Christmas tree into the house. It smells so fresh and clean. Fresh greenery around the house also adds to the scent.

I am not a fan of the pine smell that wafts off scented pine cones that are sold in a net bag at the craft store and Walmart. When I pass them on the store shelves, I cover my nose, the scent is way too intense. I like that the pine cones look decorative and can be used as fire starters, but I have found to get the fresh pine scent in my house that is not overwhelming, I have to make the pine cones myself. Instead of simply adding Balsam Fir or other fresh smelling oils to the pine cones and display them in mass in a bowl, I decided to make Christmas trees that are cute, colorful, decorative, and will give any space they are placed in that Christmas tree smell.

My yard is filled with pine trees so there is never a shortage of pine cones on the lawn… like… ever!  It is a weekly chore to go out an pick them up. I fill one to three – 30 gallon trash bags every week. Last week I saved a few of the cones to make the scented pine cone trees.

Making the pine cone trees is a fast and easy project. You do have to be careful though since you will be working with hot melted wax.

How to Make Colorful Christmas Scented Pine Cone Trees

pine cone crafts using essential-oils-to make Christmas pine-cone-trees

supplies needed:

  • Pine Cone
  • 9 oz. Paper cup
  • 5 crayons
  • Small glass or ceramic bowl
  • Microwave
  • Straw or popsicle stick to use to stir the melted crayons
  • Essential Oil – Idaho Balsam Fir, Orange, and or Thieves
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors

Note: If the pine cones you find are closed, have a lot of sap on them, or have bugs in them, you can bake them first. Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pine cones on and place in a 200 degree oven for 30 minutes. This will kill any bugs and lessen the sap.

How to make pine cone trees and pine cone crafts for Christmas

1. Cut the paper cup as shown above so that there is about 1-inch left of the cup.

How to melt crayons to make pine cone crafts.

2. Remove paper from 5 similar color crayons, break them up and place in a small glass dish.

How to melt crayons in a microwave

3. Microwave for 3 minutes. Melted wax will be very hot, use a pot holder to carefully remove small glass bowl from microwave. It will be hot. Stir melted crayons with straw or popsicle stick. If crayons are not fully melted, place back in microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir until all the crayons are melted.


  • The wattage of your microwave may differ from mine, but 3 – 4 minutes should melt the crayons.
  • It would make it easier if the crayons were placed in the paper cup and microwaved, but the cup does not get as hot as a glass bowl does. The crayons do not melt as well.
How to make waxed pine cone trees.

4. Pour melted crayons into cup. (If you are planning to make a few different color bases for your trees, as soon as you pour out the wax, wipe the inside of the bowl with a paper towel. The liquid wax will wipe away easily so you can repeat the melting process with a different crayon color.

Pine cone craft ideas for Christmas

5. Fill almost all the way. The wax should be high enough so when you place a pine cone on top, it will sit in the wax.

Pine cone crafting idea for Christmas

6. Before wax hardens, make sure pine cone is straight. Let wax harden. To speed up the process, place the cup with the pine cone in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

How to make a pine cone Christmas tree

7. When wax is cooled and hardened, remove paper cup by ripping the top edge down and then carefully around the wax.

Crayon crafts for Christmas

It should look like this.

glittered pine cone crafts

Optional:  Spray a light coat of spray glue over pine cone…

glitter and pine cone crafting ideas

… and shake glitter over it. Let dry.

  • If you don’t add glitter, after the holidays the trees can become fire starters for your fireplace.
essential-oil-pine-cone-trees to make at home for Christmas gift giving

To add that Christmas tree smell, shake a few drops of Balsam Fir, Orange essential oil over the pine cone. If you don’t have one of these, use your favorite smelling oil since it will act as an air freshener.

How to Gift Wrap Each Pine Cone Tree

Gift wrap idea for essential-oil-pine-cone-trees

supplies needed:  affiliate links included to the products I used

How to wrap small items for Christmas

1. Open gift bag and place a snowflake ornament in the bottom. The snowflake will flatten the bottom of the bag.

Pretty wrapping ideas for handmade items

2. Place pine cone tree in bag and center on snowflake.

Christmas Garland tie ideas

3. Cinch top of bag closed by twisting a pine garland tie around it.

Clear party bag gift wrapping idea for Christmas

4. Tie a jingle bell on with wire. Note: After making a few of these, I found it easier to tie the jingle bell on the center of the garland tie before I tied it around the bag.

All ready to give to friends, hostesses, teachers, neighbors and more.

Holiday gift idea to make for hostesses, teachers, neighbors and more. Pine cone crafts to make for Christmas giving and decorating.

Video Tutorial: Making Colorful Pine Cone Trees

Pine cone crafts to make and give to hostesses, teachers, neighbors and more. Pine cone crafts to make for the holidays.

For more holiday decorating inspiration, I’ve assembled a gallery of all of my most-loved projects and ideas.

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  1. Donna Marie says:

    I am so sorry Ed came down with the Covid, but as soon as he gets over it you can celebrate your anniversary. Always celebrate!!!

  2. Susan Rhoads says:

    Hi Diane!
    Is there any reason other than glitter mess as to why glitter cones shouldn’t be used as fire starters?
    Have you dipped/poured any pine cones with melted crayons?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Susan –
      Glitter can cause toxic fumes when placed in a fire. I have only dipped white candle wax over pine cones, but I don’t see any reason why you could not use melted crayons over pine cones. They would be very pretty and colorful.

      1. Susan Rhoads says:

        Thanks I didn’t know about toxic fumes and glitter!!!

  3. Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled says:

    Super idea! Love the crayon stands. Visiting from Tip Junkie.

  4. Shannon | AKA Design says:

    What a fun idea!

  5. Karen Ploransky says:

    I love these, what a unique idea!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Karen – Thanks – They were fun to make along with being in the blog hop. I love my oils. :-)

  6. Denise McDonald says:

    How do you think up all of your neat ideas??? These pinecone “trees” are adorable and a must make tonight!!! Happy December 1st.

  7. TerriC/HoustonLady says:

    Hi Diane,

    Adorable! Thanks so much for a great/easy project. We own an artificial tree now that our children are grown : ) so the pine cones will not only give my house a nice pine scent but will also make cute decorations!!

    Have a great day!

  8. Hi! Thank you again for a delightful idea for an inexpensive gift. Do the pine cones need to be “treated” (baked in the oven, etc.), to get rid of any bugs that are living in/on the pine cones…before using them?

    Take Care and God Bless! Donna

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – The type of pine cones I used are pretty open, with no closed areas where bugs take up residence. If the pinecones in your area are normally buggy or have a lot of sap on them, then it can’t hurt to bake them in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes to rid them of any little critters and excess sap.

  9. Absolutely darling! You are so creative…do you sleep:)?
    Love all your eyes and they are easy to re-create.

    I LOVE using clear bags to package gifts. I especially love giving my homemade caramels away in them.
    If you want a bit of glisten purchase corsage bags at your local florist. They are very reasonable.

    1. IDEAS …. LOL
      although gotta love those eye glasses:)

  10. Diane, once again thank you for your spectacular imagination…I love meeting with you in the mornings and being inspired.

  11. They are adorable and I like the way you wrapped them as much as the pine cone itself!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Lori – I love coming up with new ways to wrap stuff. Best part is that all the wrapping is affordable and can be bought at the dollar store. :-)

  12. What a cute and fun idea! I don’t have any crayons laying around, but I do have old candle stubs, so this will be a great way to use them up. Thanks for the fun idea!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jenny – Candles will work perfectly. I should add that to the post, since many readers, have stubs hanging around in drawers just waiting to be used. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  13. Jocie@OPC says:

    These are so fun and colorful Diane. I think my kids would have a blast making these for neighbors!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jocie – They are fast and fun to make…even mixing crayon colors to see what the blend of colors becomes.

  14. I love these, Diane! Great use for all of Melissa’s old crayons.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Toni – :-) I know you will have no problem finding pine cones around Michael Way. Up on the fire road that goes to Hopwood, there are super huge ones! Another reader mentioned using candle stubs to make the trees too. XO Miss you