Pine cones are winter gifts from nature. A simple, pretty object to decorate a house that literally grows on trees, what could be better? Adding a bit of shimmer to the tip of each scale is a simple way to dress up a pine cone without disguising its inherent lovliness.
I used large pinecones from the craft store, but any size will do. If you live somewhere with abundant conifers, it would be fun to forage for your own. I used a medium paintbrush (which works much better than a small one for this) and silver liquid gilding from Martha Stewart, available at Michael's. Craft paint would probably work fine, but the thin consistency of the liquid gilding works well. I like the look of the gilding casually glopped on the scales; no need for precision or fussiness. Simply brush the tip of each scale, top and bottom, let it dry, and you're done! They look great in groups, or in a bowl with pomegranates, ornaments, holly, or anything festive you can dream up.