The least expensive Christmas tree decoration I know is to use lawn harvested pinecones. Pick up any size or kind from the ground (ask permission but most are happy to get rid of them!), take them inside and let them warm up and open up. I put mine in a plastic bag so any critters are contained.
I then roll the opened cones in a little glue that I put on plastic and them roll the cones in glitter I put in a box lid so I can reuse the glitter for another project. Set aside to dry the glue then add a loop of thread around the top to hang it from the tree. Another decoration idea is to spraypaint cones or roll the cones in sequins, seed beads, or anything small, safe and decorative.
What I really like to do is, collect pine cones. Then put them in a low oven, about 225 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Then I dip them in melted candle wax that was left over from candles I burned. I melt them in an old candle jar on the stove in an old pan with water, on low temperature.
I then sprinkle them with glitter, sequins, or whatever, quickly before the wax sets up. If you use a good smelling wax and put in a nice basket, they smell really good. Maybe add a nice ribbon.
They also can be hung on a Christmas tree, or used for decoration elsewhere. They can also be glued on an evergreen branch, a magnolia twig, whatever.
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