We pulled out all kinds of scraps and goodies to let their imaginations work — paints, beads, pom poms, strings of ribbons and some glue. (Photo by Leslie Milby)

Christmas can be overwhelming with choices — picking perfect presents, finding a tree that doesn’t scrape the ceiling but makes the room look full, and most importantly, deciding which cookies to make. (It’s easier to decide which cookies to eat. All of them!)
One of the choices I had been wondering on was what Christmas decorations I wanted to make with my little ones, as silly as it sounds.
My kids love to see their parents’ scribbly childhood writing on the back of a pom pom wreath or see the rough cutting on a candy cane mouse made in our childhood and have been looking forward to making their own decorations to go down in Milby Christmas tradition history.
But what do we do?
The answer was soon poured all over our kitchen floor.
My son, Landon, is quite the gatherer — rocks, acorns, and on a recent trip to Pop Pop’s deer stand, he came back with an armload of pinecones.
Since they were sure to be a fixture in our house anyway, we decided they would be the perfect base for some simple and fun decorations.
After allowing them to dry out in front of our woodstove, we got crafty! I pulled out all kinds of scraps and goodies to let their imaginations work — paints, beads, pom poms, strings of ribbons and some glue.
I got quite the workout running up to our craft/guest/goodwill box room as they came up with more ideas of what they’d like to use and Landon darted outside a few times for leaves and twigs and other goodies.
We decided to make reindeer first — googly eyes, two leaves, some twigs, a bell, and a pipe cleaner is all it took.
While you’ll want to stick your leaf ears in the folds of the pinecone, be careful of pushing other things too far in. We then looped a pipe cleaner through the back so it was ready to hang.
He turned out quite handsome, lopsided ears and all.
For our next creation, we decided to deck out some “trees.”
Per usual, Landon wanted to have a blue, blue, blue Christmas and rolled his in blue paint and used blue trim to make a snowy tree.
Our daughter Lucy did a classic green tree with some fun pom poms and sprinkles of glitter.
Tacky glue worked the best to get things to stick, especially since the decorations are only sticking to the edges.
We then twirled up some ribbons.
To keep our trees standing up we stuck them into some tiny planters that I had left over from some other projects.
You could probably also use part of a slice from a paper towel roll or a deep lid, like from a can of kitchen spray.
We also used some rocks that were hanging out on the kitchen table to keep the our stands from wobbling.
We chose these projects for our pinecones, but the ideas are endless.
They are a great base for creating pinecone critters, can be attached to a foam cone to create a tree or attached to a wreath frame with a big red bow.
Whatever projects you settle into to make your house more a home, have a cozy, crafty and full-of-cookies Christmas!