Pine Cone Decor: An Easy Centerpiece Idea

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Pine cone decor transitions perfectly from fall to Christmas. Make this sweet pine cone & rag ball table centerpiece in no time at all!

pine cone rag balls centerpiece supplies

If you find yourself bouncing back and forth between preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, you’ll be happy to know that today’s post requires no bouncing at all. The pine cone decor project I’m sharing today can be used for either holiday! There are so many things to like about this centerpiece. First, it’s very simple, and can be assembled in less than 20 minutes. Second, it sits low enough so your guests can see each other across the table. Third, you can use elements you already have on hand, or that are easily obtained at a grocery or discount store. Fourth, it can be made well in advance of your event. Last, but certainly not least, it’s cozy, charming, and full of holiday cheer.

pine cone rag balls centerpiece hands

Supplies Needed

  • large platter, tray, low bowl, or basket
  • small pine cones
  • fresh or faux greenery
  • rag balls (or other colorful accents)
pine cone rag balls boxwood on platter

Assembly Instructions

  • To build your own pine cone decor, begin with a platter, tray, low bowl, or basket with low sides. It can be any size and any shape, as long as it fits your table. 
  • Gather some pine cones, small snips of greenery, and another element that will add interest and color. I chose to make rag balls with some vintage fabric I had on hand. Other ideas for the third element are:
    • small apples
    • small cloved oranges (like clementines)
    • moss balls
    • round ornaments
    • small votive candles in glass containers
    • leaves
    • string of beads
    • red berries
    • feathers
    • pom poms
    • pre-made pine cone ornaments
    • tiny wrapped gifts
  • Arrange the pine cones, greenery, and rag balls on the tray. Stagger everything so the elements are mixed up. Let some of the greenery extend out over the sides of your base. Place your pine cone decor on your dining table and enjoy!
traditional dining room table centerpiece

Helpful Tips

  1. Rag balls are perfect for this centerpiece idea because you can customize them to match your decor or tablescape theme.
  2. The evergreens can be whatever you have in your yard, or whatever you can get easily at your grocery. The boxwood worked great, but other good fresh greenery choices are short needle pine or eucalyptus. Faux greenery works great as well.
  3. Add interest to the pine cones by applying glitter or lightly spray paint them.
  4. This pine cone decor idea can also be used on a mantel. Just use a long, narrow tray that will fit your mantel width.
  5. This little project is so easy that you can involve your kids in the assembly.
centerpiece and pitcher

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you use real pine cones as decor? Yes! If you have pine trees in your yard, or access to pine trees, definitely gather them and use them inside.
  • How do you clean and prepare pine cones for crafts? If you are using natural pine cones that you’ve gathered outside, make sure to kill any small bugs before you bring them in the house. Place the pine cones in a resealable bag, and place the bag in the freezer for a few days. The bugs won’t survive the cold and lack of air.
  • Can you decorate with pine cones all year? Pine cones are generally part of home decor during the fall, Christmas, and winter seasons.
pine cones rag balls centerpiece closeup

More Holiday Decor Ideas


Be ready to plan and prepare
for the best holiday season ever!

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  1. Linda Strickland says:

    I so need to understand texture. It’s missing from my home. Thank you! I think I can do this project!

  2. Dwana Adamo says:

    5 stars
    Hi Anne,
    I just read your comments and pictures of your earlier post regarding your transition to a small Christmas tree. Thank you for giving me permission to do the same. Last year we bought a “small” live tree (it was only 5ft. tall) and a real downsize from our 9 ft. artificial tree. The whole thing was so much trouble, it wouldn’t stand up straight, it fell over after it was decorated, broke a lot of my glass ornaments, and created even more work. This was all before Christmas even arrived. My husband felt sorry so he brought up the big tree from basement, and we managed to put it together and decorate 3 days before Christmas. He hurt his back in the process and with all the aggravation I just don’t think it is worth it anymore. So thank you! I am a mother and a grandmother just doing the best I can which is still pretty darn good!!!!

  3. Ann,
    I just love the plaid rag balls!
    How do you make the frayed ribbon out of fabric?

    Thank you for a great year!


    1. Ann Drake says:

      If you use a cotton material it should rip in straight strips. That’s what I did…I just ripped a piece of fabric into strips. Happy Holidays!

      1. Constance Williams says:

        That should be easy enough!! Thank you so much.
        Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  4. I have lots of fabric scraps, so I love this idea of rag balls. Thanks for posting this simple project!

  5. Ann, I love your rag balls done in blue!

  6. Keeping it simple, love the rag balls.

  7. Love this fast idea for such a busy season!

  8. Diane M Wicks says:

    Ann, As usual, a beautifully simple and elegant idea! I love your style.

  9. Thank you! This is a practical centerpiece and pretty at the same time! Love it!