Pine cones

Many pine cones have 8 clockwise and 13 counterclockwise spirals.

Painting spirals makes it easier to count. Try to follow a clockwise spiral from the center, painting each section.  Lightly dab the color in a small dot for each section until filled.  Do a second, more complete coat after all arms of the spiral are plotted. If you make a mistake, either wipe off to remove or let dry completely and then recolor.

To make painting easier, you can place the cone in a small cup to hold it.

Choose a different color for the next spiral. Repeat for all the clockwise spirals. This makes it easier to count.

Smaller cones have eight clockwise spirals.

Smaller cones also have 13 spirals going in the counterclockwise direction.

Larger pine cones have 13 clockwise spirals and 21 counterclockwise (below).

Pine cone mobile project

You can use these painted pine cones to make a mobile. First you might want to paint the sides of the pine cones as well as the bottom. After the bottom spirals are completed and dry, you may take the spirals further up the side of the pine cone, but if you do that, just paint the very tips to add just a hint of color.

Either find a small branch, like the one shown below, or use two dowel rods, to support your pine cones. You will tie the pine cones to the support stick as shown. Then you will tie a string to the support stick to hang the mobile.

Here’s more detailed instructions, using two “dowel rods” which we provide in your subscription box (you can get these at most craft stores) First you will assemble the main wooden part of the mobile from which you will hang the pine cones:


  • Cut four pieces of string equal in length. Choose a length between 2 and 3 feet long. To keep the ends of the strings from fraying, tie knots on all the ends of the cut strings (or dab some craft glue on the ends of the string). You might want to add colored beads or natural objects to decorate theses strings (optional). These strings will be tied to the dowel ends after the wooden support is assembled and be used to hang the mobile from the ceiling.
  • To make the wooden support, cut another piece of string approximately the same size as those used above. Tie the two dowels together in the center so tha one end dangle about for inches and the other is very long.
  • Turn the dowels so that they form a cross shape (+). Using the longest end of the string, wrap between the arms of the dowels so the string forms an X. This will keep the dowels secure in the + cross-like shape. Continue wrapping in the x shape until there is only about 4 inches left. Tie that to the four-inch end left from the original knot made to tie the dowels together. See photos.
  • Cut four more pieces of string to a length between 2 to 3 feet long. You may want to vary the lengths for visual interest. Tie those to the pointed end of the pinecones. take a bottle of craft glue and place a drop on each knot, so they don’t come untied.
  • Each pinecone will then be tied to an end of the wooden dowel support.
  • After all the pinecones are connected, place a drop of glue on each knot.
  • To hang the pinecone mobile, bring the free ends of the upper strings (ones without pinecones) together and tie them together to form a loop. This will be how you hang your mobile from a hook or nail in the ceiling.
  • Hang the pinecone mobile high enough, so you can easily see the bottoms of the pinecones, where the spirals are painted. This is a little closer to the ceiling than for most other mobiles. Our differs because the main point of interest is the colorful bottom of the pinecone.
  • Enjoy the color and whimsey of your Pinecone Spiral Mobile as it swings in the breeze! 


  • Add beads or found natural objects to the string that hangs the mobile.
  • Use an interesting branch for a main support instead of the two dowel rods. 
  • Add more pinecones (some painted or unpainted) to your mobile.