Pinecone and Berry Tree - the tutorial

This Christmas craft is going down in the books in the labor of love category.

What do I mean by that, exactly?

Just that what I thought it would be is not at all what it turned out to be.

It was seriously touch and go and I almost abandoned ship, but with a mid-way change of plans and a little flexibility on my part - it all came together in the end. Thankfully.

I've seen about a million and one pine cone trees, so I figured it wouldn't be too hard to make.
I picked up the form from Michael's and the pinecones (about 100) from a local nursery.

I envisioned a simple, rustic, totally pinecone covered tree.
So, I started at the base and hot glued my little heart out, until I reached the top.
Seriously, I must have gone through 10 glue sticks, at a minimum.

This is where it all started to fall apart - my tree looked more like a cylinder than a tree and it was full of gaps where the form was showing through.
Add more pinecones, you say?
Tried that - they wouldn't stick together and I was running short on supplies.
Enter plan B.

First I added a burlap skirt tied with a gold ribbon to give the base more presence.

Then I started adding red berries.
I was fortunate to have these lying around (otherwise, I would never have finished for today's post!), but unfortunately, they were in garland form. This meant I needed to cut them off the garland and reform them into clusters; Attention, now entering the labor of love category!

But, as you can see, it was all worth it!
So maybe she's a bit more mound-esque, than tree- esque...she's still cute!
And festive.

And if this hadn't taken me the whole of nap time today, I would be showing you a picture of her in a lovely Christmas vignette somewhere. Ah, well, there is always tomorrow.

Lesson learned: plan for the right amount of material and do a bit of research in advance!
(I'm sure more strategically placed pinecones in the beginning would lead to a more pleasing shape in the end.)