Charming Instructions for How to Make a Sugarplum Tree Using Pinecones From the Pittsburgh Press in 1935

A Purpose for Pinecones

1935 Diana Park’s Garden Forum in The Pittsburgh Press shared an adorable suggestion from a young reader about making a sugarplum tree:

"Have you thought of making a sugarplum tree out of pine cones for Christmas gifts?
Perhaps your father could drive you to a place where evergreens grow. Take a basket, and in the woods, you will probably find plenty of cones to fill it. Get all the sizes you can find, large, small, and medium, perfect, and broken.
The defective ones may be sewed into a bright colored bag for burning on Christmas eve.
Save all the seed out of the brackets and plant it in a sheltered place outdoors over winter, and perhaps you may grow some trees of your own next year.
The sugar-plum tree is made as follows: Wash the largest cone you have, drying it well, paint the tips with chocolate frosting and stick rainbow-colored gum-drops on the chocolate frosting. This makes a very colorful sugar-plum tree and will be welcomed by almost anybody as a surprise from a little girl at Christmas-time.
Then, of course, you can paint cones with gold paint and use them as Christmas tree decorations.
Hemlock cones are small and can be gilded or colored. Then glue on cards, making nice place-cards for Christmas parties."

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Sugarplum Tree
Sugarplum Tree

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