Really Cute Redwood Cone Panda Bears
Great as a gift for panda bear figurine collectors, a wedding place holder, birthday cake topper and so much more! Make them at a themed birthday party!
They are fun and easy enough for kids to make! And you can customize them too!
black acrylic paint
white acrylic aint
paint brush (size 4 for painting the body and size 2 for the eye patches and nose.)
water (to rinse brushes)
glue gun and glue sticks
sturdy metal scissors or hand clippers to cut cones
2 dry sequoia cones: one large, one about 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the other.
2 round-tipped alder cones
3 spruce cone cores (about 12 cm or 3 inches long) of medium ripeness
Collect and prepare all your materials.
I use alder cones for the ears. Choose rounded cones for the best ear effect.
The legs are spruce cones that have been stripped of their scales leaving just the centre core. Squirrels will do this and so can we! Use a rough file and scrape side to side all the way up and down the cone. The cone must be just the correct ripeness or it will be too green which makes it hard to do. If it's too brittle it will fall apart. You can use the glue gun to make repairs as needed.
Cut the legs the same length as the widest part of the body cone. The arms will need to be just a little shorter and thinner. If you choose a large spruce cone, you can make a leg and arm from one cone core. I like to have extras on hand in case I break one while cutting it.
Now all your parts are ready to paint (optional) or glue together.
If you want to paint your bear, it's easier to paint the parts before you glue them together. This avoids having to be as careful.
If you want the black and white panda, use undiluted white paint to cover the head.
Do a second coat after the first is dry to make the panda really white and make sure to paint between the scale cracks.
Paint the lower two thirds of the body cone.
Set those aside to dry while you paint the other parts of the panda black. Wash and dry your hands and brush before painting the remaining parts. Plug in your glue gun to warm it up while you paint the black parts.
The ears, arms and legs all need to be painted black. A second coat is not usually needed for the black unless you missed some spots. This sets up the great contrast of black and white that makes the panda a panda.
Paint the upper part of the body cone black after the white has thoroughly dried. Be careful to keep a solid edge near the white paint.
At this step, all the parts are painted.
Once all the pieces are dry, use a glue gun to attach the bear parts together. Let each part dry before attaching others to the same piece. This shouldn't take more than a minute or so if you are using a glue gun.
Start with gluing the head to the body. Try different placements to see which is best to maximize contact of the head with the body. Place a outward scale into an indent if you can. This will help to strengthen the attachment.
Next, glue the ears on the head.
Now glue the legs on the body. Place the legs so the bear sits upright on its own. You can widen the legs for more stability.
Lastly, glue the arms on each side of the black chest area.
I use a little creativity with the arms. I place them so it looks like he's trying to balance himself.
Step 4 (optional)
Paint black eyes and nose on the white face. Let dry. Then glue small googly eyes on the black eye spots. I prefer it without the eyes, but some people like googly eyes!
Here are some examples of different poses you can put your panda bear into. Just changing the angle of the head, arms and legs you can create a different attitude.
Left to right:
waving baby bear, hiking bear with acorn cap, floating bear (in water), turning bear, glitter-covered bear. The photo really doesn't do them justice. They are much cuter in real life!
If you don't have the types of cones needed for this project, try others of similar shape. If you are in Canada, you can purchase them from us in Nanaimo, BC! Kits may also be available if you give us some advance notice. Sorry, we can't ship outside of Canada at this time.