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Koinobori Pine Cones

Have you seen the flying carp streamers in Japan? They are known as Koinobori. (Admittedly, I just learned that term.) They are typically made from a woven fabric and flown during the Japanese celebration known as Tango no sekku. This celebration is dedicated to children and also referred to as Children's Day. This is a celebration of the children of Japan in the hope they may grow up to be strong and resilient like the carp that swim up the waterfalls.

Read more about the festivities here.

I've been looking at these pine cones on my "office" counter for months thinking they look just like fish. Then it hit me that with the subtle curves, they appear to be flying. Why not make them into beautiful Koinobori? This is a way to introduce Japanese culture to children and make something fun while doing so. Feels like a win all around. Ready to dive in?

Here is a picture from Pinterest that helped shape our vision:

These are stunning! Have you seen them in person? Tell me everything!


*Pine cones

*Acrylic Paint

*Paint brushes

*Sticks or skewers

*Hot glue/gun


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake pine cones for about 15 minutes to reduce sap. Let cool. Cut the tip off the pine cone to create the wide mouht area.

2. Apply a thick layer of your chosen base color. Be sure to cover the underside and the top side completely.

3. Allow the paint to dry and begin adding details around the scales of the pine cones. Refer to the Pinterest image posted above or our creation for inspiration!

4. Paint on eyes.

5. Use sticks or skewers to let your Koinobori "fly"! Glue them into the pine cone scales with hot glue.

6. Run and let your Koinobori fly!

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