Using pine cones collected outdoors can result in mold, mildew, or creepy crawlies invading your home unless they are correctly preserved for indoor use. Learn how to prepare pine cones for crafts NATURALLY and bring fresh evergreen scented pine cones to your home decor.
Fresh pine cones are a beautiful, natural addition to your home decor. They are available for free in the great outdoors and are eco-friendly.
Many craft sites suggest the use of chlorine bleach on pine cones. This is a mistake! Pine cones are porous and will absorb the bleach. They will continuously release these noxious fumes in your home.
Pine cones are available at many craft stores, but commercially purchased pine cones have often been treated with artificial scents that also contain noxious fumes that will be released into your home.
Fortunately there is an easy, all-natural, and FREE way to prepare fresh pine cones for crafts.
How to Prepare Pine Cones
1 – Collect pine cones. The pine cones pictured are Eastern White Pine (Pinus Stobus) from my yard. The white appearance is from the dried sap on the outside of the pine cones.
2 – Remove any debris or pine needles stuck on the pine cones.
3 – Soak the pine cones for 10-20 minutes in a bucket of water with ½ cup of white vinegar. This helps to kill any bugs or mildew and remove settled in debris. The pine cones will close up more tightly when they get wet.
4 – Place the pine cones on old newspapers to dry overnight.
5 – Line baking sheets with parchment or foil. Place pine cones on baking sheets and bake for several hours at 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the pine cones frequently while baking so they do not catch on fire. (Your home will smell wonderful!)
6 – The pine cones will be fully open, dry and shiny when finished baking. The shiny finish is due to the sap melting into the pine cones. This acts as a natural finish and preservation agent.
7 – Cool the pine cones completely and use in your favorite crafts.
Stages of Pine Cone Preparation
This images shows (from left to right):
1. Freshly collected pine cones.
2. Washed and partially dried pine cones.
3. Fully oven dried pine cones.
Pine Cone Crafts
Pine cones can be used for all kinds of crafts. I love making an easy pine cone garland.
Need more pine cone craft ideas? Check out these easy pine cone holiday decorations!
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