Gather some fallen pine cones from your yard, parks, or other wooded areas. Today I will show you how to clean and preserve the pine cones to use in your home decorating.
Hello! Michelle back again from Our Crafty Mom sharing some tips on how to clean and preserve pine cones. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can collect them for free, you will definitely want to try out this easy process.
If you don’t have access to them, you can purchase some at the craft store and use these easy decorating tips.
This was one of those ideas that came to me out of the blue. I live on a 2 acre lot on a country road in New Hampshire. My mail box is at the end of a long driveway. I just happened to go out to get the mail and was amazed at the volume of pine cones just littering the driveway.
As a crafter, there was no way I could just leave them! My mind was spinning with all the ways I could decorate with them, especially for the holidays. So, I grabbed a basket and gathered them up.
I ended up with 3 full baskets and that was just from the front of the house. A small bag sells for about $5 at the craft store, so I definitely scored with these!
How to Clean and preserve pine cones
Now that I had the pine cones it was time to clean and preserve them. I definitely didn’t want to bring any critters into the house.
What you need:
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Kitchen Tools Needed:
- Pine Cones
- Clear Sealer
how to clean the pine cones
remove any dirt and debris from the pine cones
Use a small bristle brush to remove any visible dirt and debris from the pine cones. You don’t have to brush too hard, as most of the dirt will come off while soaking.
prepare the solution to clean the pine cones
Fill a bucket with two parts water and one part white vinegar. Make sure the mixture covers all of the pine cones. You can place a board, or something on top of the pine cones so they don’t float to the top.
let the pine cones soak
The pine cones need to soak at least 30 minutes to ensure they are clean. I had to separate the pine cones and do several batches.
allow the pine cones to dry
Place the pine cones on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and let dry overnight. The pine cones will naturally close when they are wet, but don’t worry they will open once dry.
bake in the oven
Be sure to check the pine cones every 15 minutes or so to ensure they don’t burn. Bake them until they open up.
seal the pine cones
Use a clear sealer on the pine cones. They will give them a nice shine and also preserve them so you can use them for several seasons. When you pack them away, place them in a zip lock bag to keep them fresh.
decorate with your pine cones
Now for the fun part! Pine cones are so versatile. I wanted to share a few ideas with you.
- Use them as they are and place them in dough bowls, baskets, and small bowls around the house.
- Make a pine cone garland or wreath.
- Paint the pine cones.
- Make ornaments.
- Add them to gifts.
- Use them to make fire starters.
If you enjoyed these pine cone crafts, you may enjoy these decorating ideas too.
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