/ / How to Clean and Preserve Pine Cones to Use For Home Decorating

How to Clean and Preserve Pine Cones to Use For Home Decorating

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.

preserved pine cones in dough bowl

If you don’t have access to them, you can purchase some at the craft store and use these easy decorating tips.

pine cones in basket

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: 

Supplies Needed: 

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.

soaking pine cones

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.

pine cones on baking sheet

bake in the oven

Preheat your oven to 200 to 250°F. Place the pine cones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread them out so they have room to open. Let them bake for at least 30 minutes up to an hour.

Be sure to check the pine cones every 15 minutes or so to ensure they don’t burn. Bake them until they open up.

pine cones baking

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.

sealer for pine cones

decorate with your pine cones

Now for the fun part! Pine cones are so versatile. I wanted to share a few ideas with you.

preserved pine cones
  • 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.
pine cones in dough bowl

What’s Next? 

If you enjoyed these pine cone crafts, you may enjoy these decorating ideas too.

Christmas Kissing Ball With Pine Cones

pine cone kissing ball

How To Make A Beautiful Tobacco Basket

tobacco basket wreath

How To Make Adorable Christmas Gnome Pine Cone Ornaments

Set of 3 Pine Cone Gnomes on Tree

You may also enjoy these pine cone ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –

pine cones in dough bowl

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