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An easy and simple way to clean pinecones to use in your holiday home decor, crafts and diy projects, including wreaths and garland.
Pinecones, acorns, seed pods, antlers, cotton and other found treasures are wonderful frugal finds from nature to decorate your house inside and out. The great news is that they are free and all you have to do is go out and find them. Today I am sharing and easy way to clean pinecones to use for your home decor, crafts and more.
How to Easily Clean Pinecones
There are many ways to clean pinecones, including soaking them in solutions of vinegar, bleach and other cleaning solutions. I am lazy and I wanted to skip that, this easy method is all about baking off the dirt and bugs and only takes 90 minutes.
Supplies for Cleaning Pinecones
- Pinecones, gather pinecones from your yard, nearby forest or get some from friends who have extras.
- Brush, a bristle brush will help clean and brush some of the sand and bugs off.
- Baking Sheet, a standard cookie sheet is perfect for baking pinecones.
- Aluminum Foil, the foil will catch drips of sap and critter that fall out of the pinecones.
- Oven, I recommend using your full side oven and not a toaster oven.
- Small towel for spot cleaning
- Timer, set a timer so that you do not burn your pinecones.
Do you need to clean pinecones?
The short answer, it’s up to you. To be honest, I have used the occasional pinecone in my decor that I did not clean. I have no idea if a spider or a critter climbed out.
Once I started bringing baskets of pinecones into the house that I had collected on morning walks I decided to clean them. I live in the land of the pines now and daily, pinecones are dropping from the trees or I pick them up on walks when I see particularly large ones to use in a project.
Baking Pinecones to Clean them for Crafting and Decor
1. Gather your pinecones.
2. With a brush, clean pinecones of dust, debris and needles.
3. Place pinecones on a parchment lined baking tray, make sure to space them out so that the air can circulate around them. The parchment will help keep the sap off your tray and your oven.
4. Bake for 90 minutes on 200F. This will kill off all of the bugs, mold and other creatures.
5. Remove pinecones from over, let cool and then use in all of your crafts.
Additional Methods to Clean Pinecones
Pinecones can also be soaked in a mixture of water and vinegar. Or in bleach and water. If you soak them in bleach and water do not soak them longer than 10 minutes, you do not want to bleach your cones.
Notes and Tips
A. Do not turn the heat on higher than 200F, pinecones will burn and could start a fire. The melted sap is a pain to clean off of your baking pan so be sure to use parchment paper or aluminum foil to line your pan.
B. There are lots, and lots of other ways to clean your pinecones, I chose this way because I didn’t want to get mine wet, which causes them to close up and then takes way longer to bake them or to let them air dry.
C. If your pinecones and damp, like mine, they will open up a lot from baking them.
Why Should You Clean Pinecones?
Pinecones are the perfect thing to use for holiday crafts and in your home decor but they are also the home too little creatures, like bugs, and spiders and they contain dirt, dust and more.
What Can You Do with Pinecones?
- Pinecones can be strung together for make garland for the fireplace, door or for your Christmas tree
- Make a wreath
- Place in bowls and baskets or in a table arrangement
- Make cinnamon pinecones
- Use as place card holders
- Add a ribbon and use as ornaments
How to Decorate Pinecones
Pinecones are beautiful just the way they are but you can also decorate them to suit your decor.
- Paint them, with spray paint or acrylic paint.
- Sprinkle them with glitter. To do this you must add glue or Modpodge to the cones then sprinkle with the glitter.
- Add faux snow to the tips. If you don’t have faux snow simple paint the tips white with craft paint.
- Screw an eye hook in the top and add a ribbon.
How to Store Pine Cones Between Seasons
I store my cleaned pinecones in large plastic storage bins. After the seasonal decorating is over I lay the pinecones in a single layer, then I add a layer of brown craft paper, a layer of pinecone, then craft paper, and continue until the box is filled.
You can place them in plastic bags as well.
Make sure not to pile too much weight on top of your pine cone bins, you do not want to crush them.
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How to Easily Clean & Prepare Pine cones for Crafts and Your Decor
I hope this easy method to clean your pinecones is helpful. I would love to hear more about how you decorate with pinecones, and other natural elements. please share your holiday crafts and decor ideas and links in the comments.
For more holiday decorating or DIY ideas check out my Christmas Pinterest Boards.
Have a great day friends. Thank you for spending part of it with me.
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