I love using items I find in nature to add to the decor in our home or use for crafting. This past fall, I collected an array of pine cones and used them in many different projects around our home.
Before you use your pine cones, it is a good idea to bake them. Bake them? Yes, bake them! This gets rid of any tiny bugs and critters still inside the pine cones. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them at 250o F for 30 minutes. After you have baked them, place them on a cooling rack for 1 hour. Now they are ready to craft with or just use as decorations around the house.
One of my favourite and most basic ways I use pine cones, is placing them in clear glass containers and arranging them on my table. I like to do this in the fall/winter months.
Add a little more punch to them by painting them! White pine cones look very nice, but feel free to paint them any colour you like. Try painting them the colours of the season and place in a dish on a table. I painted some soft pastel colours and then placed a yellow dot on the bottom, in the middle. When placed upside down on a dish, they resemble lotus flowers! Painted pine cones are one of my favourites now and great to do with kids!
A couple ways to add fragrance to your home through pine cones, is using wax from old candles or essential oils. For the wax, I took old candles that had not completely burned and I melted the wax in a pot on the stove. The wax I used was a chocolate fragrance! I then dipped the cones into the liquid wax and placed on wax paper. After I dipped all the pine cones, I went back and dipped them again, and then again. This gives
them a thicker layer of candle wax on the pine cones. They look really nice and smell even better! For the essential oil, pick the fragrance you want to use, I used cinnamon. Add a few drops to a tiny bit of water in a spray bottle. Place your pine cones into a large resealable plastic bag and spray them generously with the mixture. Seal the bag and shake them around. Feel free to open the bag and spray again. Then seal the bag and leave for about a week. After the week, feel free to remove the scented pine cones and use to freshen up a room!
My last favourite thing to do with pine cones is to make Christmas decorations with them. Either for the tree, to give as Christmas gifts or just to decorate a present. The one project I made with my daughter this year, was little elf pinecones for our tree. I improvised the craft, with materials I had at home. Check out our Pinterest page for this craft and many other ways to use pine cones!