Pine cones are an easy and frugal way to decorate during the fall and winter seasons. But there is one thing you must do before using pine cones in your home, otherwise you could end up with bugs, mildew, or mold!
Find out exactly how to prepare your pine cones for indoor use in this post.
Growing up in Houston there were pine trees every where. In fact, during pine pollen season the streets run yellow with thick rivers of pine pollen!
We braided the pine needles for crafts as we ran around outside, and marveled at the height of the trees as we laid on our backs in the summer sun.
And when the pine cones fell we always collected them to use around the house for the fall and winter holidays!
Preparing Pine Cones for Indoor Use
So when I tell you that improperly prepared pine cones lead to bugs, mildew, and mold TRUST ME! I know from experience!
There’s nothing quite like gazing into your beautiful centerpiece only to see a big ol’ bug crawling onto your dinner table!
Fortunately it’s easy to clean and prepare them to use inside!
The ONE THING You Must Do Before Bringing Pine Cones Inside
There is one particular step you must take before you can use pine cones for indoor decor without worrying about bugs and more.
But let me walk you through the whole process!
1. Gather your Pine Cones
There are many different varieties, but any pine cones will work. Gather them up and shake them out while still outside.
If you don’t have a pine tree in your own yard, see if a neighbor does. They will likely be more than happy to let you clear the pine cones from their yard!
2. Pick off Debris
Clear off anything that may be stuck to the outside of the pine cone. Just be careful of the sharp parts of the pine cone!
3. The Most Important Step!
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 200°. Place pine cones on tray and bake for 90 minutes.
This is a higher temperature than is technically required for the things you are trying to kill, but I like to err to the side of safety!
Wood catches fire above 300°, so you don’t have to constantly monitor the pine cones for fear of fire. But it is a good idea to check on them periodically to make sure nothing odd is happening with the paper and any dripping pine sap.
That’s it! No soaking in vinegar or bleach. No drying for 2 days. Just a quick and easy method that deals with all the possible issues having to do with pine cones in the home!
And if you’d prefer to just buy pre-baked, unscented pine cones you can (and they are super cheap)!!