Pinecone crafts 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. Plus, get the details on four adorable ways to use your pine cones for indoor and outdoor decorations!
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 A Pinecone 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!
Three Easy Steps for Preparing Pine Cones
While all 3 steps are simple, there is one particular step you must take before you can use pine cones for indoor decor without worrying about bugs and more.
So, 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)!!
Pine Cone Craft Ideas
Now that you have your pine cones all cleaned and ready for fall pine cone craft - here are a few options for you to try!
Some are indoor only options, and some work for both indoor and outdoor pinecone decor!
Pine Cone Garland
Make a lush pine cone garland for less than $1.30 a foot! Perfect for indoor or outdoor pine cone decor.
Mini Pine Cone Wreath
If you have mini sized pine cones available to you, this pine cone wreath is the perfect craft! It uses fabric for "ribbon", so if you are going to use it outdoors, you might use a weather proof ribbon instead.
Pine Cone Forest
For a pure indoor decoration item using pine cones, you can separate the pieces of the pine cone and then glue them onto a foam form to create a stunning pine cone forest!
If you want to turn them into Christmas trees, you could use glue and fake snow to dust the tips and create a beautiful pine cone winter scene for your mantle or table!
Pine Cone Candle Holders
If you're short on time, but want a super fun centerpiece or mantle feature using your pine cones, this is the pine cone craft for you!
These pine cone candle holders make a great display item, though I wouldn't burn the candles while they were attached to the pine cones. The pine cones aren't strong enough (in my opinion) to hold a burning candle without possibly tipping over!
Still, a very fun and easy pine cone craft!