Always a winter classic in decorating your home for the winter, I am seeing the humble pine cone all over in the home decor catalogs for the holidays. A very simple, beautiful and natural way to add the outside to the interior. But let's kick it up a notch, and lighten up the color of these beautiful gifts from nature, adding a pretty touch to the modern, shabby, farmhouse and cottage style of adornment. These would be so pretty piled in a mercury glass bowl, tied with ribbon and hang on the tree, or use a single one as a place card at the holiday table. You will love these.
It's a simple process but time consuming, so start now for the your seasonal decorating. If you are lucky, like me, you may have cones lying around in your yard. If not, they can be purchased at the hobby stores. The only other item you need is bleach. I used half water, half bleach for my process.
Definitely work outside for this crafty job as it's messy and wear your rubber gloves. I used the scented bleach purchased at the $ store. Fill your bucket with the water/bleach solution slowly so as not to splash and add pine cones. You don't want white dots on your nice black blouse. :) Make sure the cones are totally covered. I placed a plate over top of mine to keep them submerged. I did this in the late afternoon and kept them in the water over night. In this photo, you can see they have almost turned completely white and the scales have closed up. This process also cleans them and gets rid of any critters that may be hidden. :)
The next morning, I removed the cones, using a strainer and laid them on foil to dry a bit. At this point you can leave them outside to completely dry in the sun, but I found the process took more days than I was willing to wait, so in the oven they went. Line your baking pan with foil and lay the cones on it. Bake @ 250 degrees for 4 to 5 hours or until the scales have totally opened up. Also, I could detect no noticeable bleach smell at all in the kitchen during this process.
No longer white, they have turned a beautiful cafe-au-lait hue and are ready to decorate with. You can sprinkle a bit of glitter on them if you like, but I like the totally natural look. Not into messing with this whole process, I will have a few bags of these for sale at
elements needed for this project
spoon for stirring
BNOTP ~ Metamorphosis Monday, Coastal Charm ~ Tuesday, How Sweet the Sound ~ Saturday, French Country Cottage ~ Friday, Common Ground ~ Friday, White Lace Cottage ~ the Scoop ~ Tuesday