So I have this little woodland theme going on this year. It wasn’t intentional or something I planned, it just so happened that I had some mushroom, some pine cones and there it was.
These were the grave decoration I picked up really cheaply after All Saints Day. Remember I used the branches for my door wreath?
Well after I dismantled them I had that pile of beautiful branches but also these six large pine cones.
They looked a little sad after being outside in the cold though and would have opened up by themselves eventually. But I don’t have that kind of patience.
So I popped them in the microwave. I did them one or two at a time and checked the progress all the time to make sure I wouldn’t burn them. I let the excess sap drip off onto a parchment paper. It smelled real woodsy in the kitchen during the process. And to be honest I can still smell it a little bit when I turn the microwave on a week later so if you don’t want that – don’t try this at home.
The pine cones opened up beautifully as you can see. I did an experiment in dipping one of them half in white paint and decided it looked pretty cool but that one was enough. Woodsy!
We have literally hundreds of the bloody things all over the garden. It’s the con to the pro of having 35 pine trees in our yard.
I never thought to use the oven to open them up.. fantastic tip.
Oh and I love the dipped one.. it looks like fondant icing. Smaller cones dipped like that with some white lights would look great wired to a small natural tree on either side of the front door methinks.
I think I have a plan.
Ooh, thanks for this! My mom gave a very dire warning when I went to bring pine cones in one year, saying they’d have bugs in them. I think the microwave would take care of that, too!
Smelly microwave? Cut a lemon (or use what’s left of one you’ve squeezed) and put it in a microwave safe bowl full of water. Nuke it for about five to seven minutes. Then you can wipe out your microwave (really loosens up cooked on gunk, too) and it will smell great.
Pinecones do make beautiful decorations. I love the smell of pine! The one with paint on it lookes like a chocholate pinecone with frosting! Yummy!!
I love pines! My last post is about the same 😉
How do you clean them out? Hmm I guess because you bought those they weren’t dirty in the first hand. I’ve picked some up in woodland before, only to find them crawling with insects – not what I want to bring home! Any idea how to clean them in that situation?
Lovely, nature is really beautiful!
Hmm, pine cone scented food and drink. Now that it Christmas! 😉 Love the look and use pine cones all over the house for the holidays.
Have the same question about cleaning the pine cones out. I thought about soaking them in water (too soggy – but maybe soaking and then the microwave?) I also thought about vinegar – but I prefer the pine cone scent to the overriding vinegar smell.
Also, do you know of a good site to pick up those nice thick, perfectly sized tealight candle holders that are on your table? I have four from IKEA but they are kind of a-line (like a skirt but upside down) they sides splay out. It does make it easy to light the tealight and clean it out though. Still would prefer the straight sided ones – thanks!
I think the bugs will die if you put the pine cones in a sealed container in the freezer. Might do the trick.
That’s a great bug tip!
I use the same method for cleaning my microwave but without the lemon. Will try lemon next time!
Älvan’s freezer trick is a good one, or use the microwave!
We use to have a lof of pine cones in our garden before (the tree’s been cut down now) and I never got the feeling they were dirty, just damp, but the again I never used any of them inside because they were so small.
I think I’d try microwaving them first and then when the dirt is dry it might fall off as dust?
THe votove candle holders are Kivi by Ittala. http://www.scandinaviandesigncenter.com/Products/usd1/Trademark/Iittala/1003/Kivi+candleholder&VariantId=01
I have about ten of the clear ones. Love!
Oh, thank you! perfect candleholders! somehow I keep looking at the pine cone with the paint and thinking cookie with whipped cream!
My pine trees produce hundreds of large pinecones each year. My kids gather and sell them to a local florist for the Christmas season. For those I keep, I swish them in a mixture of laundry bleach and hot water (wear rubber gloves!), rinse them, and let them dry on newspapers. They will close up during the washing process but will reopen as they dry. Drying time is about two days but you can speed this up in the oven if you’re in a hurry. The bleach lightens them a bit and I think the result is quite pretty (and clean). I’ve never found bugs, just dust and pollen.
OMG! I had no idea that this was what was happening with pine cones. I just thought my pine cone were a different variety than those of the stores. Ha! I am going to run down to the park and pick some up for free now.