Have you see the big bags of pinecones in the craft stores? They’re crazy expensive for something that God gives us in nature for free! Decorating with pinecones is great for fall and Christmas, they’re so versatile and create ideal “space fillers.”
We had a few vases to fill, and my lovely cycling husband spotted tons of pinecones on one of his rides. He packed a backpack full and brought them home…and brought home whatever else was in them.
Pinecones can hold creepy crawlies, and who knows what else. Make them house-safe and get rid of the critters by baking. Here’s how to bake the bugs and everything else out of pinecones:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (you’ll be baking them for an hour)
- Line baking sheets with aluminium foil: Doing this ensures you won’t get sap all over your baking sheets, and sap would just ruin pretty much anything you bake in the future. We doubled up on tin foil for regular sized baking sheets. I wrapped the edges too, so the entire pan was covered (the photo below shows the “after”, check out all of the grime!)
- Do a pre-check before baking: Pick out any pine needs, grass, or grime before layering them in the oven. Cleaning them as much as you can beforehand makes sure you’ll get the cleanest results after baking.
- Layer the pinecones: We crammed the pinecones on the baking sheet. The point is to heat them and kill any living creepy crawlies! Give them enough room so air can circulate, but you can still really layer them up.
- Make them smell great (optional): Want scented pinecones? Drip essential oils over the pinecones and toss before baking.
- Bake and shake: Bake the pinecones at 200 degrees for an hour. After they’ve cooled, bang the pans against the counter and shake up the pinecones to remove any dead bugs or debris.
7. Display your cleaned pinecones: I love pinecones for vase fillers, but they’re great in bowls for a centerpiece, or for hanging on a Christmas tree. What do things you decorate using pinecones?