How to Bleach Pinecones Tutorial

7 Materials
1 Hour

Chanda and I are both suckers for Scandinavian inspired Christmas decor. From the fine lines and details to the color scheme and natural inspiration- we often find our selves diy-ing decor that falls under this category. So here I find myself again friends. Bleaching pinecones! I love pinecones because I love fall and winter, I also love that they are free and can get you outdoors to collect and scavenge, but I also have to admit I use them year round to decorate! I am just a sucker for nature elements in my home- plus you can add a few essential oils drop and make them smell great! This project is perfect if you want that winter wonderland look but want to avoid flocking or glitter!

Photo Cred: Anya McInroy
  • pinecones
  • bleach
  • water
  • bucket or pot
  • heavy weight (brick, plant saucer, rock, etc)
  • foil
  • baking sheet
First things first, you will need to collect your pinecones! Go on a little walk and collect more than you think you will want- not only will you LOVE these and might want to mix some bleached with non-bleached for decor but these would also make for great gift wrapping garnish- so festive! Next you will want to wash your pinecones off, simply get all that dirt or bugs off by running them under the sink in all the crevices. You can also dry out your pinecones to ensure you take care of any critters in there as well as sap. All you have to do is pop your pinecones in the oven at 350 for three hours on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Next fill a pot or bucket with equal parts water and bleach. Don’t worry those pinecones will want to float but we will take care of that.
To make sure your pinecones are fully submerged take a brick, rocks, or in my case some terra cotta saucers- really anything heavy that you don’t mind getting bleach on- to ensure those pinecones are fully submerged.
Let the pinecones sit soaking for 24 hours. Once to your desired shade, rinse and let your pinecones air dry for a few days. When I originally pulled my pinecones out one of them shrunk- but over time it opened up, as if a flower blossoming!
I am in LOVE…I want to make more! ah!! I love the contrast of the white on the dark wood or green, as if these pinecones were doused in snow- the perfect winter wonderland right in your home!!
You could easily add some fishing string or yarn and make these ornaments! Happy Decorating!
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Marie
    on Jan 21, 2018

    Should all pinecones be soaked in bleach & water? or is it to give a white color to the cone?

    • Cardiopro
      on Jun 8, 2020

      I spray painted mine with a light coat of off white. That is much easier!

  • Mary Gossett
    Mary Gossett
    on Dec 14, 2019

    I soak my pinecones in vinegar water for 20 minutes and let them dry but they still have a white paste on them how do I get it off

Join the conversation

2 of 6 comments
  • Lollie
    on Oct 28, 2020

    I have done these with bleach and water, and they come out beautiful. Easy peasy project!

    I love these pine cones!!


  • Jacintha
    on Nov 11, 2020

    Oh yes, I just painted white ones I wish I had seen this first.

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