Asked on Jan 1, 2019

How do I prepare pine cones for a centerpiece?

Kristi Manning ClarkV SmithWilliam


How do I prepare pine cones for use indoors in a table centerpiece and on the tree. Does anyone have directions to scent them with something other than cinnamon? My better half thinks there may be insect eggs in them.

7 answers
  • Simple Decorating Tips
    on Jan 1, 2019

    I've never done anything special to pine cones when I've collected them and brought them inside. I would think you could lay them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake them for a little while in a low oven. Low enough to not burn them, but hot enough to kill any eggs from hatching.

    As far as scenting. I would think any essential oils sprinkled on them and shaken in a bag would be wonderful.

  • Kelli L. Milligan
    on Jan 1, 2019

    You can do a 20 second microwave to kill anything. Any essential oil sprinkled on them tied up in plastic garbage bag for about a week.

  • Marie
    on Jan 1, 2019


  • Honestly I have collected many many pinecones throughout my lifetime. None have ever had any bugs. Partially due to my hot, dry, and very low humidity climate. Some people place in a low temperature oven. My personal opinion is yuck, exploding or creeping out bugs in an oven where I place my food? Then have to clean the oven before food use? No thanks. You can dunk in alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, bleach. Just know if you use hydrogen peroxide or bleach, and then set in the sun, they will lighten in color - and make them a bit brittle. Another way is to place in a plastic garbage bag or clear space bag, seal and set in the sun for a few days. If there are bugs, they will crawl out.

    To scent them, try essential oils! There are several pine or evergreen scents. Or go for something unexpected like lemon, lavender or rosemary. A few drops on each one will do the trick. Just be careful where you place them as the oil might mar a finish. Glass or crystal bowls, a basket or crate are pretty ways to display. Hope this helps!

  • V Smith
    on Jan 1, 2019

    I love pine cones and cannot leave one on the ground. They have the beauty of a flower and the practicality of a seed pod and here in NE PA (where the bear prevent feeding the birds) they attract humming birds. I have put mine in the oven. I didn't find bugs but it did help to get rid of the sap. Plus your house will smell amazing. You can scent them but I just put one of those pine sented sticks in with mine. I have yet to bleach some, but will do it one day.

  • Kristi Manning Clark
    on Jan 1, 2019

    You can scent them with pine scent from a spray can. You can put any oil scent you want . Dip them in boiling water with the scent of choice. No insect will make it. let dry well. I have never seen bugs in pinecones

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