How to Bleach Pinecones Tutorial

Zest it Up
by Zest it Up
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!

Zest it Up

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!



DIY Christmas Decorations

For more festive decor projects, discover how to make other DIY Christmas ornaments using natural materials, pine cone Christmas Christmas crafts, or Hometalk's ultimate list of 59+ easy-to-make DIY Christmas ornaments.

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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Marie Marie on Jan 21, 2018

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

  • 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

  • "D" "D" on Sep 08, 2023

    I would love to try the idea, but why bake in oven for 2 hours. I would think the bleaching should take care of any I parchally right? Thank you.

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Brenda Brenda on Jul 22, 2021

    Certainly will🤚

  • Anna Anna on Dec 15, 2022

    I have been collecting pine cones for awhile. Never sure what I will do with them, but always know something brilliant will come to mind. And then, you show up! Thank you for this "how to". Most likely, after they are bleached, I will glue a sparkle stone here and there. Thanks for the idea!