Bleached and Sandy Pine Cones

3 Materials
40 Minutes
Wanting a lighter look to our pine cones to go with our lighter farmhouse style I decided to try bleaching them.
Bleach is one substance I don't like to work with. I've bleached too many clothes, rugs, and hair with horrible results. :(
So, bleaching with care was important on my list.
We live around pine cones so after a short walk, I had a large bag full.

Use two buckets the same size so that one fits into the other. Add pine cones to one bucket cover them with warm water to wash them. Dump the water and add bleach and more warm water. Add 3 parts bleach to 1 part water until the pine cones start to float.
Then add the second bucket on top. Use something to light weigh down the bucket so the pine cones are in the solution. Let sit for 24 hours in a safe area. Then carefully dispose of the bleach solution. Rinse the pine cones several times with water. During the last rinse, sprinkle baking soda over the pine cones and add more water. Swish the pine cones in the baking soda solution.
Now for the long process...leave the pine cones in an area where they can dry. Pine cones close up when wet and at a snail's pace open back up as they dry. But when they open, wow! Store bought pine cones may have scents or preservatives. Those may keep the bleach from giving the pine cones a lighter look.
For a beachy look, I added vase filler sand to some of the bleached pine cones. Using a spray glue and then rolling the cones in the sand.
I love the soft look of the bleached pine cones and those that I added sand too. The sandy cones are for displaying only. They can be messy. But the bleached pine cones will be perfect for decorating around the house and on gifts.
Sharing the bleached pine cones that were in 100% bleach for 24 hours AFTER they dried for 2 weeks. The yellow has lightened to a beautiful creamy color. These just may now be my favorite! :)
Suggested materials:
  • Bleach   (Safeway)
  • Rubber gloves   (Safeway)
  • Two buckets   (Dollar store)
Country Design Style-Jeanette
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 5 questions
  • DB DB on Oct 04, 2016
    What is the purpose of the baking soda?

  • Are you sure it's 3 parts bleach to 1 part water and not the other way around? That seems like an awful lot of bleach.

  • on Dec 08, 2016
    Lovely, do I have to dry them for two weeks, I don't think I have enough time for christmas?? Lollie

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