How To Preserve Pine Cones

4 Materials
1 Day

Welcome, I'm Cindy from Cloches & Lavender where I share decorating ideas, crafts and DIY's.

Fall is upon us and this a good time to talk about how to preserve pine cones.

Our neighbors have a pine tree and it dropped its pine cones. Knowing that I love decorating and crafting they asked if I would like them? Of course I’d love these! So we grabbed them all and can’t believe how many I brought home.

If you follow Cloches & Lavender you are aware I enjoy decorating with pieces from nature in our home. Especially for the fall and holiday seasons so sharing how to preserve pine cones is a must.

Preserved Acorns In Décor

Visit the blog because here I share my love of acorns. I have a collection of 100’s and I share how to clean and preserve acorns. My collection is going on 10 years now. So, it should be no surprise I’d share how to preserve pine cones.

Also, I have a home tour coming on September 30th and you will see my large collection of preserved acorns and preserved pine cones. I also enjoy decorating with walnuts, dried artichokes to name a few. Using pieces from nature speaks volumes of embracing fall and the beauty it offers for home décor and crafts.

You my also enjoy seeing how I incorporate dried oranges into my fall and holiday décor. Besides being pretty dried oranges are natures gift. When oranges are dried they smell and mixed with pine cones for example, are beautiful as well.

I also share how to use dried oranges when decorating the home seasonally. By the way, you will see pine cones used here too. Be sure to take a look for some inspiration.

Incidentally, how to preserve pine cones is easy to do and well worth the effort.

Cleaning The Fresh Cones

Step 1

First step, cleaning the pine cones to preserve. I made sure to remove any pine needles and other debris, this didn’t take long.

Because I have a large sink in my laundry room, cleaning the pine cones before beginning to preserve them was an easy job. I filled the sink with warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of dish soap and added the pine cones to clean. After the soapy water covers the pine cones let them soak for half an hour.

By the way, I suggest wearing rubber gloves to preserve fresh pine cones. They are filled with sap and are quite sticky.

In the meantime grab a large towel.

Letting The Fresh Pine Cones Dry

Step 2

Remove the pine cones from the soapy water and rinse well. Here, using a large bath towel, I let the pine cones dry overnight before I begin the baking process to preserve them. Also, before settling in for the evening, turn the pine cones over so the other side air dries so they will be ready to preserve.

Adding The Pine Cones To The Oven To Reopen

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Next, using baking pans, line them with parchment paper before adding the pine cones to preserve. I used four large baking pans because in total we had 78 cones.

Because the fresh pine cones are going in the oven to preserve, this is when they will open again. As a result of the pine cones opening it’s important to leave room in between each cone to account for them getting wider. Incidentally, I advise beginning slow with the first sheets.

For my first baking sheet I set my timer for 15 minutes. I did this because, I didn’t want them to burn. So, to be on the safe side I wanted to see how the preserving process was going to work.

Since I have so many pine cones to preserve I knew I was going to do the baking process six times. So after the first round of baking I began setting my timer for a half an hour. Now I knew this was the perfect amount of time for the pine cones to completely open. During this process it’s quite amazing seeing the cones close and open again.

This is also why I say take advantage of nature when decorating your home for fall and the holiday season. It’s not only free but is truly amazing to see.

Letting The Pine Cones Cool To Add To Home Décor

Step 4

After taking the pine cones from the oven, I did add parchment paper to a cooling rack. Here, I let them cool as the next parchment paper lined baking sheet was in the oven.

If you don’t want to preserve pine cones, purchase them HERE.

Lastly, I didn’t feel it to be necessary to spray my pine cones with poly or a sealer. I love the natural look of nature. Spraying them is optional.

Here, you can see the preserved pine cones I added to an antique French crate for a natural touch.

I hope you enjoyed learning how to preserve pine cones and will think about trying it for your fall and Christmas décor. Do you enjoy decorating with pieces found outside too?

Sign up to follow Cloches & Lavender so you never miss a craft, DIY or decorating inspiration. The holidays are coming so I will be sharing as much inspiration as I can provide.

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Cindy Cloches and Lavender
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  2 questions
  • Patty Patty on Oct 25, 2021

    Did you have any bugs come out of the pinecones?

  • Joy Joy on Nov 02, 2021

    Thanks for the tips. In the past, my efforts to bake out any bugs resulted in the sap smoking up my oven and kitchen badly. Suggestion? After the soap wash, could I just let them dry naturally?

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3 of 7 comments
  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Oct 23, 2021

    Thanks for the directions! I love pinecones almost as much as acorns. Wish I had access to fresh acorns

    • Kristine Callie Kaya Kristine Callie Kaya on Oct 26, 2021

      I wish I could send you some our driveway is bombarded by squirrels bombing them at us ! They are crushed by the cars and get slippery !

  • Patty Patty on Oct 25, 2021

    Thanks so much for the tips