A Plethora of Pinecones

It’s winter. And when I decorate my home for winter, I always use pinecones. I start collecting them in the fall. I also keep previously collected cones in containers that I pull out to use year after year.

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There are so many different kinds of pinecones … different sizes and shapes, depending on the type of pine tree they grow on.

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Pinecones contain the seeds that produce new pine trees. Did you know it can take as long as 18-24 months for a pinecone to mature!!

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I love bringing natural elements inside, but whenever you do that, you have to insure that you are not bringing any unwanted “creepy crawlers” inside with you.

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Spiders, ants, and other bugs like to take refuge in the cones, so it’s important to bake the pinecones before you use them in your home. Yep …. I said bake. Not only does this kill any unwanted critters, it also melts the sticky sap that is in the cones so the residue won’t get on your hands, baskets or furniture.

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It’s an easy process, and I thought I’d share it with you. First, preheat your oven to 250º, and line cookie sheets with tin foil. (This is really important so that the melted sap will not ruin your cookie sheets). It also makes clean up super easy!

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Then arrange your pinecones on the foil-covered cookie sheets.

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Put them in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes. While they are baking, your kitchen will smell like turpentine (which is actually made from pine tree sap).

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When they are finished baking, use tongs to carefully transfer the hot cones to a counter that has been covered with paper towels, and let them cool overnight.

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Now you can use them in your home without the worry of unwanted pests.

I like to combine the natural cones with glitzy mercury glass containers for a rustic chic look, as seen on the shelf in our master bedroom.

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Faux evergreen branches, white sticks, and the brown stags add to the winter vignette.

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Snow flakes suspended on an empty frame complete the winter scene and add some whimsy and height.

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I hope you’ll enjoy this warm project on a chilly winter day!

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