As we move into the holiday season, one of the most frugal and easiest ways to decorate is with pine cones. I’m lucky enough to live in Colorado, where there are more pine cones and acorns than I have ideas for, and I’m constantly trying to make up ways to use them. A beautiful way to use pine cones is to bleach them. Bleaching pine cones for decoration is fairly easy.
How to Bleach Pine Cones and Use Them As Natural Decor In Your Home
Bleached pine cones are an elegant and easy way to decorate for fall and the holiday season. These beautiful pieces can be used in many holiday crafts, or to fill vases or bowls.
First Remove Debris
Pine cones are usually covered in pine needles, leaves and other sorts of debris. Make sure to remove all pieces of debris before starting. Be careful, pine cones can be sharp, and it’s no fun to be poked by them!
Optional: You Can Bake Them!
This may or may not be common knowledge, but tons of bugs make their homes in pine cones. The best way to get rid of bugs, sap, mold or mildew, is to bake your pine cones before starting. Head on over to Victoria at A Modern Homestead and read up on how to bake pinecones.
For bleaching pine cones, however, you don’t need to bake them, as bleaching will take care of all the issues above.
If you’re choosing not to bleach them and are painting them, using them as a wreath or garland, or just piling them into a vase for a centerpiece, baking the pine cones will be your best bet!
Pinecones can also be purchase pre-baked at stores or online. They aren’t too expensive, so if this step is too much for you, or just don’t have the time (or maybe the access to pine cones), feel free to purchase them!
Submerge in Hot Water and Bleach
Take however many pine cones you’ve collected, either baked or unbaked, and place them into a large bowl. Submerge them in hot water and bleach (2/3 hot water, 1/3 bleach). Then, place a plate over the top of the bowl to help submerge the pine cones.
Just a Note: If you did not bake the pine cones, bugs will start storming out of the pine cones and into the hot water. Don’t be alarmed, the bleach will kill them. Bleach will also kill off any mold or mildew.
Soak the Pine Cones
Bleaching the pine cones may take up to 24 to 36 hours to get the desired colors. Pine cones close when wet, so don’t be alarmed when the pine cones are much smaller and completely closed off.
Also, the pine cones will not appear bleached until after they have dried, they will maintain a darker brown while wet.
Drain the Water and Allow the Pine Cones to Dry
Drain all the water into the sink, then rinse off your pine cones will cold water and lay on a flat towel to dry. I like to put the pine cones in direct sunlight in order to speed up the bleaching process. It’s not a necessary step, but it definitely helps to bleach the pine cones more quickly.
This part of the process will take another 24 to 36 hours. As the pine cones dry, they will become much lighter in color, and they will begin to open up.
Once completely dried, decorate with these beautiful bleached pine cones. Use them in a centerpiece, glue them to a holiday wreath, add them to garland. There are many ways to decorate with pine cones, bleaching pine cones for decoration is a cheap and easy way to do it!
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