How to Make Scented Pine Cones
I have bought cinnamon scented brooms before and love how they filled the house with that scent of the holidays, but they didn't last as long as I would like. I have a feeling these holiday-scented pine cones are going to last much longer. Another reason I thought this was a great idea is that pine cones are pretty much free. If you don't have pine trees, check your local park or maybe your neighbor. If all else fails, you can purchase them online or at your local craft store.
- Pine cones
- Essential oils in cinnamon and clove
- Large plastic zip lock baggies
Here are a few other scents that will work along with cinnamon and clove:
- Pumpkin Spice
- Other "sweet" scents
Don't be afraid to mix the scents. It's fun to experiment and see what scent you like best. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. You can also get oils that are already mixed. I used a cinnamon-vanilla oil and clove bud. It smells wonderful!
Step 1 - Clean the Pine Cones
If you have gathered your pine cones from trees locally, it is a good idea to clean them first. There are lots of small bugs and things that can live inside pine cones. If they were purchased, I'm assuming they are already cleaned but make sure. If so, go on to step 2.
If they need to be cleaned, put them into a sink of warm water. I actually ran the water with out the stopper first and gently knocked each one on the side of the sink to knock out any bugs and then filled the sink with the warm water. So make sure the sink has plenty of water in it and let them sit and soak for about 30 to 45 min or so until you notice all the pine cones have closed up. Once they are closed up, shake the water from inside them and sit them on a foil lined cookie sheet. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees and put the pine cones in.
Let the pine cones sit in the oven and check them about every half hour to see if they are starting to open back up. Drying them in the oven did take longer that I thought it would. It took a little over 3 hours for mine to completely dry and open back up again. To save time, you could just rinse them off really well in the sink (instead of soaking) and then put them in the oven. This will cut down on drying time a bit. I also read that they could be dried quicker in the microwave. Personally, I'm a bit leery to try this but for those of you who are more adventurous than I, it's worth a try! Whatever method you use to dry them, just remember, when they have completely opened back up, that means they are dry and ready to be scented. Another option is letting them air dry. It will take longer but if you aren't in any hurry, it should be fine. Other than the time it took, I actually enjoyed drying them in the oven because it scented my apartment with a nice woodsy aroma.
Step 2- Add the Scented Oils
Take your clean, dry pine cones and put a few drops of each essential oil all around each one of them and then drop them into the plastic bag and then seal it up. You can stop there but for safe measure, I went ahead and put a few more drops of my oils into the bag and then sealed it. The more oil you use the stronger the scent will be.
You can do as many or as few pine cones as you wish. If you are doing lots of them, you may have to use a few of the zip lock baggies according to what size you are using. The super large zip lock baggies are best. If you don't have zip lock baggies, trash bags, plastic grocery bags, and other plastic bags will work fine too. Just be sure to double bag the pine cones if the bags are thin and then tie the bags really well to get a good airtight seal. You could even use a large airtight plastic container, like a storage container, if you wanted.
***NOTE*** You can add the oils to your pine cones right after they have come from the oven or you can choose to let them cool first. I'm thinking that putting the oil on the pine cones while they are still warm from the oven may help to preserve the scent better but I really don't know. It's just a thought. Mine were cool when I added the oil, only because I had gathered and cleaned the pine cones before I actually purchased my oils but next time I plan on putting the oils on right after they come from the oven.
Step 3- Seal and Let Sit
After you have sealed up the bag(s), put them up, out of the way and let the essential oils sit and soak into them for a while. I let mine sit for 5 days but it can be anywhere from 3 days to a week. Mine were so strongly scented that I could smell them through the house when they were still in the baggies! When it's time, open them up and enjoy! The pine cones will fill your home with that joyful scent of the holidays. I have decided this will be a new tradition for me and plan to do it every year now.
***NOTE*** If the scent is too strong for you, try mixing a few in with regular pine cones. I made mine super strong but I wanted them that way. You could also start out putting a few in a basket and then add a few more every week or so.
Ideas for Using Scented Pine Cones
Once you have made your scented pine cones, there are lots of ways you can use them for home decorating and crafts. Here are a few ideas:
- Put them in a big basket on a table or shelf. You could even add some pretty ornaments in with the pine cones. Consider placing it somewhere near the front door, so everybody can catch the sweet smell of the holidays when they enter your home. To scent your entire home, place baskets of scented pine cones in every room!
- Put the pine cones in a large tall vase or other glass container for a centerpiece.
- Put a string of lights in a basket, vase or big glass jar to mix in with the pine cones for beautiful holiday display. It will look very pretty and the heat from the lights will intensify the fragrance. Just be sure to keep an eye on it.
- Use individual pine cones in a table scape down the center of the dinner table. Add some pretty candles, snowflakes, red berries etc. You can even decorate the pine cones themselves with white paint on the tips and glitter, etc.
- Make a pretty wreath or topiary with your scented pine cones.
- Make a garland using jute, attach the pine cones and tie some pretty ribbon or material in between each pine cone. It's super simple and would look very pretty across a fireplace mantel.
- Get a large charger plate, sit a candle or a set of candles in the middle and sit a few pine cones around the them for a pretty centerpiece for the dinner table or coffee table. Consider using flameless candles.. they are very pretty too!
- Add glitter, embellishments and ribbon to make them into pretty ornaments for the Christmas tree or to give away as gifts.
Thank you so much for dropping by to read my scented pine cone tutorial. If you are interested in more pine cone crafts and decoration ideas, have a look here.