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How to Prepare Pine Cones for Crafts

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Learn how to prepare pine cones for all your fall and holiday craft projects. Pine cones are a fun way to add a touch of nature to your home decor.

pine cones

I am always looking for ways to bring the outdoors indoors. I like to use acorns, pine cones, and even birch bark in my decor and DIY craft projects.

In fact, I was on a walk in the woods with my dog Zoey last fall when I came across some pieces of birch bark just lying on the ground. I brought the bark home, let it dry out for a couple of weeks, and then wrapped it around a couple of pillar candles. Perfect!

As I’m preparing to decorate my mantel for Christmas, I started thinking about pine cones. I had collected a lot of pine cones last year, dried them and used them to make some pine cone garland for our sun room.

For that garland, after preparing the pine cones for use, I simply tied twine to the ends and tied each strand onto my base strand of twine. I then tied some ribbon between each pine cone and strung the pine cones over my Christmas signs.

I also made my own pine garland. Although I misted the pine sprays daily, they still dried out and I ended up taking them down before Christmas. Truth be told, it probably had something to do with the fact the garland had been up for almost two months by the time Christmas rolled around.

But, that was last year. This year, I’m gonna make a nice thick pine cone garland for my mantel. No pine or cedar branches, just pine cones. Wish me luck!

pine cones

How to Prepare Pine Cones for Craft Projects

Like I said, I love using pine cones in my craft projects. I’ve used them in wreaths, sprays, garland, and simply filled hurricane vases with them. But, today I want to share with you how to prepare pine cones so they are ready to be used in your craft projects.

The process is simple, but important.

Q: Why do I need to prepare pine cones before using them in crafts?

You want to prepare your pine cones so that you can remove any bugs, debris, moisture, and to fully dry them out. You want your pine cones to be “clean” and safe for crafting.

Q: Do I have to bake the pine cones?

No, you do not have to bake the pine cones. You could freeze them instead. If you want to freeze your pine cones, place them in a sealed plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours. Let them thaw at room temperature before using.

More questions? Just leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them as soon as and as best as I can!

Supplies Needed

  • water
  • white vinegar
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper or aluminum foil
Learn how to prepare pine cones for all your fall and holiday craft projects. Pine cones are a fun way to add a touch of nature to your home decor.

Prepare Pine Cones for Crafts

Learn how to prepare pine cones for use with craft projects.


  • warm water
  • white vinegar
  • parchment paper


  • baking sheet


    Fill your sink with warm water. Add 1/2-1 cup of white vinegar. Immerse pine cones in water and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes.

    Remove pine cones from the water and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
    Place the pan of pine cones in a 200 degree F preheated oven. Bake for about 90 minutes. Bake time will vary. Keep an eye on the pine cones and bake until all the pine cones are fully open.

    Remove sheet of pine cones from the oven and allow to cool completely.

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More Craft Ideas

I hope you enjoyed learning how to Prepare Pine Cones for Crafts. If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might also like these craft ideas from The Birch Cottage:

Don’t forget to save this idea to your favorite Pinterest craft board to save it for later or to share with family and friends!

pine cones

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Monica Pierce

Wednesday 6th of December 2023

What does the water and vinegar solution do to prepare the cones?

Pamela Baker

Thursday 7th of December 2023

The water and vinegar helps to remove dirt and kills bugs.

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