With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, my brain is on DIY overload. Ryan and I have been tossing DIY gifts around, but currently I’m more focused on decor. Well, more specifically, I’ve got all things pine cone running through my head. We have had a bunch around our driveway just begging to be scooped up and made pretty.
I’m not sure exactly what I want to create just yet. Should I make a wreath or a pine cone tree like my mom used to make when I was a kid? I don’t know if I should use them to decorate the table or use them to decorate the screened-in porch. There is only one thing for sure, not a single pine cone craft can begin without having baked the bugs out of the pine cones first.
Little insects living in the pine cones never even crossed my mind until I wanted to bring my loot in. I don’t know why it never crossed my mind before. Just a word to the wise, do not bring pine cones inside without giving them a few good shakes first. Actually, don’t bring them in until they have been shaken and baked. Shake and bake, you read that right.
How to bake pine cones to clean them
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
To knock some bugs out before the big bake, I lightly tapped the pine cones against the ground outside. While still outside, I placed a single layer of pine cones on a baking sheet lined with foil. (There was no way I was bringing those bug infested cones into our house without being on the tray.)
Bake for 25-30 minutes (watch closely).
After reading about how some folks accidentally burned their pine cones, I decided to sprinkle a little water over them before popping the baking sheet in the oven for 25-30 minutes. This is when you want to find a good book to read or project that you can work on in the kitchen because you don’t want to leave the pine cones unattended. Talk about a DIY project gone wrong.
Once the cones were removed from the oven, I let them cool for a minute and placed them in containers while I repeated the whole process over and over. I had hours worth of cones; it was kind of crazy. My cup runneth over.
Baking pine cones might be my new favorite fall scents. Unfortunately, it’s now a smell that is sure to trigger the memory of innocent little bugs that met their end in the oven. Oh the guilt.
Now that I have my pine cones cleaned and ready to roll, I really need to settle on a project…or four.