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Collecting Pine Cones for Crafts

Category Nature
Pine cones are a natural and free material for crafts. This guide is about collecting and preparing pine cones for crafts.


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February 18, 2010

With the weather in the 50's and me with cabin fever after a month of cold weather, I was looking for something else to do to keep me active outside. I thought it would be a good time to introduce my new neighbor to my homemade bag holder and get some more pictures of how it works. I offered to help him pick up the pine cones in his yard.


We made a contest out of it to see who could fill a bag first. Of course, I won as I am an old pro at using this bag holder. He was amazed at how easy it was and how quickly we picked up all those pine cones. "Wow!" he said. After getting started, within 10 minutes we filled 2 large trash bags with cones and had his yard looking good.

To make the bag holder, all you need is a 36 inch inch aluminum rod, 4 heavy duty metal spring clamps and a vice to bend the rod with. Total weight of bag holder is less than 5 ounces. You can find the rods and clamps at Home Depot and the cost is approximately $5.00.

On August 9, 2007 Thrifty Fun posted instructions and pictures I sent in that also tells how to make this bag holder and how easy it makes the job of picking up litter.


Source: The bag holder is crafted by my husband. He came up with this idea in 2003 and to us, it's a necessity in picking up litter and keeping our 2.5 miles of roadside clean.

By Betty from NC

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 28, 20040 found this helpful

I want to make some craft projects using outdoor items but would prefer to not bring bugs into my house when I do. What do you guys do to make sure that bugs aren't still on outdoor items for crafts?


Melissa from OR


November 28, 20040 found this helpful

I use a black garbage bag and moth balls. Put your items in the black bag along with the moth balls and let set for a week or you can wash the items in bleach water and put outside and let dry. If you have pine cones bake them in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20040 found this helpful

Put all your natural stuff on a foil lined baking sheet or pan at 250 degrees for an hour or so. Let cool. This way no toxic chemicals are involved and no "hitchhikers" enter your home.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20040 found this helpful

For pine cones wash them in hot sudsy water and then place them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Be sure to use the foil, as the pine tar can really get messy. Turn on the oven to low (200 degrees) and bake them for about an hour or so until they are dry. Baking them helps them to open and also gets rid of the pine tar.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20040 found this helpful

put them in a sealed plastic bag and freeze over night.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20040 found this helpful

I put items I am bringing inside to use in a garbage bag and spray with insectiside, close the bag and leave it for an hour to let the spray do it's thing.....also if you are using pine cones you can spread them on a cookie sheet (line it with foil) and put into a warm oven to open up the cones and kill any critters that are living in them. I use the bag/spray method on my houseplants that I am bringing inside to winter over too. Hope this helps have fun with your projects!!

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By guest (Guest Post)
October 11, 20051 found this helpful


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By 0 found this helpful
October 5, 2017

When making pinecone crafts do I need to wait until the pinecones fall or can I pick them and get the same results?



October 5, 20170 found this helpful

I would wait until they fell.

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October 6, 20170 found this helpful

Using fresh pine cones for crafts:

  1. It would be best if you waited until the pine cones fell from the tree. it isn't necessary and you can also pick some if you need a few extra.
  2. Your fresh pine cones need to be prepared in order to use them in crafts.
  3. Put your pine cones in a large bucket, add water and 1/2 cup of vinegar.
  4. Let them soak in the water for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the water and let dry overnight on newspaper.
  6. Now place parchment paper on a baking sheet and put the pine cones on the baking sheet.
  7. Set the oven to 200 degrees and put the pine cones in the oven.
  8. You will need to bake these for several hours.
  9. Check the pine cones frequently to make sure they don't catch on fire.
  10. The pine cones are done when the cones open up and the outside is nice and shinny. The inside will be very dry.
  11. Now you can use your pine cones for any craft you wish.
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October 6, 20170 found this helpful

A lot of the pine cones on the tree will still be greenish but you should be able to find some brown ones that have not fallen yet.

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October 9, 20170 found this helpful

Great question. Some people pick them and freeze them then spray them with glue so they don't open. It will depend upon what kind of look you want. If you want it opened you can pick them and put them in water and they will open up. The reason you freeze them is to get the bugs out of them. We have done them both ways and spray painted some for wreathes and to go on the Christmas tree.

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October 10, 20170 found this helpful

Green cones on trees take a long time to dry so if picking from trees try to only pick brown cones.
Pine cones are plentiful all year long so you can collect them and prepare them in advance and picking from trees would not be necessary.

  • My daughter and I make pine cone wreaths every year and we generally only wash in vinegar and water and let them dry naturally.
  • Baking is not really necessary. Pinecones open as they dry and baking is a quick and easy way to dry them out. You can wait for the pinecones to dry naturally, although that will be a much slower process.
  • The simple method to preserve a pine cone is to wash the pine cone in a sink full of warm water with a cup of vinegar. Let them soak in this for 20-30 minutes. Lay down some newspaper so you can place your pine cones on the paper and let them dry. The pine cones will be completely set when they are dry.
  • In case you are in doubt about how to clean your cones - people have different ideas about when to wash and dry cones - some wash before baking and some wash after baking. Here are a couple of sites that discuss their methods.
  • http://3houses. … luing-or-wiring/
  • http://www.home … _all_questions=1
  • This is a very good site with easy instructions on preserving your pine cones.
  • https://www.wik … eserve-Pinecones

Do not leave any pine cones unattended in the oven. They can heat up quickly and catch on fire.

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