If you choose to hunt and gather wild pinecones, you’ll need to prepare them before you use them for crafts. They need to be dried, de-sapped and de-bugged. (Unless you’d like gold spray-painted spiders running through your house, very sparkly!) There are two ways: wash or bake.
To wash - fill a sink with warm water and add a cup of white vinegar. Soak the pinecones for 20 minutes. Prepare a drying area with several layers of newspaper. Rinse the soaked pinecones in fresh water and lay them in a single layer to dry for three to four days.
To bake - preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the pinecones in a single layer. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or until the sap has melted and they’re fully opened. Allow them to rest for a day before you craft with them. Don’t leave the pinecones unattended during the baking process and stay alert for smoke or fire. Due diligence done!
To keep your pinecones looking good you’ll need to preserve them. The easiest way is to spray them with a clear acrylic spray, polyurethane or spray varnish. This will keep them looking natural and prevent them from drying out for a long time. But you know me. I thought since we’re going to spray them anyway, why not add some color and sparkle?
I used rose-gold metallic spray paint and love how it turned out. They look mostly natural, just beautifully iridescent. Other ideas would be to spray them silver or gold or spray them white and use a brush to highlight the tips with gold leaf paint.
Pinecone Ribbon Garland
What You’ll Need:
Screw eye hooks – ¾ inch
Yard stick or dowel
Gloves – optional but recommended
Spray paint or spray varnish
Ribbon or twine
With fingers or pliers; screw the screw eye hooks into the top of each pinecone. This may take some force. Attach a length of wire through each hook.
Prepare a workspace in a well-ventilated area. Use newspaper or plastic to protect your workspace from overspray. Hang the yardstick or dowel across a large box or similar support. Put on gloves before you paint. Use the wire and hook as a handle as you spray all surfaces of the pinecone. Don’t forget the bottom.
Use the wire to suspend each pinecone from the yardstick or dowel to dry. Let dry for at least 24 hours.
When dry, remove the wire from each pinecone. Thread the ribbon or twine through the screw eyes and knot the pinecones at appropriate intervals. Hang your beautiful pinecone garland.
Admire your work and celebrate with hot cocoa. You deserve it.
Frugal Festivity contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADime DotCom.