Collecting Pine Cones

I’ve been collecting pine/ fir cones pretty much all my life! What do you do with them all, I hear you ask.

Initially I collected them for doing crafts or creating nature tables with my primary school class. Then I used them as decoration in my own home. I always use them to make natural firefighters (there’s a post on this blog somewhere). And I’ve used them endlessly to create decoration on gifts.

Now, I fancied ringing the changes. I still want to use them on gifts but look different somehow. So I tried bleaching them! It was a complete experiment that seems to have worked. Whilst they didn’t turn a bright frosty white (which to be honest is what I was expecting) they’ve turned a creamy white. They’re lighter, softer more subtle than I expected. I like it. Ive obviously rethought the wrapping idea too. Here’s how I did it….

1. You’ll see from the picture I threw in a mixture of fir cones, a couple of gum nuts (collected in Australia) and a few of those little acorn cups.

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2. I put this assortment into an old bowl and carefully poured over the bleach. I used cheap thin bleach and only watered it down very slightly.

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3. The bleach went almost instantly brown and yucky. I put a bowl over the top to try and control the fir cones and keep them submerged! I left them for 48 hours.

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4. In my conservatory I laid them out to dry on kitchen towel. The conservatory is warm and bright and seemed like the best place to allow the for cones to dry thoroughly and gradually open back up ( this took a few days). If you’re loving the circular kitchen paper it was sent to me courtesy of Ora products.

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5. As you can see, the smaller fir cones and the acorn cups were the most successful. I will definitely be decorating some gifts soon with these. Just out of interest, surprisingly, they don’t smell of bleach!

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