Sunday, December 9, 2012

Packin' Pinecones

Red pine cones in gift basket
After a visit (can Christmas shopping really be called a visit?) to Target this past week, I couldn't stop thinking (well occasionally) about the wonderful fragrant bags of Cinnamon coated pine cones. 

Then, yesterday, I wrote about shopping for gardeners and "viola" (don't call me Viola), all things pine cone came to mind. 

Pine cone prep: 
  • Bend over and pick pine cones off the ground and put in a sack.  (Don't you love instructions that tell you the obvious?  It's for those folks where obvious isn't in their genetic make-up.)
  • Put in a plastic bag, tie and put in the freezer over night.  (Kills insects)
  • Lay waxed paper on a cookie sheet, preheat oven to 150 (or low), lay pine cones in a single layer, not touching and heat until they open (check every 15 minutes.)  Take out and let them return to room temperature.  If you're not in a hurry, simply let them sit in the house a few days without heating in the oven.  

1.  I spray painted a bunch of pine cones the other day.  Granted it's not an Eco friendly craft.  I used bright red, hunter green, chartreuse green, pink, teal, silver, gold, yellow, black and blue.  I've been using them in my daughter's wine gift baskets.  They would also look pretty tied to packages or heaped in a basket.

Easy way to do this is wrap a wire around the stem end.  Put on a plastic glove, hold by wire and spray paint, hang by wire and let dry.  I recommend wearing a mask so you won't breath fumes.

I received a bag of these from my Granddaughter,
Katherine, many years ago.   
2.  Mix Elmer's clear glue with a little water and roll or paint on pine cone.  Roll in cinnamon.  Buy cheap cinnamon since it's the smell not the quality your after.  Lay on waxed paper to dry.  Once dry gently tap to shake off excess dust.  Hang on the Christmas tree, pile in a bowl, burn in the fireplace or fill an old woven vegetable bag or nylon sock and hang in the closet.  Don't let this touch fabric and table tops or it could stain.

3.  Do the Elmer's thing and roll in glitter.  Add a wire and hang on the Christmas tree.

4.  Kids love to take pine cones, pipe cleaners, construction paper, glue and glitter and make snowmen, Santa, elves and odd indistinguishable objects only a 5 years old can imagine.  And those objects will be dutifully hung on Christmas trees for years.

Some pine cones have a fragrance of pine once they've been warmed.  A bowl full may fragrance up your home. 

Remember almost every pine cone will have sap and the sap will always be sticky and be impossible to remove from fabric.  My advice is cover your table with an old plastic tablecloth before crafting.  Fingernail polish remover takes it off your hands. 

Have fun pine cone collecting and crafting!            

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