money $$ by collecting your own pine cones.
Pine cones from the forest floor or outdoors in your neighborhood are subject to the ups and downs of the weather. Scale bearing cones change with the environment in response to humidity. For example in warm and dry weather, the scales open and allow the seeds to be released. Damp and cold weather the cones will close up to protect the seeds.
Whether you buy cones from a store or gather then yourself you will probably like to preserve them in good condition for your craft project, Christmas ornaments, holiday centerpieces, potpourri, rustic decor or even party accents.
Drying Pine Cones is a good practice before beginning any art or craft, we highly recommended for any table centerpieces, place cards, indoor pinecone crafts.
It is important to also get rid of bugs and any remaining sap that may be on the cones. This applies to store-bought cones as well, removing dirt or grit that is baked on the pine cone is a good idea.
Recommendations from House of Cones:
These steps are an approximate method of cleaning pine cones, please use your own discretion for your own pine cone collection.
1. Wash cones by dipping them in water/vinegar combination ( equal parts) and add a touch of dish soap.
2. With a coarse scrub brush, remove any dirt or sap. ( to remove seeds tweezers may be helpful ) Get the cones clean of any debris.
3. Lay the pine cones in a single layer on a protected baking sheet ( cover pan with parchment paper or tin foil )
4. Air dry indoors in dry, warm area or
Bake in an oven at about 220-300 F for about 20 minutes or more checking regularly to make sure they don't burn - the sap should melt off and the pine cones should open up * when you take them out of the oven make sure you allow time to cool as they will be hot to the touch
5. For a quicker drying and opening pine cones, you can use a microwave.
Place pine cones on a moist towel and cook for 30-40 seconds, repeating until they open. This method may generate a foul smell so be careful not to overcook. Let cool before touching as they may be hot.
Hope this helps! Happy Crafting