Fall is here, and the air is finally crisp and breezy in Colorado. It’s my favorite time to be outside, but it’s also my favorite time to decorate my house. I love the warm smells of holiday scents like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, and I bring them into my house as soon as it is seasonally appropriate. One of my favorite ways to do this is to set scented pine cones out throughout my house. They are so easy to make and fill my house with a warm and inviting smell without too much effort on my part.
To make scented pinecones, first, you need to go hunting. I love to get my kids involved in taking them to our church grounds and letting them run wild. I bring paper bags to collect the cones and let them have at it. Don’t worry about the cones being closed or open; you can fix that when you get home.
Once we get home, I wash the pine cones with warm, soapy water. I agitate the pine cones gently in warm, soapy water a few times, then rinse them under cool water. Don’t let them soak in the water or your pine cones might become waterlogged.
I finally shake out any excess water that remains on the cones before moving on to the next step.
I then lay the pine cones on a foil-lined baking sheet and place them in an oven that I preheated to 200º F. You should ‘bake’ the pinecones for 30-45 minutes. This will help the pine cones to dry out and expand. It will also kill off any creatures still hiding out in the cones, and also get rid of the sticky sap. After 30-45 minutes, I check to see if the pinecones have opened up. If they haven’t, I turn them over and allow them to bake a bit longer.
When the pinecones are fully dry place them into an airtight container. You can use a large bucket if you have a lot of pinecones, or you can use gallon size plastic bags. I chose to use gallon size plastic bags since I had them around the house.
Now it’s time for the fun part, adding the scent to your scented pine cones. In each plastic bag, I place 20-30 drops of essential oil. You can do any scents you like, but my favorite is 15 drops each of cinnamon leaf and clove bud.
Once you’ve added the scent to your pine cones close the bag and set them aside. The longer you leave the scented pine cones in the bag, the stronger the smell and the longer it will last. You can leave them in there for as little as a few days, or as long as several weeks.
Once the pine cones are done, set them out as decor, or make a wreath to brighten up your doorway. You can even paint or embellish the edges with glitter to make your scented pine cones pop even more.
This year, I am setting some of my pinecones in a decorative dish on my dining room table. I plan to use others to make a wreath to decorate my front door this Christmas. Stay tuned for that tutorial, coming next month. In the meantime, I’m going to bask in the comforting scents of the season I love.
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