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How to Clean Pine Cones for Crafts (3 Easy Steps!)

There are so many creative ways to use pine cones in your crafting, wedding, home decor and more. If you’re wondering how to clean pine cones for crafting, you’ve come to the right place. Whatever your inspiration, we’ll show you a simple and natural way of pine cone cleaning before you start your craft.

Title image of how to clean pine cones for crafts.

How to Clean Pine Cones for Crafting

We love to create rustic decor and crafts using pine cones, such as our DIY wall hanging and our easy DIY burlap wreath. Or create pretty pine cone roses or pine cone flowers for Halloween with them. We even have a whole collection of pine cone Christmas crafts you can make!

We take our cones pretty seriously as we’ve been selling beautiful Canadian pine cones in our Etsy shop for a couple of years now. Over that time we’ve collected and cleaned thousands of pinecones!

Join our crafting community to sustain your craft habit with nature-inspired DIYs and upcycled craft ideas. It feels good to repurpose, upcycle and create with nature!

Learn how to naturally clean pine cones for crafts with these simple steps.

Do pine cones need to be cleaned?

It’s a good idea to always clean pine cones to ensure they are free of dirt, insects or other clippings and debris. This is particularly important if you are planning to use them in tablescape projects such as a centerpiece, place card holders or napkin weights. 

You can check out how we recently used them to make DIY pinecone pineapple party decorations.

Adorable pineapple party idea! Make your own pineapple napkin weights with pine cones. Tips and tricks for cleaning pinecones for crafting.

Pine cones make great accessories for rustic weddings, supplies for stunning DIY pine cone wreaths and can even be used for practical reasons, such as campfire starters!

When is the Best Time to Collect Pine Cones?

It might surprise you, but pine cones aren’t readily available all year-round. We have the best luck collecting ours in the late spring and early summer when they’re most abudant.

If you have the option, consider collecting them right off the tree rather than after they fall, as they’re likely to be cleaner. Pine cones that stay on the ground start to change color and collect dirt. 

And if you’re going pine cone collecting, wait for a dry day. Pine cones close up with moisture, making them more difficult to find and collect.

Now that you’ve got your pine cones, let’s get them cleaned.

Supplies Needed for Cleaning Pinecones:

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How to Clean Pine Cones:

  1. Using a coarse brush, scrub away at and in between the scales of the pine cone to loosen the seeds and remove grass and needles.
    Step-by-step tutorial on how to clean pine cones for crafting.
  2. If your pine cones have a lot of dirt and dust on them, you may want to wash them as well. Pine cones will close up when wet, so you’ll want to work quickly in small batches. Add the pine cones to a small bucket filled with warm water and a bit of dish washing soap. Before they have a chance to close up, scrub away the dirt. (Note: the pine cones will open back up on their own after 1-2 days).
  3. Line a flat baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a single layer of scrubbed (and washed, if applicable) pine cones on the lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 220 degrees F. Bake the pine cones for 25-30 minutes (Note: oven temperatures vary so ensure to closely monitor the pine cones while baking in the oven.).
    Simple and natural method for cleaning pine cones for crafts

If you’d rather not go through the trouble of collecting and cleaning your own, or if they aren’t readily available to you, you can purchase beautiful cleaned pine cones directly from our Etsy shop.

Simple and natural method for cleaning pine cones for crafts

Happy pinecone crafting (and cleaning)!

Join our crafting community to sustain your craft habit with nature-inspired DIYs and upcycled craft ideas. It feels good to repurpose, upcycle and create with nature!

Clean your pine cones for crafts naturally with these simple steps.

How to Clean Pine Cones for Crafts (3 Easy Steps!)

Jane and Sonja
There are so many creative ways to use pine cones in your crafting, wedding, home decor and more. Learn how to clean pine cones naturally before crafting!
5 from 5 votes

Materials
  

  • Pine cones
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Dish washing detergent
  • Warm water
  • Cookie baking sheet
  • Parchment paper

Instructions
 

  • Scrub out dirt and seeds with a scrubbing brush.
  • If necessary, wash the pinecones in small batches with soap and warm water.
  • Bake the cleaned pine cones on a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Oven temperatures vary so ensure to closely monitor the pine cones while baking in the oven.
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Tutorial Rating




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Carolyn Dennis

Saturday 5th of February 2022

My husband and I gathered a big galvanized wash tub full of pine cones. I have a bad back so I will do the cleaning over a few days. I am so excited that I found how to DIY with pine cones WITH tutorials. Thank you. The tutorials answered all my questions.

Jane and Sonja

Saturday 5th of February 2022

Thank you so much for your message. Take your time and enjoy, happy pine cone crafting!

Connie

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

How can you make them safe so they don't cut you?

Louise Mama

Thursday 10th of March 2022

@Connie, I'm wondering the same thing. I collected over 200 and worked on them for 3 days and we cannot use them because those little prickly things tear up your hands.

Lisa Drew

Saturday 28th of November 2020

This did not work for us at all. Ours caught on fire and liked to have burned the house down. 200* F . 10 minutes and it was smoking like crazy. Turned the oven off and was going to let the pine cones just sit in the warm oven. Caught fire! There has GOT TO BE a safer way.

Lisa

Tuesday 10th of November 2020

I have just moved from NY to NC I have collected a ton of pine cones with my two year old granddaughter I was so happy to find out how to clean them. Now I will be DIY for Hanukkah and Christmas, including crafting with my Luna. So exited thank you for your post.

Megan cleveland

Monday 26th of October 2020

Is it ok to wash them up and then put them right in the oven? I mean, let them drip dry real good first, then pop them in the oven? Kill bugs and dry at the same time! Save some time!

Jane and Sonja

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hi Megan, Yes, definitely you can! You may just want to rotate the pine cones as they're baking as sometime they won't up on the side that they're resting on. Hope that helps! Jane

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