Pine cones

(21 Posts)
NeverHadANickname Sun 04-Aug-13 19:00:24

I decided to get an early start on collecting bits and bobs to start some homemade Christmas decorations so collected some lovely open pine cones yesterday. I took them home and soaked them in hot water for a few minutes to get rid of any undesirables and now they have all closed! I put them in cold water to see if it would reverse it but it didn't. Any ideas of how I get them to open again or will I just have to get some more open ones and not wash these ones? The ones I have are nice but not how I wanted them, I'm sure I'll use them somehow.

If there's no way to sort them the at least this can be a reminder for people to start looking for pine cones now and not leave them too late grin

bolshieoldcow Sun 04-Aug-13 19:07:09

If you pop them on a baking tray in a warm oven they usually open. Also it confuses the hell out of the family who go from excited that you've been baking to wondering if you've had too much sun...

bolshieoldcow Sun 04-Aug-13 19:07:57

Also, please share what you do as DD picks up loads of lovely cones and I never know what to do with them except pile up in a vase!

NeverHadANickname Sun 04-Aug-13 19:30:05

Thanks for the tip, I'll try that tonight. I only really have ideas at the moment. I'm going to put them in a vase but get some of the battery operated fairy lights and put them in too. A friend said they sometimes do them in the pound shop so I'll be looking out for them. I'm also planning on threading something through the top so I can put them on the Christmas tree. Other than that maybe a wreath or artfully lay them around candles or something (in theory). I might lightly spray some of the edges with gold so some of them are different. Either that or they'll all get forgotten about but they are my main plan together with dried orange slices to add to this years collection.

hippoherostandinghere Sun 04-Aug-13 20:18:06

Ooh, glad I'm not the only one! My and DCs were collecting pine cones in the park yesterday. We are going to spray them gold and make a wreath.

Can't wait to hear some other ideas.

NeverHadANickname Sun 04-Aug-13 21:27:51

That tip worked brilliant, most of them have opened up nicely, thank you. I've still got them in the oven on low to see if the others will go.

Yes all ideas welcome for what else to do with them for me too. I'll report back when I've done anything with mine or seen anything nice. I think they look so lovely and Christmassy so the more I can use the better grin

lunar1 Mon 05-Aug-13 09:18:47

If any of them dont open in to oven hang onto them, i find they usually open on there own over a couple of months anyway.

Methe Tue 13-Aug-13 11:41:13

They'll open as they dry out. I always use loads of pine cones at Christmas. A couple of year ago the kids painted some in glue and covered them in red, gold and green glitter and we have them on the tree and on our wreaths. This year I collected some massive ones on holiday, they are about 8 inches long! I'm going to arrange them with holly and candles in front of the friench door the living room.

My friend burns them in her log burner. Apparently they smell fantastic.

NeverHadANickname Tue 13-Aug-13 12:14:06

Glue and glitter sounds good for when I have my niece and nephew in December. Does holly last well once cut? i've never used it in decorations before.

I bet they smell lovely, shame I don't have an open fire.

Methe Tue 13-Aug-13 15:03:08

It'll stay looking green on a wreath for a good 4 or 5 weeks if outside. If inside it doesn't last anywhere near as long but looks good for a week or so and then dulls.

Slainte Tue 13-Aug-13 16:39:54

Saw this on MSE site - Fir cone birdseed feeder - Collect the biggest fir cones you can find and twist some wire around the bases.
Dip in some melted lard, roll in mixed bird seed and poke some raisins in the gaps.

NeverHadANickname Wed 14-Aug-13 07:20:09

Love the bird feeder idea, another one good to do with kids.

dementedma Fri 16-Aug-13 20:40:31

We paint them with glue and sprinkle glitter on. Nice in a bowl with fairy lights

normaleggy Thu 29-Aug-13 21:12:41

When I was a child I used to make pine cone christmas trees by mixing some green paint on with some pva glue, paint it on to the pine cone, roll up tiny balls of coloured paper to stick on as baubles and then stick them onto a small empty milk pot like the ones you get in cafes and restaurants. Probably look a bit naff but was great fun making them.

girlywhirly Fri 30-Aug-13 07:51:14

norma, those sound fine. I saw in a magazine once, place name card holders made as you describe. They had used smallish cones and used half a cork glued on as the stand, then spray painted in gold or silver, but you could use other colours. The card with the name on was just slotted onto the ribs of the cone.

It would be a nice thing to do if you are having guests to Christmas lunch, as they would take up less room on the table than table centres, and leave enough space for serving dishes, wine etc.

So how do you make dried orange slices? Would love to try making my own decorations so this sounds fab

Oldraver Fri 30-Aug-13 09:57:12

I've got pine trees out the front and we get a lot of cones..I put them on the fins of a double radiator and they open up there.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Fri 30-Aug-13 10:11:17

In Anthropologie last year (I think) they had some outrageously over priced artfully home made looking Christmas decorations that were basically pine cones with glitter fixed to the lids of large upside down jam jars - sort of like home made snow globes. I did think at the time I might attempt our own version with the DDs, but didn't get around to it. Might try that this year.

girlywhirly Fri 30-Aug-13 11:33:57

coffee, I tried to do dried orange slices in a very low oven, for many hours, but it was unsuccessful because they just went brown. They also reabsorbed moisture from the steamy kitchen when used as decorations and went mouldy eventually, so too much time and effort for a poor result. The commercially produced ones are done in a desiccator I think and retain their colour, but you would need to fork out for the desiccator and dehydrating crystals, if you would make use of this a lot it's probably worth it but otherwise it would be cheaper to buy ready made from Hobbycraft or other retailer of floristry supplies.

Hopefully someone will be along to tell you their success story!

Thanks girly, that sounds like far too much work though! Might just stick to the pine cones and glitter!

BankerMommy2010 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:26:02

I collect cones at Christmas time and put them in a big decorative bowl in my hall way I add a Christmassy oil (you can buy them for oil burners etc) they look lovely and smell gorgeous, I guess you could spray them in silver/cold or add some glitter, but I just keep them au natural and they look very festive x

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