Take a natural element, pinecones, and make an elegant decorative item when you bleach them. The results are not perfectly white, and that is their charm. They’re more like weathered wood, each pearly cone revealing its swirling pattern in varying shades of gray and cream.
Pick up pinecones from your own yard, or ask friends for pinecones from theirs. After high winds and rain storms, there’s always a fresh crop of pinecones under stands of pine trees. This is a low-cost, simple project requiring just a few items: pinecones (which should be free), bleach, a bucket, water and gloves.
A soak in the bleach solution is followed by a day or so in the sun. After that time, use them in your home decor, heaped into trays or baskets in your home, indoors or outside. Bleached pinecones are lovely in our holiday garland project.
Make Bleached Pinecones:
- Rubber gloves
- Safety glasses
- Plastic plant saucer, to submerge pinecones
- Weight such as a paver or brick, to submerge pinecones
1. Pick pinecones. Make sure they are picked free of debris like pine straw. Try to source your pinecones from friends or places where you have permission to take them. Store-bought pinecones are usually treated with a wax that will make it difficult for the bleach to penetrate.
2. Place pinecones in a bucket or galvanized tub. It’s not necessary to fill the bucket this full. Leave a few inches at the top.
Set up this project outside and wear gloves to protect your hands and protective eyewear for your eyes. Wear old clothes because they can get splashed on. You may also want to put down a tarp to protect the ground surface.
3. Pour in one gallon of bleach. Pour bleach slowly into the bucket to avoid splashing.
4. Fill bucket with water until it just covers the pinecones.
5. Place the plastic liner on top of the pinecones and top with a paver or brick to keep the liner in place and the pinecones submerged.
After 24 hours, remove the pinecones and set to dry in a sunny area.
6. Pinecones close up when they’re wet, so allow up to a week for them dry and fluff up before using them.