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Collecting Pine Cones For Projects? Bake ‘Em First!

How To Prepare and Preserve Pine Cones…

Solving the problem of sticky sap on pine cones for crafts and projects. It’s easy, quick and permanent!

Problem: Sticky sap on pine cones

Gathering your own pine cones is a great way to save money on projects and crafts, plus you’ll have a fun day and get fresh air while you collect. I collected these Ponderosa pine cones in the forest where hundreds have fallen to the ground.

Good Sierra pine cones

Good Sierra pine cones

Before you use them indoors or out, you need to prepare them, removing the sap and any possible bugs.

No one likes sap when handling pine cones

No one likes sap when handling pine cones

I want to use these beautiful, large Sugar Pine cones in a project, but they are so sticky and the sap doesn’t come of my fingers. It’s a pain to handle them at all. What can I do?

Solution: Bake the sap off!

Simply bake the pine cones in your oven, 20 minutes at 200º, does the trick! Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 200º. Line a a cookie sheet with foil. Give the cones good shake outside and pick off any visible pine needles or leaves and lay in a single layer on the sheet. These foot long cones are from the Sugar Pine!

On a foil covered cookie sheet arrange the cones

On a foil covered cookie sheet arrange the cones. Three very large sugarpine cones fit.

Bake for 20 minutes at 300 º F

Bake for 20 minutes at 200 º F

Turn out the cones on to a suitable surface

Turn out the cones on to a suitable surface

You can see the hardening sap on the foil

You can see the hardening sap on the foil

The cones cool immediately

The cones cool immediately

Repeat using the same foil for as many cones as you have. The house will smell wonderfully of musky pine! One bonus is that any bugs will be eradicated, so you can use and decorate with your cones indoors.

The sap left on the cone is hard and shiny

The sap left on the cone is amazingly hard and shiny

After the pine cones have been, you can spray them with clear polyurethane to further preserve them. These I will use in my three pots on my outside patio table. They look wonderful in the snow!

Pine cone pots in winter

Pine cone pots in winter

snowy pine cones

Snowy pine cones

Editor’s Note: Of course any time you are putting something in the oven, don’t leave the kitchen and watch it closely. Arrange the foil so as to keep any sap from dripping into the oven. Do not do this on a stove top or open flame.

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