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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Scented Pine Cones

 
Fall is officially here.  It's time to think of all the fun decorations we can make.   I love all the fall scents from pumpkin pie to apples and cinnamon.  This is the time of year when there are pine cones all over the ground.  I like to use them for decorations.  I make wreaths, I hang them on the Christmas tree and anything else I can think of.  I usually fill a bowl of scented cones to put on the table.


I recently saw a bag of scented pine cones in a store for $6.99.  You can make your own for pennies.  The first thing you do is gather as many pine cones as you wish.  If you don't have any in your neighborhood, go to a park or walking trail if possible.  There will be more than you will need.  Worse case, you can buy them.  Plain cones cost less than the scented ones.  Shake off the pine straw, and place the cones in a tub of water.  You can use a pail, a tub or even the kitchen sink.  Let them soak for an hour or two.  I forgot and soaked mine overnight.  This process cleans the dirt off and they close up.  Next you set the oven for 200 degrees.  It can be a little higher but not high enough to burn the cones.  Place the wet cones on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil.  The foil is important because as the cones dry some sticky sap is released, and that could mess up your baking sheet. 

 
Stick the cones in the oven.  Bake them until the cones open up again.  It could take an hour or even three hours depending how much drying needs to be done.  Keep an eye on them and when they have completely opened up, take them out of the oven.


Let them cool.  Now put them in a plastic ziplock bag.  At this stage you can use any scent you like.  I sprinkled them with cinnamon and cloves, and then I put several drops of an apple cider fragrance oil in the bag.  Any essential oil would work.  The last thing to do is shake the bag a few times, and seal up the bag.  Wait at least two weeks.  The scents will have permeated the cones by this time.  When the time is right, open up the bag and use the cones for any decoration.  They smell so good.