Scented pine cones. You know the ones. Cones that come bagged, highly fragranced, and line the endcaps of craft stores the nation over during the winter holiday season. And while scented pine cones might seem like a non-essential during the holiday season. That is unless you’re really craving that spicy cinnamon holiday aroma at home. In which case, nothing else will quite do or feel as cozy during the holiday season.
While you could purchase pre-scented pine cones at your local craft store or mass market chain in the ballpark of $5.00-$7.00 a bag or you could make your own customized scented holiday pine cones for little more than the cost of a few drops of essential oil. This not only allows you to literally make each batch of scented pine cones for pennies on the dollar, you also help to create a more minimal, zero-waste product this holiday season.
An item that could even be used for hostess gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, You’ve Been Jingled baskets, and Girl Scout projects later this season. Plus, you’ll get the pleasure of having taken a quaint little walk through nature as you gather up pine cones this fall season!
And the best part? This project takes so little time to pull together. Here’s how to make it:
- 24 Pine cones (per batch)
- Essential oils (cinnamon, clove, frankincense, citrus, spearmint—whatever you like best!)
- 1 Gallon Plastic Storage Bag or covered bucket (such as a cleaned out cat litter or laundry soap pail)
- Cookie Cooling Rack
- Cookie Sheet
- Convection Oven or Standard Oven
- Dinner Plate or Fermenting Stone
- Tin Foil
How to Scent Your Pine Cones at Home:
Take a walk: Take a walk in nature and procure at least 2 dozen pine cones. You’re ideally looking for pine cones that will look pretty on a wreath, bowled, or used as holiday decor or ornaments.
Soak your pine cones: After your lovely walk foraging through the woods for pine cones (or in my case an adventurous trip to my front yard), you’ll need to remove any debris or critters that might be hiding inside. The easiest way to do this is to fill up the sink and soak your pine cones.
As pine cones float, so you’ll need to place a plate or something weighted over the pine cones so they’ll sink back beneath the water. Such a clean dinner plate or fermenting stone. Soak your pine cones for 2-3 hours.
Bake them: After your cones have soaked, remove them from their water bath and let them drip dry on a towel. Then lay the pine cones out on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 150º oven for 30 minutes. This will help the cones open up and will kill off any gross stuff that may have made it through the bathing process. Such as small insects.
After your pine cones have finished baking, transfer them to a cookie cooling rack. Be sure to cool your pine cones for 1 hour on a wire cooling rack. Once the pine cones have cooled completely, transfer them to a gallon zip lock bag.
Add essential oils: Now, the fun part— adding the essential oils! you’ll need to create a blend of essential oils that is most fitting to your home. Keep in mind, you will need a combination of 60 drops of essential oil, no matter which blends you use.
I used 20 drops each cinnamon oil, frankincense oil, and clove oil for a very festive scent. Once you’ve made your scent mix, pour the blend over your bagged pine cones, then seal up your bag and give it a good shake.
Make sure all of your pine cones are covered equally. Place your bag somewhere in your home where it won’t be disturbed for 1 week so that the pine cones can soak up all that essential oil goodness. Keep in mind, the longer you let the pine cones sit, the stronger the smell, so if you can wait 2 weeks—even better!
So, that’s it! How simple was that? I like to keep several bowls full of pine cones throughout my home each holiday season for a rustic, minimalist flair. I especially love placing bowls of pine cones in my kitchen, on my pie safe as they fill the whole room with a fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon scent!
But don’t stop there…
Consider making Pumpkin Spice Scented Pine Cones with:
- 15 drops organic cinnamon essential oil.
- 15 drops organic ginger essential oil.
- 15 drops organic nutmeg essential oil.
- 10 drops organic clove bud essential oil.
- 5 drops organic cardamom essential oil.
Sweater Weather Scented Pine Cones with:
- 30 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops juniper berry essential oil
- 10 drops sage essential oil
Or Flannel Scented Pine Cones with:
- 30 drops cardamom essential oil
- 10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
- 10 drops orange essential oil
- 10 drops clove essential oil
Try different varieties! And remember, you’ll need to again add new fragrance your cones every 60 days or so. To do so, just add additional essential oil to your cones, bag them up, wait, and voila new comes! Used pine cones can also be composted, used to decorate garden beds over the winter months, or used as fire pit starters as well! The possibilities are limitless!
Friends, this is a super simple project this holiday season and I hope you all will give them a try this season! Now, tell me, have you already made holiday scented pine cones at home or do you have a really great DIY project or tutorial that you want to share with others? I’d love to hear about it below!