3 best Ways to Drying Pinecones - Air drying, Microwave & Oven -

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    3 Best Ways of Drying Pinecones

    1. Oven - sterilizes and melts the pitch that makes everything sticky
    2. Air drying - is good- but you need to spray for insects before taking the pinecones inside.
    3. Microwave - it's quicker, but it can also burnt very quickly.

    How to dry pinecones using the oven:

    Now I use the oven. I was careless with the microwave a couple of times and I was forbidden from using it again. :)

    How I did it:

    - I lined a cookie sheet with foil and baked the pinecones at low heat. Maybe at 350 F. until all of the pitch is melted. If the oven is hot enough to melt the pinecone pitch is also hot enough to kill eggs and insects.
    - Sometimes when I get too impatient or I'm racing the squirrels for my fall treasures, I'll pick the pinecones when they're still green and dry them in the oven as well.
    - Green pinecones will dry in the oven a lighter brown, more like a tan colour. The dark brown and light pinecones sometimes are the look that I'm looking for on some of my projects.

    - When I'm making a pinecone wreath and I'm using a wire frame, I just fill the wire form with pinecones and then bake the whole thing ( wreath ) in the oven.
    - This saves me time on gluing the pinecones to the wreath and to each other while sterilizing my treasures.

    How to dry pinecones without an oven?

    air drying pinecones

    - Also at times I have left my pinecones to air dry and only put them in the oven to sterilize them.
    - Wicker baskets and vegetable bushel baskets or any container with holes works great for air drying. Make sure you line the bottom of your basket with paper first or you will have tons of seeds everywhere when you move the basket around.
    - This is my favourite method of drying pinecones besides leaving them on the tree until I'm ready to use them.
    If using the oven to sterilizing pinecones is not possible - just use some type of insect spray to kill what ever is living in your pinecones. Putting them in the oven will kill the insects as well as their eggs.

    drying pinecones using the microwave

    How to dry pinecones quickly:

    - If I'm in a hurry;   I'll use the microwave, but with that you have to watch the pinecones closely, because they catch fire easily.
    - I just line the microwave glass tray with paper towel and then the pinecones and watch them.
    - I do a minute at a time on High Power until all of the pinecones are either all open, the pitch melted or burnt. Now you know why my family won't let me use the microwave anymore.

    - To sterilize and melt the pitch from pinecones;
    I like the oven method because I can get more pinecones done at one time.

    How to preserve Pinecones

    You really don't need to do anything.
    Some people will use hairspray or a clear coat, but it will also give you a shinny look. If that's what you are looking for.

    How to clean Pinecones?

    I only pick the cleanest pinecones and just remove pinecones needles that might be stuck to the pinecone pitch. When you sterilize your pinecones it will dry out any soil and then it will be easy to shake out. You can wash them, but you just have to dry them out again.

    Tip on Pinecones to be used outdoors?

    With pinecones get wet they will close. Even if they are sprayed with preservatives. When you make pinecones decorations that is going outside - you might have to wire your pinecones in - like wreaths - because even though they look and feel tight when the pinecones are dry, they will close and be wobbly when they get wet.

    How to clean the Pine Pitch ( Sap ) from your hands and cloths?

    I use rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol).
    Hope this helps.

    Links to Pinecone Crafts at craftpals.com

    Pinecone Crafts
    pinecone wreath tutorial
    pinecone fire starters *video*

how to dry pinecones