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How to Make Holiday Potpourri With Pine Cones


I have recently moved to Covington where there are pine trees everywhere. I personally love to decorate with pinecones, especially around the holidays. I used them in my Christmas tree, as table décor, and anywhere else I can add a couple to make it feel more festive.


I also love walking into the store and smelling the bags of scented pinecones. With so many in nature, I hesitated to purchase a bag of them, so I decided to try my hand at making DIY scented pinecone potpourri. I headed out to the backyard and began collecting some female pinecones of various sizes.


Fun Fact: Did you know that there are male and female pinecones? Female pinecones are the bigger ones that you generally think of. Male pinecones are smaller and are more tube-like.


Items you will need:

- Pinecones, various sizes

- Sink

- Baking pan, aluminum foil, oven, oven mitts

- Gallon Ziploc bag

- Spray bottle (optional)

- Essential Oils


1. Prep Your Pinecones

The only downside to collecting pinecones from outside is they're likely to have dirt, sap, or even small bugs on them. But don't let that deter you, simply give the pinecones a good rinse in the sink. Don't use dish soap, as the scent can linger and interfere with the essential oils you're going to add later.


Place the rinsed pinecones on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake them at a low heat (roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for about an hour. Baking works to preserve the pinecones. Keep an eye on them throughout the entire baking process. After an hour, remove them from the oven, and cool.


** While burning isn't likely, turn off the oven immediately if you see the pinecones start to burn.


2. Apply Essential Oil

To scent your pinecones, choose any essential oils that you like. Cinnamon is often associated with the holidays; however, other good options include citrus, vanilla, peppermint, and even pine essential oils. You can apply just one type of oil, or you can get creative and mix a blend (cinnamon and vanilla blend together to form a pleasant, warming aroma).


Place the pinecones in a gallon-size zip-top bag and pour at least 10 drops of essential oil right inside. You can always add more drops if you feel the scent isn't strong enough. Seal and shake the bag to spread the essential oil on the pinecones, and then leave them in the bag for a week.


A spray bottle can also be used for a quicker and more uniform application of the essential oil. Fill the bottle with a few ounces of water and about 10 drops of essential oil to start. (You always can add more.) Spray the pinecones and place them inside the gallon-size zip-top bag. With this method, they only need to remain in the bag for about a day because they've taken a more direct hit of essential oil thanks to the spray bottle.


3. Decorate

Once the pinecones are completely dry, use them to decorate your home. Place them in a bowl with greenery and ornaments for a simple and cute coffee table piece or add them to your Christmas tree or garland.


Repeat as Needed

Once the pinecones are out on display for a few weeks, they'll start to lose their fragrance. You can continue to add essential oil as needed to refresh the scent. You don't have to use the same scents that you previously used on the pinecones, as long as the previous scents aren't detectable to the point that they clash with the new scents.


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