HOW TO CLEAN PINECONES: Authentic Blogging Gets Dirty

Welcome to the second week of 2012!  I hope your new year is off to a great start. It’s been a touch and go week at my house:  Everything I touched had to go somewhere! That’s the kind of year it’s going to be while I’m de-cluttering and downsizing and organizing … and I’m loving it!

Yesterday I started thinking about my tablescape for the week and decided to use pinecones … because the only pinecones I used during the holidays were little ornaments on the woodland tree in Renaissance Man’s study … and I missed seeing the pretty bigger ones.

I keep a basket of pinecones in the study year-round, so I went to my easy-reach stash and grabbed a few.  And then I looked at them … and saw dust and cobwebs. Yikes!

It’s no wonder. I can’t remember the last time I really looked at that basket.

But according to my “touch and go” mantra for the year, I’d touched ’em … and they sure could NOT go back into the basket until something was done about the nastiness.

I put them in the kitchen sink and sprayed them down with the sprayer.

Do you know what pinecones do when they get wet?
They  s l o w l y  close up …

As they dry out, they  s l o w l y  open up again.

I love pinecones!

Aren’t they pretty … now?

I hope you’ll stop by later this week for Tablescape Thursday.

I’ll have an atypical Winter tablescape to share with you … and these beauties have a starring role.

So tell me…

Did you use pinecones in your holiday decor this year?

Do you prefer them au naturale or embellished with paint or glitter?

Please join me for Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks for hosting, Susan!

Gee, now I’m feeling lazy because the basket holds lots of pinecones … and I only washed these five.  I wish that little voice in my head would go away.

…OK, OK, I hear you!  I’m going!  You know, sometimes “authentic” blogging can be a pain!


  1. That’s really cool! I keep pinecones year round too! I love au naturel and a little snow during Christmas.

  2. I learned something! I need to do the same to my pinecones. I prefer my pinecones au naturel! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. I couldn’t find my pine cones after our move this year..I love them also. I know they close up…I am a home school mom and have taught with them over and over again…did you know there are female and male pine cones?

    Can’t wait to see what you do…I might go find mine.

  4. I did NOT know pine cones would do that when wet!!! I will have to try that just to witness nature in action! I used a LOT of them this year for my Christmas decorating and have not put them away yet, so I’l give it a try. I usually like them in their natural state, but this year I put some of that “snow” on them. That has GOT to come off, so perfect time for the experiment!

  5. Your post reminds me to get outsdie before the rain comes and pick up some pinecones to use in my house!
    dee dee

  6. I was just wishing the pine cones I picked up and put in my window box were not so closed up and along comes your little lesson. Duh. It’s wet outside so of course they are closed! ~ Maureen

  7. I love pinecones! And I didn’t know they closed up when wet. Learn something new everyday! I remember studying female and male pinecones as one commenter pointed out. Love decorating with nature.

  8. I love pinecones, but didn’t use any in my decorations. I can’t wait to see what you do with them Thursday. I DID know that they closed up with water…I found out the hard way. We were doing a school project with them and I made the mistake of washing them. Oops:)

  9. I absolutely love this post, Susan. I didn’t know they closed up like that. I am a big fan of pine cones and I prefer them in their natural beauty, just like I prefer our Christmas tree but my family loves the ornaments. Every year when we first bring it home I try to convince them, but no luck. What I end up doing is enjoying it after Christmas for a couple of extra weeks with nothing on it. Yes, I used pinecones this holiday season and I also keep a large pretty planter filled with them all year long.
    Much love,

  10. By the way, I’m off to wash my pine cones and amaze everybody when they close up. 😉

  11. i like them both ways. thanks for coming to my blog. i am glad i found yours. i am now following.


  12. I understand completely, I am trying to do a little something in each room and then will start over again. I think that is easier than tearing into an entire room!!


    Art by Karena

  13. You has a great article. I’m very interesting to stopping here and leaves you a comment. Good work.

    Lets keep writing and sharing to us and other.

    Nb: Dont forget to leave your comment back for us.

  14. WOW! I didn’t know pine cones did that.. what a great thing to show our God children when they visit. We have lots of pine cones on our property. Thanks for sharing this. Now I hear some pine cones calling you to empty out that basket, so I’ll be off – but will return to see how you have put these darlings to work on Thursday..xo HHL

  15. I am just now getting here. I’ve been back in town about a day, and I’m trying to catch up. I saw your most recent post but I had to come here first to see what I had missed.

    I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never washed my pine cones! I do keep them as decorating year round so I’m sure they’re dusty. I think I shall give mine a little bath.

    I hope you see this comment because I also wanted to tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVED the excerpt from the Beth Moore book. It made me cry. Now, I’m going to look for it. I love the way she thinks. (Or more properly, the way God uses her to express HIS thoughts.)

  16. I just learned that about pinecones this winter! We went to collect pinecones for our Advent wreath and it had been raining and i thiught they looked so cool and was really surprised when they dried andmopened up.