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As seen on 3TV/Phoenix – Good Morning Arizona – Monday, December 14, 2020 at 8:45am

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DEBUGGING PINECONES!  It’s a must before you use them in the house

I just had an email from a woman who decorated pinecones she had gathered and then found bugs in the decorative container they were in.

If you are collecting your own pinecones for holiday decorations, you will need to de-bug them before you use them.  Bugs love to gather in them.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.  Use an old baking shield or cover one well with foil.  Lay the pinecones in a single layer and “cook” them for 45 minutes.  Now you can decorate with no bugs.


These are simply beautiful. Easy to do and fun too.  Put the old clothes or a garbage bag, with arm holes, on the kids and let them help.


2 Quarts warm water

1 Ounce of food coloring (large box)

¼ cup of white vinegar

Mix water, vinegar and food coloring in an old container. Soak clean pine cones overnight. Allow to air until completely dry. It may take several days to completely dry them. I used an old shipping box to sit them in while drying.  Do not over crowd the container or they won’t dye as evenly.

The ones in the picture I did with red and green food coring using 2 containers. I thought about how pretty blue would be and then adding some white sprayed pine cones with silver glitter to my display.


Scented Pinecones are simple to make and you can use whatever fragrance you prefer. They are not overwhelming like the cinnamon ones you see in stores at the holidays.

You Will Need:

  • Pinecones – dry and de-bugged
  • Fragrance/Essential Oil of your choice. I used Christmas Tree, Pine and Cinnamon is also a good choice.
  • Throw away gloves
  • Droppers


Line your pine cones up on a covered surface.  I used an old box to help absorb any fragrance or essential oil that drips off the pine cones. Fragrance and essential oils will eat through plastic, so be sure to protect your work space accordingly. In addition, make sure you’re wearing gloves. Undiluted fragrance and essential oils can irritate the skin.  

Using a dropper, drop 10 or so drops of fragrance or essential oil onto each pine cone. Drop the scent in different areas to help evenly distribute the fragrance.  Allow the pine cones to sit overnight in a plastic bag. This helps the fragrance fully absorb into the pine cone. Now they are ready to be placed in a large bowl or Christmas tree for display and scent. They could also be used on a wreath, garland, etc.

 In our tests, we found the scent stayed strong for at least 2 weeks.

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