How To Preserve Pinecones

Fall is upon us and this a good time to talk about how to preserve pinecones.

Our neighbors have a pine tree, and it dropped its pine ones. Knowing that I love decorating and crafting they asked if I would like them? Of course, I’d love these! So, we grabbed them all and can’t believe how many I brought home.

If you follow Cloches & Lavender you are aware I enjoy decorating with pieces from nature in our home. Especially for the fall and holiday seasons so sharing how to preserve pine cones is a must.

Preserved Acorns In Décor

By the way, you may enjoy this post.  Here I share my love of acorns.  I have a collection of 100’s and I share how to clean and preserve acorns.  My collection is going on 10 years now.  So, it should be no surprise I’d share how to preserve pinecones.

showing part of my real acorn collection

Also, I have a home tour coming on September 30th and you will see my large collection of preserved acorns and preserved pinecones.  I also enjoy decorating with walnuts, dried artichokes to name a few.  Using pieces from nature speaks volumes of embracing fall and the beauty it offers for home décor and crafts.

You my also enjoy seeing how I incorporate dried oranges into my fall and holiday décor. Besides being pretty dried oranges are natures gift.  When oranges are dried they smell and mixed with pine cones for example, are beautiful as well.

I share how to make dried orange slices and clementine.   I also share how to use dried oranges when decorating the home seasonally. By the way, you will see pinecones used here too. Be sure to take a look for some inspiration.

Incidentally, how to preserve pinecones is easy to do and well worth the effort.

Cleaning The Fresh Cones

Step 1

First step, cleaning the pinecones to preserve using dish soap.  I made sure to remove any pine needles and other debris, this didn’t take long.

Because I have a large sink in my laundry room, cleaning the pinecones before beginning to preserve them was an easy job.  I filled the sink with warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of dish soap and added the cones to clean.  After the soapy water covers the cones to preserve let them soak for half an hour.

Pine cones soaking in soapy warm water

By the way, I suggest wearing rubber gloves to preserve fresh pine cones.  They are filled with sap and are quite sticky.

picture of why I say wear rubber gloves  because of the sap

In the meantime grab a large towel.

Letting The Fresh Pinecones Dry

Step 2

Remove the pinecones from the soapy water and rinse well.  Here, using a large bath towel, I let the the cones dry overnight before I begin the baking process to preserve them.  Also, before settling in for the evening, turn the pinecones over so the other side air dries so they will be ready to preserve.

cones on towel drying after being washed

Adding The Pinecones to The Oven to Reopen

Step 3

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.  Next, using baking pans, line them with parchment paper before adding the the cones for this easy craft to preserve.  I used four large baking pans because in total we had 78 cones.

Because the fresh pinecones are going in the oven to preserve, this is when they will open again.   As a result of the pinecones opening, it’s important to leave room in between each cone to account for them getting wider.  Incidentally, I advise beginning slow with the first sheets.  For my first baking sheet I set my timer for 15 minutes.  I did this because, I didn’t want them to burn.  So, to be on the safe side I wanted to see how the preserving process was going to work.

Pine cones getting ready to go in the oven on parchment paper and baking sheet

Since I have so many pinecones to preserve, I knew I was going to do the baking process six times.  So, after the first round of baking, I began setting my timer for a half an hour.  Now I knew this was the perfect amount of time for the pinecones to completely open.  During this process it’s quite amazing seeing the cones close and open again.

This is also why I say take advantage of nature when decorating your home for fall and the holiday season.  It’s not only free but is truly amazing to see.

Letting The Pine Cones Cool To Add To Home Décor

Step 4

After taking the pinecones from the oven, I did add parchment paper to a cooling rack.  Here, I let them cool as the next parchment paper lined baking sheet was in the oven.

Pine cones after baking in the oven.  They are open again

If you don’t want to preserve pinecones, purchase them HERE.

Lastly, I didn’t feel it to be necessary to spray my pine cones with poly or a sealer.  I love the natural look of nature.  Spraying them is optional.

Here, you can see the preserved pinecones I added to an antique French crate for a natural touch. 


preserved pinecones in a French crater
pincones in a crate

I hope you enjoyed learning how to preserve pinecones and will think about trying it for your fall and Christmas décor. Do you enjoy decorating with pieces found outside too? It’s the best because pieces found in the year are free! Will you use pinecones in your decor?

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Preserving Pine Cones

How to preserve pine cones from the yard or a park
Prep Time30 mins
Active Time5 mins
Total Time1 d
Keyword: backyard, christmas ornaments, evergreen trees, nature, outdoors, park, pinecones, rustic
Yield: 78 pinecones


  • large towel, oven, dish soap, sink, cooling rack, parchment paper


Preserving Pine Cones
Step 1
wash pine cones in the sink with dish soap and warm water
Step 2
remove from the sink and let dry on a cooling rack for 24 hours – keep towel under the rack while drying for drips
pinecones will close from the water, no worries the oven will reopen them
Step 3
set oven to 200 degrees
Step 4
line baking sheets with parchment paper
add dry pinecones to the oven and they will reopen
set timer for 20 minutes
Step 5
check to make sure pinecones reopen, if not dry another 5 minutes
let cool and use as you wish


Posted by

Hello, my name is Cindy and welcome to Cloches & Lavender. I enjoy making our house a home with antiques and thrifted finds. Antiques are used as my staples in my dcor to remain on a budget. I will often upcycle pieces with paint to make them new again. I enjoy DIYs

51 thoughts on “How To Preserve Pinecones

  1. This is really such a cool idea. I love the natural look of the pinecones after you baked them to open them up. I have a question for you. I love the spice/cinnamon scent of pine cones. If I wanted to put a scent on them when would I do that? Would it be during the baking process or when I am soaking them. Thanks for the info these are really cool Have a great week. xoxo Kris

    1. Thanks Kris. That part I’m not positive about. I think I have read it’s after they are dry.

      I believe it’s cinnamon oil.

      Tons of information on Pinterest. I’m thinking if you want natural spices add it when they are damp.

      I would ad nutmeg, a dash of clove and cinnamon.

  2. This was such a great post, Cindy! We have a ton of pinecones on our property and it would be so much fun to get to use them. I can’t wait to try this too. It’s going make decorate with them so much easier. Thank you! Hugs, CoCo

  3. Using things from nature brings a warm feeling to any home, doesn’t it? Thanks for this complete tutorial. I have quite a few pinecones that I have been wanting to preserve but haven’t been real sure how to do it. Now I do! Happy Fall!

  4. I didn’t even know preserving pine cones was a thing! Years ago, someone brought me huge ones from California. I just recently threw them out. Too bad I didn’t know to preserve them!

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