Pinecones: Nature’s Free Home Décor

Going camping? Make sure to pick up a few of nature's perfect home decor staple: pine cones!

Amanda Thomas,
August 11, 2014

If you have been listening to my recent podcasts, you’ll know that Mr. Domestic CEO and I have participated in a bit of camping lately. My podcasts are all about sharing information with you so you can enjoy a better camping experience.

Spending time in the wilderness can leave you breathless with wonder at all that takes place in nature. Did you know that pinecones are the seeds of future pine trees?  Those adorable little guys just lying on the ground have the potential of growing into big, strong trees someday. I doubt nature needs every single pinecone, so I scooped up a few to take home. It’s okay to take the really pretty, symmetrical pinecones and leave the uglier, misshapen cones to do the re-seeding work. If you decide to collect a few cones for yourself, be sure to leave an ample number of them behind so the trees of tomorrow are ready to grow.

Decorating with things from nature is one of my favorite ways to add texture and color to my home.  Pinecones can be used year round, not just during the holidays, as beautiful home décor. But I do love to use them a lot in my holiday decorating, too. I get out lots of extra pinecones starting in October.

Since pinecones come from the great outdoors, be sure to rid the cones of any unwanted critters. Here’s how: let the pinecones dry in the sun if they were a bit moist when you brought them home.  Next, put them on a foil-covered baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.  This should take care of any creepy crawlers that may have tagged along.

I like the look of natural pinecones in a clear, glass vase or large jar. This simple display works well on its own, but if you want to add an extra bit of flair to it, try the following ideas:

  • Mix in some simple, solid-colored round Christmas ornaments
  • Add a string of lights interspersed with the pinecones for a warm glow of light
  • Anchor bare tree branches in a vase filled with pinecones. Loop ribbon or clear fishing line around smaller pinecones and hang from the branches
  • Use various colors of spray paint for an eclectic display of pinecones. Using bright, glossy spray paint on pinecones gives them a whole new, modern vibe. Mix pinecones in a clean-lined cylinder glass vase
  • Spray pinecones with glitter spray paint for that extra bit of glitz for the holidays

You can also make a door hanging spray of pinecones by cutting 8-inch lengths of ribbon. Tie or glue one end of the ribbon to a pinecone. When you’ve got about 7-9 pinecones with ribbon attached, secure all the opposite ends of the ribbon together using a few staples. Make or purchase a pretty bow and glue or staple to the gathered ribbon end. Hang on your front door or on a large mirror for an inexpensive holiday decoration. If you use a ribbon color that works for both fall and winter, you can simply change out the top bow depending on the holiday season.

A simple but stunning front entryway decoration can be made using pinecones, thick tree branches or small logs (birch branches are the best), some evergreen branches or sprays, a string of white lights, and a large metal bin or cute basket. Gather all these items in your large container and set near the front door.

Extra-large pinecones make a stunning display all on their own. Stand them on end individually or in a cluster. Toss a few fall leaves, acorns, or branches around their base and you’ve got a lovely nature display. Add this to a low tray and intersperse small votive candles for a pretty table centerpiece.

These are just a few of the basic ways you can use pinecones to decorate your home. For even more ideas, check out my Pinterest page chock-full of ideas!

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