Skip to Content

How to Bleach Pine Cones

How to Bleach Pine Cones

How to bleach pine cones a step-by-step guide from

So the title seems simple enough but last year when I did this I found I had a few questions and some parts of the process that nobody warned me about.  I need details ~ that’s just who I am so in case you’re like me I’m here to hold your hand and walk you through this.

How to Bleach Pine Cones

How to bleach pine cones - a step-by-step guide from


How to Bleach Pine Cones from

First, gather your pine cones.  In my case I had my kids go out in the yard and scrounge up as many big ones as they could find.  Now, here’s where I had the question marks swirling around my head.  The boys brought in the pine cones and in almost every case they were OPEN ~ some wide open some just part of the way open but in all cases, OPEN.

How to Bleach Pine Cones ~ Pine Cones in Bucket in Bleach Solution from

I placed the pine cones in a bucket and added one part bleach to three parts water.  Don’t do this anywhere where you can breathe it ~ it will smell nasty! Put it in the garage or in a covered area outside ~ you get the idea.

How to bleach pine cones - a step-by-step guide from

I let the pine cones sit in the bleach mixture for 24 hours.

Now, this is where it got tricky for me.  The next day after waiting the 24 hours when I went to get the pine cones out of the bleach for the next step and they were closed tight and dark brown….not open, white and fabulously shabby chic.  I thought I did something wrong so I sent the boys out again for another go at the entire process.

How to Bleach Pine Cones Oven Ready from

Next day, the same thing.  Closed and dark.  That’s when it dawned on me that the pine cones close up when they are wet… DUH moment.

Bleached Pine Cones fresh from the oven from

Now, at this point, you can either let the pine cones air dry on newspaper or paper towels for several days or you can place them on a cookie sheet covered with foil and place in a 275° oven for one to two hours and that’s it.  NOW you’ll have beautiful white, fully opened and fabulous pine cones to decorate with.

So here’s the lesson learned in a nutshell ~ PINE CONES CLOSE UP WHEN THEY’RE WET ~ that’s pretty much all you need to remember! 😉


How-to Bleach Pine Cones. An easy to follow step-by-step guide from

Home for the Holidays Christmas Home Tour 2014 - Cupcakes and Crinoline

Wednesday 10th of December 2014

[…] it with some faux greens and some fresh cut greens from the yard.  The pine cones are ones I bleached last year, the lantern, faux fur throw and white metal container are all from […]

DIY T Shirt Pom Pom Ornament - Setting for Four

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

[…] you are a Christmas decor lover like me I also recently did a post about Bleaching Pine Cones that you may like as well. […]

Lynn Richards

Sunday 30th of November 2014

These are gorgeous! One question though-if you dry the pine cones in the oven is the smell overwhelming? I usually get a whopper of a headache if I use bleach. Thanks!

Mary Beth

Sunday 30th of November 2014

Thanks so much, Lynn. I didn't find the smell overwhelming but I did wait a few days before I put them in the oven just because of timing but that may be the way to go.

Lindsay Eidahl

Wednesday 26th of November 2014

I love this idea and the look of these pine cones! Pinning! Thank you for sharing on Show Me Saturday!

Christmas Crafts: Burlap & Lace Sack - Yellow Bliss Road

Tuesday 25th of November 2014

[…] A step-by-step guide to bleaching pine cones […]