DIY Pretty Pastel Pinecones

Pinecones are great to use as decor because they're pretty and they're free! Customise pine cones for different seasons and occasions by painting them. All it takes is a little prep work to make sure you get the best painting results.

Many years ago I painted some pinecones in a pretty colour palette of pastels and have been painting them ever since to match my decor. Painted pinecones has to be one of the cheapest, cute decorations I have made. Just simply collect pine cones from your garden, local woods, park etc.

We have all the directions you’ll need to turn pine cones into these lovely and easy to make decorations …

Prepackaged pine cones from the crafts store are usually already cleaned for you, but if you are gathering fallen pine cones from your garden or the woods you will need to clean them first…

How to Prepare Pine Cones for painting

Start by removing pine needles, clumps of dirt, leaves, twigs, and other debris that may be stuck on or in the pine cones.

To thoroughly clean your pine cones, soak the pine cones for 10-20 minutes in a well-combined solution of water with ½ cup of white vinegar. Make sure the pine cones are totally submerged. This helps to remove dirt and settled in debris and kill any bugs or mildew. It is normal for the pine cones to close up while they are soaking.

Rinse thoroughly, shake to remove any excess water and the pine cones will be ready to bake.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Make sure the bottom and sides of the baking sheet are covered in foil. Place the pine cones on the baking sheet, arranging them in a single layer, making sure the edges of the pine cones are not hanging over the edges of the baking sheet.

Bake them for 1 to 1.5 hours in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius). As they are baking, the pine cones will reopen. After an hour, check to see if they have reopened. If they have re-opened, then take them out. If not, then leave them in the oven for another 30 minutes. Baking the pine cones will finish killing any bugs that survived the water bath and will also melt away any sap that is stuck on them.

Leave the pine cones to cool and air dry for a couple of days.

How to Paint Pine Cones

I like to use matt emulsion paint for my pine cones as I love how they look a little ceramic. You can also have matt emulsion mixed at your local DIY store into any colour your heart desires. For my latest pinecones I had paint mixed up to match the opal blue, cloud pink, silver grey and blue haze colours of my latest homeware range.

You will need:

  • Pinecones ( washed, clean & dry)
  • Tester pots of matt emulsion paint in desired colour
  • Small paint brush
  1. Start by making sure your pinecones are clean and dry 
  2. Using a small paint brush apply a coat of matt emulsion paint to the top half of the pinecones, making sure to get in all theall the nooks and crevices, leave to dry.
  3. Using a small paint brush apply a coat of matt emulsion paint to the bottom half of the pinecones, making sure to get in all the small areas, leave to dry.
  4. Repeat steps 2&3 to apply more coats as necessary.

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