Monday, October 14, 2013

Bleached Pine Cones & Decor



I love being challenged to recreate something. I often use them as inspirations for me in my world of crafting.  Recently I saw a picture of a pinecone ornament for the Great Glitzy Hack Off.  I had just tried bleaching some pine cones and knew their final appearance would be the ideal look for this ornament.  I had success in bleaching leaves last year and you can read about that here,  but I was a little skeptical about doing that for pinecones. Naturally I went online to see if anyone had done it before.  Why yes, but all that I read said to mix part water to part bleach for the pinecones.  Since I was going to use bleach from the dollar store (didn't want to waste money on more expensive stuff)  I decided to use it full strength in my experiment.


I gently poured bleach over cinnamon scented pinecones I had from my xmas stash.  The bleach immediately turned brown and the pinecones began to close up.  I closed up the container and ever so often would move them about.  After about 24 hours I removed them from the bleach and put them on paper towels to drain.  (don't know why I didn't rinse off the bleach)

You could tell that the color of the scales had changed, but the beauty was yet to be seen.
It took several days for the pinecones to reopen and at one point I got impatient and put the pinecones in a 275 degree oven for an hour. That worked!

Putting them in the oven initially would have solved my anxiety about the pinecones opening.
                                          
 Lo and behold, the pinecones were absolutely beautiful!
 Each one with a different shade and appearance.
I turned one upside down so you can see the detail.

The interesting part about bleaching these and putting them in the oven is that the cinnamon fragrance remained and my kitchen smelled really good.

Using the bleached pinecones in décor proved to be very rewarding.  After decorating them with a mixture of seed beads, glitter, mod podge and champagne color glitter paint, I fell in love with the results. 






For my vignette, I needed to color some plastic leaves using the same champagne color paint.  First I painted the leaves white
and then painted three coats of champagne metallic paint over that. 
 
 
 
 Next I added champagne glitter paint onto the edges.




The leaves were transformed into glittery beauties with a leathery feel.

 I added an evergreen twig. . . 


For a delightful arrangement. . . .


The picture from the Great Glitzy Hack Off featured pinecone ornaments and décor in shades of turquoise.  




                                               
    You know I had to use my purple hues instead.



A tutorial on my purple flower napkin ring can be found here.
 

Still can't get over how pretty the bleached pinecones are.  I know I'll be bleaching more for the holidays.  Why don't you try this, too?

Take a little time to enjoy,


 




Linking to and Joining: 



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59 comments:

  1. Oh wow Gail! Those are stunning. I'm going to have to give that a try! I have oodles of pine cones!
    Cecilia

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  2. OMG!! Those are really beautiful pinecones!! Love, love,love!!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    xoxoxo
    Vesna

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  3. WOW! I'm so impressed by your creativity. I would have never even thought of doing this. TFS

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  4. Your pine cones are just beautiful Gail! Love the final result. So elegant!

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  5. Wow as usual you surprise me with your creations! I never would think to bleach pine cones! I love how they turned out and the leaves too!

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  6. I am telling you now, I am stealing this idea. Two questions: 1. Can you use cones off the ground? 2. Do you have to put them in the oven? Can they dry in the sun? (OOPS! Three questions.)

    Beautiful!

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  7. Wow, I love these. I havn't seen these before, but they are stunning. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

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  8. Hi Gail. nice to meet you, I am a pine cone lover I went to gather pinecone last evening. I will for sure bleach them. I love the look! Lisa @ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

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  9. Gail that is amazing they are o beautiful, I desperately want to bleach some pinecones how beautiful. The whole arrangement looks amazing!

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  10. I just picked up a bunch of pine cones on a trip to Eastern Oregon we just got back from.
    I am sooo going to try this. What a wonderful idea!!
    thanks. Faye

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  11. The bleach creates such a beautiful effect. I never would have thought of that! Very pretty!

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  12. Wow! I have been inspired!! Going out to collect pine cones now!! Thanks for sharing.....Trisha

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  13. What a fantastic idea!!! I bleached those bottle brush Christmas trees last year but I will HAVE to try your technique to bleach pinecones this year. Thanks so much for sharing that great tutorial with us.

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  14. Really pretty. I liked them almost better with their "just bleached" look. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Whoops...I commented with the wrong gmail account. I'm Eva @ RiverCliff Cottage.

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  16. PINNED!! Thanks for showing how... I'm just getting ready to go out and start picking up pinecones... Linda

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  17. Very clever idea! I would never have thought of this. Thanks for sharing! Pinned.

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  18. Such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing!
    I have a giveaway going on, would love for you to check it out!
    http://thediaryofarealhousewife.blogspot.com

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  20. How do you get the bleach smell out after..could not stand the bleach smell to stay. :) Thanks

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  21. Hi Gjudy! I try to reply by email but since your question is no-reply here's my answer. I used bleach from Dollar Tree and it doesn't have a bleachy smell. It does have some sort of odor which evaporated when the cones dried. I used cinnamon fragrant pinecones and that smell was still there even after bleaching. I should have rinsed them off but didn't realize this until after I started decorating them. I was so excited about how they looked after bleaching. Some of the more expensive bleaches are fragrant now to mask that awful smell. Hope this helps.

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  22. Great project! I love the effect. I am pinning this to various Pin boards! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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  23. Your transformed pine cones are beautiful & elegant. Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    Smiles,
    Carol

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  24. So pretty!

    You're always welcome at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

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  25. Yours turned out lovely......mine not so lovely!!! I used half bleach and half water, mixed them up for 24 hours. When they finally opened, the inside was a bit paler but the outsides remained brown. And I used a hair dryer on them in a stainless steel bowl so they were pretty warm!!! I will try again using just bleach.

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    1. I tried this last year, and just ended up with a disappointment. I think I missed the step about using the oven.. so.. am going to try this again, and will dry in the oven. I love the white look, and want it so badly.. LOL Hope you have better results next time too..

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  26. The bleached cones are gorgeous! I've never heard of doing this before, but just might have to try it!

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  27. Love this idea! I'll have to try it!

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  28. Gail, you totally ROCKED my challenge! I'm blown away! You're getting featured tomorrow for sure.

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  29. Who knew?? Found your idea on Hometalk -- so great! I have gone to using whites in most of my Christmas decorating so this is perfect!

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  30. I live on a 75 acre farm pine cones everywhere- I know what I'll make as hostessor christmas gifts now-thank you so much!!!!♡♡

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  31. That is such a clever idea! I love the look of the white pine cones. Now I have to dig through and find my stash of pinecones. :-)

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  32. This has to be my favorite new thing! Wow - those bleached pine cones are so pretty and perfect, especially, for winter tablescapes. Thank you for sharing this - cannot wait to try it!

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  33. How cool is this? I'd never thought about bleaching a pinecone, but I will now ;-) Thanks for sharing your idea!

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  34. Hi! Visiting from The Tablescaper! These are stunning! I LOVE pinecones and decorate all over my house with them. Now I have a new way to use them. Pinned!

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  35. Simply gorgeous, Gail! I am glad you got impatient and put them in the oven - that's a great tip and would never have thought of it.

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  36. Super cute! I'm hosting a fall wreath giveaway that you should enter! http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-fall-wreath-giveaway.html

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  37. So pretty! I am trying this as I type! So excited for the outcome!

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  38. Oh, wow! I'm loving this idea! I use a lot of pinecones at Christmastime and these are really pretty. I'm going to try it out for sure. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  39. I am a new follower and I hope you come by and say Hello.

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  40. These.are.absolutely.gorgeous!!! I'm visiting from Stone Gable. These absolutely took my breath away! I just returned from a trip to the east coast and picked up pine cones in each state. I have already put mine in the oven (primarily to get rid of any freeload bug riders). Would I skip the oven step or after soaking in the bleach, they need it again in order to dry out? Thank you for sharing this beautiful idea!

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    1. Thanks Camille! After you finish bleaching, it's going to take several days for the cones to dry out. Someone said they put theirs in the oven for a couple of hours and they partially opened. Out of desperation they put them outside in the sun and they opened up completely. I guess it depends on the type of pinecones, bleaching, etc. It's was a fabulous experiment for me and I had fun seeing the results.

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  41. Gail,
    I attempted to do this YEARS ago, but once the pinecones closed~up. . .
    I paniced and pulled them out of the bleach!!!
    You, dear one, have inspired me to try this again. . .soon!!!
    Thanks!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  42. Pinned this one too! I have never heard of bleaching pinecones. They are gorgeous! Wish I had known about this when I lived in Montana and had a lifetime supply of pinecones!!

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  43. OHMYGOSH! I have a ton of pinecones and was thinking about spray painting them. I LOVE this idea. I found you through Life On Lakeshore Drive and I am your newest follower. I can't wait to go back and read more of your posts- just not tonight- I have grand girls here. Diana

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  44. These are gorgeous! I think they'd be pretty all year long. I gotta try this. Great job Gail!

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  45. The pine cones turned out beautifully. I found you by way of Craftberry Bush Blog (Lucy) and I'm so glad I did. I'm having so much fun going through your blog - you're very talented.

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  46. Gail, remember when I said I was going to use this idea with sweet gum balls? Well, I finally did. Look for the post on Monday - I gave you a shout-out. Thanks!

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  47. Your bleached pine cone ornaments are simply gorgeous! I would never have thought of that in a million years. Thanks for sharing!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

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  48. I wonder what this would do for some GIANT pine cones I have from California? I love the look and what you did with them was absolutly gorgeous.

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  49. Absolutely BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!!!!!! :-)

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  50. wouahh !! c'est absolument superbe !! bravo !!!

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  51. Beautiful! I'll try this soon. Thank you so much.

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  52. This is so cool! Can't wait to try this.

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  53. Yours are the prettiest bleached pine cones I've seen!!!! And I've seen LOTS of them on pinterest! I tried bleaching some but used the 1 part bleach to 2 parts water and that did not work as well as what you did. I plan to do some tomorrow!!! Thanks for posting the lovely results.

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  54. Yours are the prettiest bleached pine cones I've seen!!!! And I've seen LOTS of them on pinterest! I tried bleaching some but used the 1 part bleach to 2 parts water and that did not work as well as what you did. I plan to do some tomorrow!!! Thanks for posting the lovely results.

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  55. Gail, I love those bleached pine cones!! Even it is not Christmas I will try to lighten some of the ones I have here, I will put them in the oven too, I'm too impatient to wait!

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