Monday, August 5, 2013

Making Cinnamon Oil for Christmas Pinecones

Making Cinnamon Oil for Christmas Pinecones

I know, it’s a tad early to be posting about Christmas but if you want to do cinnamon pinecones the way I am, you have to start like, now! I started making my own cinnamon oil to coat them in using only two things:
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Cooking Oil
This is really easy, just take the sticks and place them in a jar ( I broke them up, not sure if that matters or not but I wanted to make sure I got all the cinnamon goodness out). Then, fill with cooking oil. If you plan on cooking with this cinnamon oil in the future, you should use an olive oil. Otherwise I just used a vegetable oil.
Set the jar in a window to cook a bit for about a month…
Then pour the oil in a ziploc bag with pine cones, shake and soak for about a day and you have Christmas pinecones!

(written by the clever pink pirate)

Whether you display them au naturel in a glass bowl or you paint them with glitter, pine cones are a useful element for dozens of Christmas crafts and Winter decorations. But before you go turning the conical fruits into a tree ornament, your pinecones should be dried to remove them of pitch (their sticky resin residue) and so their layers open up beautifully.
Before you dry them, you'll need to clean the cones by picking off pine needles and removing any visible pitch by dabbing them a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Then, you should soak them in one part water, one part vinegar to get rid of any insects crawling around. The layers may close up when they're wet, but will reopen as they dry. Here are three methods to dry them:
  • Air-drying. The first method is to air-dry them. Corral them up in a breathable container like a wicker basket or a woven shopping bag. Lay the base of the container with a sheet of paper to collect any debris that might fall. As you might expect, this method is the most time-consuming; it can take anywhere from several hours to a few days.
Continue reading for two more ways to expedite the drying!

  • Baking. Preheat your oven to 250° F. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil, covering it completely. Using gloves (to avoid sticky fingers!), set your pine cones on the pan, making sure they're separated. "Bake" them for an hour, checking occasionally to make sure they don't burn. The pitch should melt off the pine cones' layers. Remove from the foil and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.
  • Microwaving. If you have only a few, the speediest way to dry your pinecones is by using the microwave. Lay a couple sheets of paper towel or parchment paper on the microwave plate, and then set one to three pinecones down. Zap them for a minute at a time on high power, watching them carefully to make sure they don't burn. This method will most likely leave your microwave with a woodsy smell, so clean it with lemon juice or vinegar afterwards to remove the scent. 

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