You know the one.
However, I see folks buying these things at the grocery store for $5.00 a bag. It takes all my might and muster not to butt in and yell over the cart, YOU CAN MAKE THESE YOURSELF, YOU KNOW.
And it’s easy. And super cheap. And the scent will last for years. And there are plenty of things you can do with the pinecones, but we will get to that in a week or two. For now, let’s just get the party started.
Go to the park/woods/roadside evergreen and gather ye pinecones. If the cones are open, the seeds have been spread and serve no purpose, so feel free to gather as many as you like, Just be sure to leave the closed pine cones behind as they still have work to do.
BAKE ‘M: Line an old cookie sheet with foil and bake at 200F (93C) for 30 minutes. This will kill all the cooties and melt off the sappy stuff, (sometimes known as pitch).
BAG ‘M: After the pinecones are cool, throw them into a plastic garbage bag.
SCENT ‘M: Sprinkle pinecones with 20 to 30 drops of essential oils. Cinnamon oil is always a holiday favorite. I also like to mix in a few dashes of eucalyptus and clove oils, but cinnamon is the base. Other fun things to add if you have them around: Dried rosemary, cloves, lavender, pine needles, juniper branches, cedar chips (leftover from BBQ season)… just about anything that smells great when you rub it a little. One time I carved up an old hunk of French soap and threw it in. I have heard of people using the stubs of scented candles. You decide!
HARD PART: Seal the bag with a rubber band and leave it alone for at least five days. Ten is better. The longer you let the oils permeate the pinecones, the longer the scent will last.
Next Time on Pinecones 101: Star Spangled Warblers. (And not the kind you are thinking of)