Perfectly Practical #131- Uses for Pinecones

If there is one thing we have an abundance of here in East Texas, it is the mighty pine tree.  We are in the Piney Woods area of Texas after all.  :)

Before moving overseas, I had never thought too much of pine cones since they were more of a nuisance than anything.  They littered the yard and fell on your head if you were unlucky.

Once I was in a store in England and they were selling a bag of 10 small pine cones.  First of all, who buys pine cones especially small pine cones?  That bag of small pine cones cost 5 pounds!  The exchange rate at the time was around $1.75 to the pound so that bag cost around $8.75!  In that moment I seriously considered being an international pine cone dealer.

As it turns out, pine cones are in fact useful.

They can be used as:

  • Fire Starters - If you have been converted and now love bacon grease as much as I do, you are now keeping a vat jar of grease on hand.  You pour slightly melted bacon grease over your pine cone and wait until the grease solidifies, then you can use it as a fire starter.  Alternatively, you can pour melted wax (like the leftovers from used candles) over them and use them as fire starters that way.
  • Decorations - Seems like everyone I know has a bowl of random orbs in it - fuzzy ones, feathered ones, wicker ones, wooden ones, decoupaged ones, etc.  And how much did each of those globes cost?  If you just need a decoration that fills a bowl and looks pretty, why not pick up some pine cones in your back yard and display them?  
  • Bird Feeders - This is an activity from my youth - making a bird feeder from a pine cone.  Birds love peanut butter and a pine cone is the perfect vehicle to feed them.  Tie a piece of ribbon around part of the pine cone somewhere near the top.  Squish peanut butter in all of the gaps and all over the spiky edges.  Roll the feeder in birdseed and you're done.  Voila!  A bird feeder.   
  • Ornaments - Paint glue over the pine cone's surface and sprinkle over or roll it in glitter.  You could also flock the edges if you'd prefer. 
  • Kids' Crafts - Another craft from my childhood is making a turkey from a pine cone.  Turn the pine cone on its side.  Trace and cut out a handprint to be used as the tail when tucked into the fat end of the pine cone.   Then trace and cut out a key to be used as the head when tucked into the skinny end of the pine cone.
  • Place Card Holders - Write your guests' names on pretty paper.  Cut out a nice shape and tuck it into the pine cone.

This is part of Works for me Wednesday.


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