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Frosted color-changing pinecones

Frosted Color-Changing Pine Cones

These can be made and be placed on a hearth or in an arrangement before use, as the wax and salts give the pine cones a sparkly, snowy look. When placed in a campfire, the different salt chemicals will burn in different hues, some subdued, others quite bright.  Food should not be cooked over the fire until the salts and wax have burned away.

1. Prepare a pot or use an old crock pot (one that can be dedicated to crafts) to melt wax. We used white wax to maintain that snowy look, but colored wax can be used.

2. Use a floral wire or a simple string tied around one end of the pine cone. We wove ours through a few of the seed pockets on the larger end.

3. Have your salts ready in a large bowl. Colors and compounds are listed below.

4. Working on a protected surface (this can get messy!) dip your pine cone in the liquid wax, lift up for a few seconds, and dip once more to get a thick coat.

5. Immediately apply the salts to the pine cone, rolling the pine cone in the bowl of salt while using the other hand to sprinkle salt over it. The faster the better. You will lose a little wax in the salt, no big deal.

6. Lay your pine cone on  wax paper or a tray to dry.  It will dry in approximately 30 seconds. 

7. You can wrap a cute raffia bow on the end or put in a decorative basket until you are ready to use.

8. When you’re ready for a campfire, simply place the pine cone in the fire. If you keep it on the edge of the fire, it will be easier to see the colors sparkling in the flames.

Table salt – yellow flames
Epsom salt – white flame
Salt substitute (potassium, found at grocery stores)-violet flame
Borax (sodium tetraborate) – yellow-green flame
Alum – bright green flame
Strontium chloride (aquarium supply) – bright red flame
Boric acid – deep red flame

Other considerations:

You could add a scented oil to the wax, like cinnamon or apple, as you make the pine cones. They’ll smell great as decoration and as they burn!

Wax-coated pine cones are also great fire starters. The resins in the wax and the pine cone itself will help start the flames. 

These also make great gifts.  Plan to do a batch at a time and send some to your friends!

Posted by Charity Siebert at 5:33 PM

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