I love the smell of Christmas. And truth be told, I’m not exactly sure what that smell is. But in my mind…it’s part pumpkin, part pine tree, and part cinnamon. Mmmmm.
Every year we like to fill our house with holiday aromas. And we’re always looking for new ways to do it.
This year, our family decided to make our own painted cinnamon pine cones. Not only do they smell fantastic, but they work so beautifully with our natural Christmas theme and they make fantastic gifts.
Sure, you can always buy your own scented pine cones at the craft store. No harm, no foul. But did you know that you can make your own for a fraction of the cost? It’s so easy!
And the best part is, you can control how strong the scent is. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like wearing a gas mask into craft stores at Christmas time, simply because the smells are so strong. If that’s your thing, then by all means…make ’em strong! But if you are more like me, then fear not. You can make yours as lightly scented as you please.
Here’s how to do it…
What you’ll need:
- pine cones
- cinnamon essential oil (or any other scented oil you prefer!)
- cookie sheet
- gallon sized Ziplock bag
- small spray bottle
- First collect pine cones (or purchase unscented ones) from your neighborhood. This is a wonderful activity for the whole family. Nothing like a Christmas themed scavenger hunt!
- After gathering your pine cones, place them on a cookie sheet in the oven for one hour, at 200 degrees. This will open them up, and also kill any bugs or bacteria. Let them cool.
- Fill your spray bottle with a few drops of cinnamon oil, and a few ounces of water.
- Place your pine cones in a large plastic bag (I did about 6 at a time), and spray your cinnamon mixture into the bag (a few sprays should suffice).
- After your spray, shake the bag vigorously to coat the pine cones.
- Repeat. Open the bag and spray, then shake again.
- Final step, seal the bag and put in a warm place.
Now, here’s the kicker. The longer you leave the pine cones in the bag, the stronger they will smell. I let mine soak up the aroma for about 5 days. But if you are looking for a stronger scent, leave them inside for longer.
Once the pine cones are scented, you are free to paint. We decided to dip ours in white paint, and paint the tips with white and metallic gold. I even contemplated doing some with neon. There are really so many things you could do. And trust me, this is the part the kids love the most!
To dip, simply pour white paint (I used basic Tempera paint) into a disposable cup (shallow is better), then dip your pine cone to the desired level. Then place on wax paper to dry.
If you want to paint the tips, simply use a small paint brush and lightly coat the tips with your color of choice. It doesn’t have to be perfect (and that’s the best part). If you want to get even more creative with the kids, you can choose to use bright colors and glitter.
There you have it. Fun for the whole family, and such a wonderful way to bring the smell of Christmas indoors for the holidays.
Merry Christmas, from our little family to yours.
Need help feeding your toddler?
Sign up for our newsletter to get a handy stick-it-your-fridge list of our favorite meals for toddlers and a link to all of the recipes!