White pumpkins were trending in fall décor and white pinecones are its winter version. You can accomplish the look with two different processes – by bleaching or by whitewashing. Bailey and I will show you both so you can decide which version you’d like better in your décor.
(Affiliate link proceeds are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. Shopping through these links helps raise donations for some pretty amazing non-profits. See the 'Animal Rescue Support' page for more info ❤ )
For the bleached pinecones, you’ll need:
A bucket, bleach, water, protective gloves, and safety glasses.
You’ll also need a bucket that fits inside of your first bucket, and a brick or other weight.
For the whitewashed pinecones, you’ll need:
An off-white or cream colored acrylic paint – I’m using ‘Antique White’ – it’s not stark white so it will make the pinecones look bleached vs just painted.
A container large enough to mix paint and dunk pinecones, a paint stirrer, water, and wax paper. You can also use protective gloves, if desired.
No matter which process you go with, if you collect your pinecones outside, bake them first to kill any bugs hiding in the crevices. Place them on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before continuing.
For the bleached pinecones, I recommend doing the project outside or in a garage as the fumes aren’t pleasant.
Please wear safety glasses, gloves, and any other protective items to ensure you don’t splash bleach on yourself.
Mix two parts water to one part bleach in a bucket.
Add the pinecones. Since they float, you’ll have to force them to stay under the bleach water.
Place the second bucket inside the first and weigh it down with the brick or other weight.
Allow to set for at least 12 hours before checking. Smaller, more brittle pinecones may be done at the 12 hour mark while the thicker ones will need more time. Continue to let them set for another 12 hours at the most. Don’t let them sit any longer than 24 hours total as they will start to fall apart after that.
Remove the pinecones from the bleach water and set out to dry. This could take a couple of days as the pinecones close up when they’re wet. They’ll need time to open back up and fully dry out.
And what do you do with the bleach water? I recommend setting the bucket outside for a couple of days as the sun will break down the chlorine. Or you could pour it in places where you want to kill weeds. Ensure that you keep the bucket away from kids and pets if you choose to leave it outside and unattended.
For those sensitive to bleach or would prefer going with the whitewashed process:
In your container, mix equal parts of paint and water and mix thoroughly.
Dip the pinecone into the paint mixture. Turn and flip to work the paint into all of the crevices until the entire pinecone is coated.
Allow the excess paint to drip off for several seconds and place onto a sheet of wax paper to dry.
And the side by side comparison? The whitewashed pinecone is on the left and the bleached is on the right. Both have that trending, washed out look…but it’s nice to have options.
Watch the step-by-step video for both the bleached and the whitewashed process here. All proceeds from this video and the channel are also donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. Watch, like, share, and subscribe to help raise money for donations ❤