Waxed pine cones

Yesterday was twelfth night. Traditionally, that is the last day to take the Christmas decorations down, else they stay up for the rest of the year. To take them down after that date is deemed to tempt bad luck to the household. Whether it is the possibility of bad fortune or the thought of living in a permanent state of Christmas, we always take the decorations down. I remind the children how much fun it is to unpack the boxes next year and put the decorations up again.

I used to travel by bus into Bristol every day. One house, we passed, had a Christmas tree, with lights on, in their front room. Every day of the year. It was just an ordinary house, in the middle of a terrace. Each year, I could see the surrounding houses put up their decorations, then a few weeks they would disappear until the next year. Just the one house kept them up each year. So easy, on a bus journey, to spend time imagining many scenarios that explained it. I hope the occupants found peace.

Anyway, our decorations are down, except for the wreath on the door. I’m rebelling on this one, this year. I’m leaving it as a winter welcome to our visitors. Its outside the house so I think I’m OK. This still leaves gaping gaps inside. Its January and drizzly outside. I need a craft activity.

photo by AJ

AJ and I pulled out the candle wax pellets, pine cones and a bottle of essential oil. Seeing as it was twelfth night last night, we chose frankincense. I melted the wax in a jam jar in a saucepan of water.

Once it was melted, AJ added 11 drops of frankincense essential oil. She was fascinated by how the wax had melted and the way that it solidified as it came in contact with the oil.

She loved the way the wax cooled and solidified as she dipped successive cones. I gave her tongs to hold the pine cones as she dipped, so that she did not put her fingers in the hot wax.

Finally to prove that these wax pine cones work, we started the evening fire with one. I did add dried clementine skin. The combined fragrance was delicate and seasonal.

As fire starters, they work.

Yep, the waxed pine cones are assured a place by the fire. While they wait their turn, they are quietly scenting the room.

{Note to paternal relation. These are not near enough a flame to even accidentally be a fire risk.}

22 thoughts on “Waxed pine cones

  • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 3:47 am

    What a lovely idea. I’ve never heard of dipping pinecones in wax and with the edition of essential oil, the fragrance of them burning must have been divine.

    • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Years ago I bought some lovely scented firestarters while in the US. I’ve never seen them over here. We had an open fire, at the time, and it really scented the room. They used far more wax, but basically, it is the same concept. Mine is just more frugal!

  • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 11:37 am

    What a lovely idea, I’m just so upset now that I don’t have an open fire or a burner!!
    But they’d make a splendid gift for anyone who does.
    Em xxxxx

    • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 11:52 am

      I think they would make a lovely gift. A bit of ribbon maybe to dress them. The scent is 1000% better than the shop bought firelighters.

  • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    This is brilliant! xx

    • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 10:09 pm

      So quick and so easy. Loved sharing it with my 8 yo.

  • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    They sound wonderful Cheryl – and such fun to make too! Now I just need to find some pinecones – easier said than done around here believe it or not… 😀

    • Friday 7 January, 2011 at 10:20 pm

      It is a lovely way to start our evening fire. AJ loves that she created them. The scent is subtle which is perfect.

      You don’t need perfect pine cones for this activity. I am surprised you aren’t knee deep in cones where you are! 🙂

  • Saturday 8 January, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I think wreaths are lovely to have up during the winter months, not just the christmas season. Love your pinecones.

    • Saturday 8 January, 2011 at 11:41 pm

      I hope it does give a heartfelt welcome. Although our window cleaner took it down yesterday, so maybe it doesn’t work for everyone!

  • Saturday 8 January, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    What a brilliant idea, now I know what to give my aunt next Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

    • Saturday 8 January, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      I hope she likes them. They would make a nice gift.

  • Monday 10 January, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    We still have lots of snowmen and winter-looking tree decorations up at our house! Hope those don’t count. Love that wreath; I don’t remember if you made that yourself…I am sure you did! That fire and those pine cones look so warm and cozy. Great project.

    • Monday 10 January, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      I’m all for celebrating winter. So easy to sweep it all up into the attic with the Christmas decorations. Yes, I did make the wreath. Years ago, a homeless man made it for us, and I just refresh it every year with new greenery.

  • Monday 10 January, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Is that your front door? It looks awesome!

    • Tuesday 11 January, 2011 at 12:20 am

      It is our front door. Sometimes I wonder how long it has been there. It leans out at the top and leans over to the right. A builder friend of ours tells me that it might have been installed like that 260 years ago.

  • Tuesday 11 January, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Oh I can just imagine the lovely aroma that those pinecones and clementines must have made as they burned! Just lovely 🙂 To funny about the house with the christmas tree up all year round. My father in law used to joke about making a curtain around his that he could just pull closed during the non holiday season so that when the next christmas rolled around he could just pull the curtain back and the tree would be decorated and ready to go! *grin*. He never did it though LOL. Have a wondeful week 🙂

    • Wednesday 12 January, 2011 at 1:40 am

      What a great idea. I guess it would require a dust sheet. The tree, on my bus route, had the lights on sometimes, so I’m guessing that they hadn’t opted for this idea.

  • Tuesday 11 January, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    I bet those cones smell beautiful..that’s a lovely idea
    Christmas somehow got extended here as far as decorations are concerned ..but we’re hoping not to garner bad luck as it was Russian Orthodox Christmas day on Friday so we’re still in the twelve days of Old Christmas time period :o)

    (btw…if my mum read blogs she’d need the safety comment too…lol)

    • Wednesday 12 January, 2011 at 1:42 am

      I’m sure that would work. Will you go as far as celebrating the day? Just to make sure. 🙂

  • Wednesday 12 January, 2011 at 2:03 am

    How pretty. Your home must have smelt delightful. The photos are lovely.

    • Wednesday 12 January, 2011 at 10:46 am

      It is a lovely fragrance. Subtle, but I refer it like that.

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