Need an excuse to go outside? What about making up a fun outdoor scavenger hunt to entertain the kiddos for a bit? Then using those treasures to make a new craft? Some smarties over at Fireflies & Mud Pies recently shared this fun Halloween Nature Craft! My daughter would love this craft, so we’re going to make a handful to put in the Halloween Decoration bin for future years.
Did you know that you’re suppose to bake pine cones before you use them? This is only really necessary when you are collecting them from outside. There are so many reasons to do this. One reason is that little buggies like to make homes and lay eggs in all the tiny nooks and crannies. Baking will prevent this from being an issue for you later down the road. Want to know how I figured this out? I once collected a large loot of pine cones to place in a basket for fall decoration about this time last year. About 2 days after I collected these gorgeous pine cones, I came home from work late one night and walked into the living room. With the lights off and soft glows from a Scentsy warmer and salt rock lighting the room, I saw what I thought was a strange shadow on my wall above the basket I had placed in a corner on the floor. I remember thinking how strange it looked so I walked closer and discovered I was now the mother of what looked like 3 trillion baby black spiders covering my wall. Um no thanks. I had rehoused a nest into my home and was only thankful for the fact I found them and could eliminate them (ie: wake the husband to remove the problem) before these tiny monsters found new places to hide. I felt like I had spiders crawling on me for a week. I told my story to a friend and she laughed when I told her I had no idea you’re suppose to bake your pine cones! I also discovered that this will melt the sap off the pine cones, open them up more, dry them out, and allow for long lasting preservation.
Once you find your ‘spider bodies’ simple pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper, place pine cone on cookie sheet and bake until wax has dripped off. This usually takes about 30 minutes. Once done, place on drying rack and wait to cool! Now you have perfectly open, clean, and bug free pine cones for fun!
To do the spider craft you will need the following:
Round Pine Cones
Cotton Butcher’s Twine (for creative play!)