How to Bleach Pinecones

fall tablesetting

I love using different textures and natural elements in my home decor.

Several years ago I had this idea to try bleaching pinecones. Even though they are neutral already, I thought it would be fun to experiment and see if I could get them a lighter color, so I wanted to share “how to bleach pinecones” with you.


pinecone bleaching supplies

To bleach pinecones, you will need to gather your pinecones. You will also need a gallon of bleach and a large plastic container.

step one


You will mix 3 parts bleach to 1 part water in your container. You need enough of the liquid mixture to cover your pinecones. If this is not enough liquid, you will need to add more bleach and water or bleach fewer pinecones at a time.

step two

bleach mixture for pinecones

To make sure the pinecones stay submerged, you will need to weigh them down. I just filled my empty bleach container with water and laid it on top of the pinecones.

step three

bleached pinecones

I left my pinecones submerged for a couple of days, then drained the bleach water off. You may not have to leave them this long, but I wanted to make sure they had soaked in the bleach really well.

step four

After I drained them, I laid them out in the sun until they were completely dry (forgot to get a pic of that step).

Don’t be fooled by the color when you drain the bleach/water mixture off. Because they are still wet, they will still look like their original color. The color will fade as they dry out.

There have been a couple of times they didn’t bleach out as much as I liked, so I repeated the process.

finished bleach pinecones

bleached pinecones

When your pinecones are fully bleached, this is what they will look like.

bleached pinecones

Beautiful natural elements to add to you fall and holiday decor!

They look amazing just stacked in a bowl or container, or ….

fall tablesetting with bleached pinecones

use them on a place setting for a beautiful fall table!! (You can find these placemats here).

fall tablescape with bleached pinecones

They would be beautiful for any fall or Christmas decor.

I can see them piled into a dough bowl for an amazing centerpiece or even wired into a wreath or garland and draped over a fireplace mantel or front door.

I hope you have enjoyed this “how to bleach pinecones” tutorial. Please share if you try this. I love hearing from you!

blessings and happy decorating,

If you like the reclaimed candleholder featured in this post, you can find the the tutorial on how to make it by clicking the link below.

Be sure and Pin this image to save for later.

28 thoughts on “How to Bleach Pinecones

  1. Good morning?
    I’ve been wanting to do this for years but I procrastinated about it. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend in the Northeast so I’m going to take the plunge and do it.
    Thank you

  2. Michele, that picture with the soup tureen (I think) filled with pinecones, that wood of the table apron looks very much like the joint compound technique we were talking about. Is that it? Have you tried it yet on your countertop?

    1. That piece of furniture is not the one I tried joint compound on. I did use it on the top of my island though, and it worked great. Working on a blog post to show the before, after and the process.

      Very good eye to notice that!!

    1. I have actually never smelled the bleach after they dry out. And yes, I love the color of them for fall.

      Thanks so much for commenting and following along.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *