When the weather is nice it’s easy to take advantage and go for a walk.
When I go for walks with Mia we bring her little backpack and collect some things.
This time of year her bag is usually full of pinecones. I am a bit weary of bringing these home because of the bugs but found a way to clean them so we can use the for crafts or play at home.
Get rid of dirt by gently scrubbing or brushing off soil or sand.
Fill a huge bucket with hot water and 2 cups distilled white vinegar. We use the orange Home Depot ones half full.
Add your nature items to to the bucket. Let sit for ~30 min. You can stir gently every once in a while to ensure the floaters get coated.
Take items out and dry out using one of these two methods.
On a towel outside in the sun fur 2-4 days. Hotter sunnier days will be dry much sooner.
On a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for 30min. Make sure to keep an eye on them.
You can coat them with a clear spray paint to preserve them however I choose not to do this so I can compost them later.
They are more brittle without the cover spray but once they are no longer usable we go out to find more or move on to another item.