The delicate layer of crystals makes the pinecones look like they are kissed by ice.

You will need:


household salt, like alum powder, borax, or Epsom salts

spray adhesive

sturdy (floral) wire



binder clips

drying rack

polyacrylic spray

  1. Attach floral wire to pinecones by twisting securely around top.
  2. Spray pinecones with adhesive and sprinkle with desired salt as if glittering—this is called “seeding” the crystals.
  3. Let dry overnight.
  4. Create saturated solution of same salt sprinkled on pinecones—do this by dissolving chosen salt in very hot (almost boiling) water until no more will dissolve. (For Alum, this is about 3⁄4 cup of alum to every 2 cups water; for borax, this is about 1 cup borax to every 2 cups water; for Epsom salts this is about 3⁄4 cup Epsom to every 1 cup water.)
  5. Add saturated solution to chosen container and allow to cool for 45 minutes.
  6. Submerge salt-covered pinecones in solution.
  7. Use binder clips to secure wire to container and keep pinecones submerged.
  8. Within 4–8 hours, crystals will form on pinecones. Let sit until desired size/effect is reached.
  9. Remove pinecones from solution, being careful since crystals are fragile when wet.
  10. Let sit on drying rack for a couple of days.
  11. To preserve luster of crystals, seal with glossy, polyacrylic spray.


Photography by Colin Cooke

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