How to Make Colorful Burning Pine Cones

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How to Make Colorful Burning Pine Cones. Throw a couple of these on your roaring winter fire and impress the kids.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine Cones
  • One Salt Or Compound For Color
  • Deep Glass Or Plastic Bowls
  • Newspaper

Pour 1/2 gallon of hot water into a deep glass or plastic bowl.

Dissolve 8 ounces of any one of the following chemicals in the water: alum (thallium) for a bright green flame, strontium chloride for a bright red flame, boric acid for a deep red flame, calcium for a reddish-orange flame, calcium chloride for a yellowish-orange flame, table salt for a yellow flame, borax (sodium tetraborate) for a yellow-green flame, blue vitriol (copper sulfate) or barium for a green flame, saltpeter (potassium nitrate) for a violet flame, or Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) for a white flame.

Soak the pine cones in the solution for 6 hours.

Dry them for at least three days in a warm, dry area on newspaper or hang in a mesh bag.

Tips & Warnings

  • To get the pine cones looking their best, heat them in the oven at 225 degrees F on a foil-covered cookie sheet. They will open all the way and look fuller.
  • Use only one salt or compound for color.
  • Be very careful handling these chemicals and follow the manufacturer's directions. Some compounds can be poisonous if mishandled.
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