Pine trees are admired for their beauty and distinct, crisp scent. They steal the spotlight every winter as the holidays bring trees into every home across the nation. As winter comes and goes, many of us are left with pine needs in the place of pine trees. These remnants don’t have to be just swept and thrown away though; they can be used for some pretty interesting craft projects. Before you take your pine tree out of the house, cut off some of the branches to collect the fresh, green pine needles.
From there, the first craft you can create is an ornament for next year’s tree. Take about 25 or 40 pine needles off of one of the branches you collected. Make 5 bunches of needles, all of the same size with five to eight needles in each bundle. Using a small string, tie together the ends of each bunch. From there, arrange the bundles into the shape of a star, two ends meeting at each of the five points. Tie together each point of the star. Add a small ribbon or string at the top and save for next year!
Pine needles can also be used as homemade campfire starters. In an empty egg carton made of cardboard not styrofoam, place a small bunch of pine needles in each egg divot. Then, either from old candles or a store-bought kit, melt down three cups of wax. When the wax is in the liquid form, pour it evenly throughout the egg carton. Let the wax harden. The next time you are having a campfire, the flammable pine needles and wax will create a long lasting flame that easily transfers to kindling and bigger logs.
In addition to make ornaments and fire starters, pine needles can also be used as an ingredient for vinegar. In a 500ml jar or bottle, add 500ml of boiling cider vinegar and three tablespoons of brown sugar. Shake well so the brown sugar dissolves and no chunks of sugar remain. When the liquid has cooled, add a handful of pine needles and secure the lid. Leave the bottle of pine needle vinegar in a dark place for six weeks. After that, it is ready to enjoy!
Pine needles don’t have to just stay on trees and leave your home when your tree does. You can collect these needles and use them for a variety of different projects long after the holiday season has ended to keep the color and scent of pine in your home. For both decoration and function, pine needles can be saved and used. Colorado blue spruce trees specifically provide large, healthy needles that don’t fall off the tree and remain beautiful to be used in any and all of the crafts we mentioned before.