It is only natural to want to add some beautiful decor when planning a winter wedding the goal is often to make a space that is warm and cozy in the middle of a cold time, while also delighting your friends and family with a well-designed and attractive space. One easy-to-make and useful decoration are wax-dipped pine cones, which make people think of evergreens but also of trees covered in a thick blanket of snow.
These snow-capped beauties can be made into a wedding favor by labeling them as fire-starters; putting 3 or 4 of them into a fireplace with larger logs will help the fire get going just like other kindling. While it is strange to ask your guests to light their favors on fire, you’ll find that guests often appreciate a wedding favor with a simple, practical purpose after they brighten up your space for the duration of the wedding. The addition of a wick and wax makes them burn longer, giving your guests a better chance at a roaring fire on a future cold winter night.
- A collection of pine cones. While you can usually buy these at a craft store, it makes more sense to find a pine tree with cones dropping and get some for free.
- A roll of candle wick, available at craft stores. While the candle wick isn’t essential to make the pine cones look good, it is helpful for the dipping process and makes it easier to use the pine cones as fire-starters after your event is over.
- A bag of soy wax flakes, unscented and uncolored. These are usually located in the candle-making section of a craft store.
- A medium size saucepan, preferably your least-favorite saucepan for cooking. While the soy flakes are usually food-grade, any accidental sticking of wax afterwards shouldn’t be on your best cooking pot.
Step 1 – Pre-Bake the Cones
To make certain that no bugs are alive on the pine cones, bake them in an oven at 200 degrees. This will also remove moisture, which can affect how the wax stays on the pine cones.
Step 2 – Liquefy the Wax
Melt soy wax according to specifications on the box. Line a nearby area with enough wax paper for all of your pine cones to sit without touching.
Step 3 – Wrap Wick Around Cones
When pine cones have cooled sufficiently, wrap a length of candle wick around the spines of the pine cones. You should be able to hold the end of the wick without it falling out of the pine cone, so snuggle that wick right into the interior of the pine cone.
Step 4 – Take Cones for a Dip
With each pine cone, gently dip into the melted wax and place to dry on the waxed paper. By the time all cones have been dipped, you should notice that the first cones have gone from wet-looking to more solid; at this point, re-dip the cones.
Step 5 – Repeat Dips Till Snowy
Work up to at least 4 coats; some cones will look better when coated even more times. The white soy flakes will make a cone that looks like a snow-covered pine tree.
Step 6 – Cool till Dry
After final layer, allow cones to dry completely for a few hours. The wax may remain soft and malleable, depending on the temperature at which they are stored, so try to keep them in the coolest, driest place possible to reduce how much wax flakes off over time. For best results, create pine cone decor within 2-3 weeks before the wedding, since earlier than that and a lot of transit may cause many crumbles of wax and pine cone pieces.
Step 7 – Label and Message
An optional extra touch that we liked was to add a little note in case guests don’t know they can take the wax-dipped pine cones home and use them as fire-starters. A simple note that says “Wax Pine Cone Fire Starter – Thank you for Warming our Hearts!” will make your guests smile and also make it clear what they can do with the favor. We used a simple bit of twine to connect the note to the wick itself.
There are also ways to add scent and color to these pine cones, but for a simple, wintry look that dresses up any winter-wedding venue, go for the simple “snow-capped” style. For extra credit, find some pretty jars and pour the leftover wax into candles. Add the wick as the wax begins to harden so that it will stand up on its own. If you choose a cute enough jar or container for your candles, these can also be decorations, or small gifts for people who are helping out with your wedding!