How to Preserve Pine Branches for Decoration?

Your DIY projects must include the beautiful branches of the pine tree. From making furniture to wreaths on the wall or your door, the branches surely are a great help as a decorative element. Thus, if you are on this site then you must be thinking about how to preserve pine branches for decoration.

Well, it is certainly necessary to preserve the pine branches once you manage to have a lot of them. Otherwise, there are possibilities that the branches will lose shape and appealing appearance. Thus, you can preserve them by adopting several methods. For instance, you can use a mixture of glycerin and water and put the branch ends in the mixture. Moreover, you can also go for shellac to spray all over the branches to keep them fresh. However, many also use hairspray instead of shellac to preserve pine branches.

Nonetheless, the entire process of preserving branches of pine is a bit complex and tricky. Therefore, to know in detail, bear with us till the end.

MethodDifficultyTime RequiredCostEffectivenessNotes
Water MethodEasyModerateLowHighSimple and effective method, requires regular monitoring of water
Glycerin MethodModerateLongerModerateHighPreserves natural color and flexibility, longer preservation time
Silica Gel MethodModerateLongerModerateHighPreserves natural shape and color, requires drying time
Spray Sealant MethodEasyQuickLowMediumProvides temporary preservation, suitable for short-term use

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Preserve Pine Branches for Decoration

How to Preserve Pine Branches for Decoration

As we said earlier, preserving evergreen pine branches is a bit complicated and when with needles, you need to be more careful. However, the preservation may depend on the type of your DIY task or project. Thus, according to the project, you need to collect enough number of branches. Thus, to know the entire process, let’s know from the beginning.

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Pre-preservation Steps of Pine Branches

Step – 1: Pick the Right Pine Branches

Yes, to preserve the pine branches properly, you need to have them first. Therefore, try to pick the right one for your work purposes. There are certain things that you need to keep in your head while picking the branches.

It is suggested to cut the fresh and cool branches with green needles. Also, it is necessary to cut the branches at a right angle. Cutting through a straight line down will not help much unless you make the right angle.

However, to cut the branches, make sure to select the right tool for it. You must pick a sharp shear for cutting the branches at their lowest level. Cutting at the low level will allow the branches to have some time before drying. Nonetheless, it is wise to collect double the amount of branches you will need for your task.

Step – 2: Bundle the Branches

Now after taking all the branches together, bundle them into several groups. Three or four groups should be enough. You can bunch them all together in groups with the help of rubber bands.

Step – 3: Dry the Pine Branches

When you are done with the previous steps, go for the drying step. This step is necessary as without drying them you cannot use them on your project right away. Also, if you do not dry the branches, their inner moisture will not let the glycerine mixture be soaked up.

Hence, to dry the pine branches, hang the bundled pieces from a nail. Make sure the location is dark, warm, and obviously, dry. However, the drying time can take up to 3 to 6 months. It also depends on the number of branches, their thickness, and sizes.

Nonetheless, you can fasten up the drying process by placing a heater in the room where you have kept the branches.

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Preserving Steps of Pine Branches

  • Using Glycerin and Water Mixture

When you are done picking up the best pine branches and then drying them up, it is time for preservation. As we revealed earlier, you can use a solution of glycerin and water to preserve pine branches.  However, this solution works best on branches that have no needles. They even sometimes come without barks on them. However, to adopt the process, follow the points below.

Step – 1: Make the Mixture

Take glycerin and water in a ratio of 1:2. Then, pour the mixture into a vase for a convenient approach towards the next step.

Step – 2: Cut the Branches Again

Again, you need to give a fresh cut to your pine branches before absorbing them in the mixture. Thus, cut the branches at an angle of 45-degree. Then take a hammer and crush the ends of each branch. Crushing the ends makes it easier for the branches to be absorbed properly.

Step – 3: Put the Pine Branches in the Vase

When you are done with the previous steps, it is time to put the crushed branches in the vase containing the glycerin and water solution. Make sure the end is touching the liquid. However, here in this step, you have to remind yourself that you cannot put the vase anywhere the sunlight is direct.

Step – 4: Wait for a Week

When you will discover, the pine branches have soaked up all the liquid, they are ready for use. However, it will take them around a week to absorb all the solutions.  

  • Using Shellac or Hairspray

This is a popular method for preserving pine branches with needles on them. Thus, if you are up to making a wreath or other craftings, adopting this method will be an ideal option. Moreover, the elements that are used for the preservation retain the shininess of the needles for a long time.

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However, for your information, for adopting this method, there is no need of drying the branches. Thus, you can skip the pre-preservation steps. Now, let’s get to know the steps of this preservation process.

Step – 1: Cut the Branches

Cut the fresh pine branches at a 45-degree angle. Then you can put the branches in a vase containing water to keep them fresh until you use them.

Step – 2: Clean Up the Pine Branches

If the needles of the branches seem dirty clean off the dust. There may also be spider webs and pinecones. Thus, clean the branches properly if you want the needles to shine on your decorative project.

Step – 3: Spray Shellac or Hairspray on the Branches

For this step, first, place the pine branches on a tray. Then, spray the shellac or hairspray over one side of the branches. Then, flip the branches and then spray on the other side. Make sure you have sprayed all over each pine branch. When spraying is done, your preserving job is also done.

Preserve Pine Branches Forever

You can not preserve pine branches forever but you surely can preserve them from several months to years. However, we have already mentioned two ideas before. Nonetheless, the best way of preserving the pine branches is to make sure that the cuttings are always moist.

That is why, if you are keeping pine branches in your room for decoration or crafting purposes then you can simply keep the cutting ends soaked in water. Also, frequent spraying of water or misting over the branches will keep the needles hydrated for a longer period.

A simple mist of water can do wonder and bring fragrance to your room. Also, you have to make sure that the pine branches are not under direct sunlight. Direct heat will ruin the needles of the branches. It will not allow the needles to be moist for a long time and therefore, they will lose color while deforming the shape.

Moreover, try to keep the branches in a controlled and humid environment so that you can enjoy the sight of evergreen lush for as long as you want.