Cleaning Pine Nuts for Jewelry

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Introduction: Cleaning Pine Nuts for Jewelry

Pine nuts have been used for making jewelry for hundreds of years by Northern California American Indians. Today, you can gather pine cones and harvest your own pine nuts to use for necklaces and other jewelry. After you gather pine cones and you remove the pine nuts, you can start cleaning them for future use. Here is the simplest way for beginners.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

To begin, you will need the following materials:

  • pine nuts
  • course sand paper
  • large paper clip

Step 2: Sand the Pine Nut

To sand the pine nut, lay course sand paper on a sturdy, flat surface. While holding the sand paper, begin scrapping the end of the pine nut back and forth across the paper.

Step 3: Flatten the Ends

Continue until the end of the pine nut becomes flat, and you are able to see a cavity (or hole) which holds the meat of the nut. Once you complete one side, sand the opposite side of the pine nut to make each side uniform.

Step 4: Remove the Meat

To remove the meat, unfold one side of your paper clip, so the pointed side will fit through the pine nut. Stick the paper clip in the cavity to push the meat out on the opposite side. If either side of the nut is too small to fit the paper clip through, sand the pine nut down a bit more.

Step 5: Don't Leave Any Meat

It is important to completely clean out all the meat because bugs with find their way to your pine nut if any meat is left, so continue using the paper clip to remove all the meat by scrapping the tip of the paper clip around the inside of the cavity.

Step 6: Store Your Pine Nuts

Once you have completely sanded and cleaned your pine nuts, store them in a sealed container or baggie for future use.

Step 7: Jewelry Ideas

Pine nuts can be used to make necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Pine nuts can be used as their natural color or they can be cooked in a pan of oil over the stove top to become dark or black.

Tip: When selecting pine nuts for a project, choose pine nuts similar in size and color.

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    11 Discussions

    0
    Taweah
    Taweah

    Question 5 months ago

    What areas are the pine nuts most likely to be gathered? Up north? Elevation? What multiple uses do they have?

    0
    Taweah
    Taweah

    Question 5 months ago

    Are there any California Indian stories about the pine nut?

    0
    PatW7
    PatW7

    6 months ago on Step 7

    You've written a very lovely article of explaining the process, with awesome pictures. Great job!

    0
    Theswtldy
    Theswtldy

    Question 7 months ago on Step 6

    I have heard that the last step would be put cleaned pine nuts in a rock tumbler, any truth to his? Would you also use water and grit like for rocks?

    0
    PatW7
    PatW7

    Answer 6 months ago

    I've never heard of anyone ever using a rock tumbler. The pine nuts are quite beautiful just as they are, and even more so after blackening them by cooking them in a cast-iron skillet, with a small amount of oil. It gives them a soft luster. A rock tumbler would damage them, it would seem to me.

    0
    gm280
    gm280

    2 years ago

    I thought once a pine cone falls from a tree, it has already opened and dispersed all the nuts/seed. IDK

    0
    hvargas6
    hvargas6

    Reply 2 years ago

    When looking for pine nuts, look for pine cones from grey pine trees during September and October. They can be found on the tree or on the ground when the wind knocks them down. Keep in mind other animals will be competing with you for this food source such as squirrels and bears.


    The pine cones open naturally to release the pine nuts. Heat can also help this process such as sitting the pine cones next to a wood burning stove. Some pine nuts will fall as the heat opens the pine cone scales, and if more remain, you can drop the pine cone on a tarp or draping to remove them all.

    I hope this helps, and thank you for the comment on my first instructable!

    0
    Whyismyusernamealreadytaken
    Whyismyusernamealreadytaken

    Reply 7 months ago

    Sugar pine nuts are the ones to use enit? And Sept through October is good harvesting times? And how bout polishing them? Can i use a rock tumbler? Or do you recommend another method? Im gonna blacken mine. I have a good amount but i need more...
    Thank you in advance!

    0
    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Finally. A decent craft project to do with pine cones.

    0
    hvargas6
    hvargas6

    Reply 2 years ago

    I hope to elaborate on different uses of pine nuts soon. Thank you for your comment!