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COLORFUL BURNING PINE CONES

To add some color to your fireplace this season, toss a couple of these magical winter warmers on the flames.
 

What you need:

1 deep glass or plastic bowl
Newspaper or a mesh bag
1 foil-covered cookie sheet
 


Ingredients:

Pine cones
1/2 gallon of hot water
8 ounces of the following chemical depending on the flame color:
   for a bright green flame use alum (thallium)
   for a bright red flame use strontium chloride
   for a deep red flame use boric acid
   for a reddish-orange flame use calcium
   for a yellowish-orange flame use calcium chloride
   for a yellow flame use table salt
   for a yellow-green flame use borax (sodium tetraborate)
   for a green flame use blue vitriol (copper sulfate) or barium
   for a violet flame use saltpeter (potassium nitrate)
   or for a white flame use Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
 

Warnings:

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.
 

Steps:

1. Pour 1/2 gallon of hot water into a deep glass or plastic bowl.
2. Dissolve 8 ounces of any one of the chemicals in the water.
3. Soak the pine cones in the solution for 6 hours.
4. Dry them for at least three days in a warm, dry area on newspaper or hang in a mesh bag.
 

Tips:

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.



 
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