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7 Clever Uses for Pine Needles at Home (With Pictures)

Pine needle tea, sollip-cha, traditional Korean beverage

Pine trees are prevalent throughout the United States, especially around the Christmas holiday, leading many people to wonder what they can do with all the needles that fall off the trees. There are actually a surprising number of projects that are helpful yet relatively easy to make. Keep reading as we walk you through all the different projects and explain how to make them and what they do.

Before You Get Started

There are 36 different types of pine trees, and though most are completely safe and even medicinal, a few varieties, like the Yew tree, are toxic. We recommend looking up the specific tree that you are taking needles from to ensure that it is safe to use in these projects to avoid health concerns, especially when children and pregnant people are around.

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The 7 Clever Uses for Pine Needles at Home

1. Pine Needle Cough Syrup

Materials: Pine needles, honey, water
Tools: Saucepan, tea strainer
Difficulty: Easy

Pine Needle Cough Syrup is a great way to use those extra pine needles to help keep you healthy. This is easy to create; you only need 2 cups of fresh green pine needles and a bit of honey to make it sweet. Simmer the needles in a saucepan, and strain it through a tea strainer to create a healthy beverage that will help you feel better. It’s even safe for children.


2. Pine Scented White Vinegar

Materials: Pine needles, water
Tools: Mason jar, spray bottle
Difficulty: Easy

If you are in the mood for cleaning, the Pine Scented White Vinegar project is perfect. It couldn’t be easier to create and only requires you to fill a mason jar with small branches of pine needles before covering them with white vinegar and sealing the jar. After a few weeks, you can pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and use it as a cleaner. The best part is that you naturally achieve the scent without harsh chemicals.


3. DIY Pine Body Oil

Materials: Pine needles, olive oil
Tools: Mason jar, strainer
Difficulty: Easy

The DIY Pine Body Oil project is an extremely easy-to-make potion. Fill a mason jar with pine needles, add a mild oil like olive oil, and let it sit for a month before straining and bottling it in a glass jar. It may provide therapeutic effects and work as a muscle rub.


4. Pine Needle Mulch

Materials: Pine needles
Tools: Rake
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Creating a Pine Needle Mulch is a great solution if you have many pine needles to eliminate. This is a great mulch that prevents weeds from growing while enabling water to flow through to the roots of your plants. As it breaks down, it adds important nutrients back into the soil.


5. Pine Needle Basket

Materials: Pine needles, spray paint, paper towels
Tools: Scissors, pliers, tapestry needle
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

The Pine Needle Basket is one of the more fun projects on this list. It’s simple to do after you get the hang of it and quite relaxing, and each basket comes out a little different, so they all have personality. There are quite a few steps to go through, but after you make the first one, it will be much easier.


6. Pine Needle Tea

Materials: Pine needles, honey, water
Tools: Saucepan, tea strainer
Difficulty: Easy

Pine Needle Tea is similar to the Pine Needle Cough Syrup and is just as easy to make. It uses the same ingredients but fewer of them to create a beverage that’s as healthy as it is relaxing. It has plenty of antioxidants and vitamin C that can help you feel better, and some believe that it can elevate your mood.


7. Pine Needle Facial Toner

Materials: Pine needles, witch hazel
Tools: Saucepan, tea strainer, cotton balls
Difficulty: Easy

A great use for old pine needles is to use them to create a Pine Needle Facial Toner. The combination of pine needles and witch hazel in this project works to repair broken skin, fight bacteria, and improve circulation, resulting in tighter skin and reduced inflammation. It only takes a few minutes to make, and you apply it with a cotton ball.

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What Are the Benefits of Pine Needles?

  • Pine needles contain sulfur that can help improve your skin, nails, and hair.
  • Pine needles are high in vitamins like A and C that can improve overall health.
  • Some people feel that the smell of pine improves their mood.
  • Some recent studies on rats show that pine needles might help control obesity.
  • Pine needles are high in antioxidants that might help you fight off disease.
  • Many people find that drinking pine needle tea can help clear the sinuses.

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Conclusion

If you typically purchase real trees for the Christmas season each year, you likely deal with many pine needles. These projects can help you recycle them. If you have a large amount that you just want to get rid of, we recommend putting them in your garden or around your trees, as they can make a great mulch. If you only have a handful, the Pine Needle Basket project can be a great way to create a souvenir. If you have a pine tree on your property where you can regularly acquire needles, we highly recommend trying out plans like the Pine Needle Tea, Pine Needle Cough Syrup, and Pine Needle Facial Toner to really find out what these needles can do.


Featured Image Credit: FuzullHanum, Shutterstock

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