Archives

Fragrant Christmas Potpourri


You can spice up your home for the holidays with a beautiful and fragrant potpourri blend using dried apple slices, dried orange slices, and dried whole slit oranges combined with pinecones, cinnamon sticks, and whole anise stars.  The combined fragrance is perfect for Christmas. You can also add drops of Christmas fragrance oils like cinnamon, orange, apple, etc., You can add Christmas colors to your blend like red and green leaves and pods, for this blend I added cedar tips for a splash of green and red bakuli pods for a splash of red. There are many different types of colorful pods you can find at aromatherapy shops and crafts shops that sell potpourri ingredients.



Fall Decor Items


Shades of bright Fall colors like oranges, yellows, reds, and greens are fantastic for decor ideas. You can arrange pretty and colorful Fall items to make wonderful and creative displays. Pumpkins of course are a staple for Fall and you can enhance your pumpkin displays with colorful flowers and leaves. You can use natural Fall leaves or artificial ones that you can find in crafts stores and even dollar stores. Acorns and pinecones are also great additions.

You can add some natural fragrance to your displays by using dried whole fruit and fruit slices.  Dried whole slit oranges (pictured above) look and smell fantastic and they’re perfect for a Fall display. You can also use dried orange slices and dried apple slices and enhance their scents by adding fragrant whole spices that have Fall-ish colors like tans, browns, and oranges. Some great choices are whole nutmeg, anise stars, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and mace.

Fall is a season for wonderfully scented candles like pumpkin pie spice, vanilla sugar, maple sugar, and a variety of other yummy bakery scents. Whether they’re jar candles, pillar candles, or votives, they look great among Fall displays. You can even get pumpkin pie scented candles that are actually shaped like pies (pictured above) topped with whipped cream wax and they give a unique and charming look to your displays.

Other Fall accents that can round off your displays are scarecrows, gourds, and berries. There are also these cute little pods that are called putka pods (pictures above) that are perfect little Fall accents because they’re orange and shaped like mini pumpkins. They’re actually the fruit of the Glochidion Ferdinandi tree, also known as the cheese tree. The little fruit are dried and used in crafts. They don’t actually have a scent in and of themselves but they’re commonly used in scented crafts like Fall potpourris and fixins blends and even by themselves displayed in a bowl and sprinkled with fragrance oil.

All of these wonderful colorful crafty items can be arranged either by themselves and a few at a time for small displays, or they can be arranged all together in one large display to give your home or office (or wherever else you want) a nice warm colorful Fall feel. I hope this post inspired your creativity.


* If you’re going to use candles in your displays, please use caution especially if they’ll be around flammable items like dried leaves, flowers, etc., If you light them, make sure not to leave the lit candles unattended.



Potpourri Ideas: Apple Potpourri


This apple potpourri is a fragrant blend perfect for Summer, Fall (omg is it almost here?), and Winter. You can make this beautiful potpourri blend with dried apple slices, dried bay leaves, pear pods, apple pods, twistie pods, and pine cones.  You can add apple fragrance oil to enhance the scent.

This blend also contains one of my favorite potpourri ingredients – cedar roses:



They are cones that are shaped like roses. These cute cones go perfectly not only in a rustic primitive potpourri blend but also a pretty flowery blend. They are actually the bottoms and insides of the cones of the Deodar Cedar tree. When the full cones fall off the trees they start to break down and what remains are these cute little rose shaped parts of the cones.
All of these ingredients are available in potpourri supply stores. You can even find some of them in health food stores and aromatherapy supply stores. You can find so many wonderful ingredients in these stores and you can work this blend according to your tastes and preferences, adding whatever ingredients and fragrances you fancy.



How to Make Fragrant Potpourri


Now that your summer flowers are blooming and your herbs are bushy, you can collect them, dry them and make wonderful potpourri blends out of them to enjoy long after the blooming season is over. If you’re not sure how to dry them, see our posts: How to Dry Flowers for Crafts, and How to Dry Herbs for Crafts. If you don’t want to dry herbs and flowers yourself, you can buy them at crafts stores, aromatherapy supply stores, potpourri supply stores, florists, and even some health food stores.

A potpourri blend consists of dried herbs/flowers, essential oils, and a fixative. You can also add pods, berries, spices, and dried fruit slices. What exactly is a fixative and why do you need it? Since you’re going to be adding essential oils to your potpourri, you don’t want the smell to evaporate quickly and that’s where a fixative comes in. It’s a porous substance that literally absorbs the essential oils and retains them and makes the smell last longer. Some of the most popular fixatives are orris root, vetiver root, calamus root, sandalwood bark, gum benzoin, vanilla pods, and oakmoss. Orris root comes powdered or chopped, if you’re going to display your potpourri I would recommend the chopped version because the powder is going to make your potpourri blend look crumbly, but if you’re going to put it in a sachet, use the powder. Some spices also make great fixatives like cinnamon sticks, nutmeg (whole and powdered) and allspice. A good rule of thumb is to use about 2 Tablespoons of fixative per 4 cups of dried flowers and herbs.

When preparing your blend, make sure that your flowers and herbs are completely dry because any moisture is going to cause your potpourri to become moldy.  Some flowers that dry well are: roses, yarrow, hydrangeas, marigolds/calendula, geraniums, strawflowers, artemisia, ameranths, baby’s breath and sunflowers. Herbs that dry well are: lemon balm, rosemary, lavender, mint, sage, chamomile, oregano, basil, thyme, and bay leaves. Dried fruit slices like apples and oranges will also add color and fragrance to your potpourri blends. You can dry them yourself or buy them from crafts stores and potpourri supply stores.

Dried flowers and herbs have different lovely shades of yellows, oranges, blues, reds, pinks, and whites, and you can make a beautiful and stunning display by choosing combinations that complement each other. If you want a rustic country display, you can add whole pods and spices to your blend. With your essential oils, you can add a single scent or even make a combination of your choice.

To make your potpourri, gather together all of your dried materials and fixatives and add 6 to 12 drops of your essential oil onto the fixative, depending on how strong you want the scent to be. Stir your blend gently trying not to bruise or crush the dried flowers and put your potpourri into a brown paper bag and store it in a cool dry place for a few weeks until the fragrance is absorbed well into your potpourri. Every few days shake the bag to evenly disperse the fragrance and check on how strong the scent is. Once you’re satisfied with the result, pour your finished potpourri into decorative jars, bowls, trays, or any display container of your choice and enjoy.



How to Dry Herbs for Crafts


Many herbs retain their beauty, color, fragrance, flavor, and beneficial properties even when they are dried. Not only are they used for food recipes, but they are also widely used for beauty recipes. They make wonderful additions to soap, bath salts, body scrubs, face masks, potpourri, sachets, and much more. They can be combined with dried flowers and dried fruit slices and peels to make truly beautiful and fragrant crafty creations.

Since most dried herbs retain their strong fragrances, they are used in aromatherapy as well. They also retain their vibrant color and they make great additions to potpourri blends, dried flower arrangements, wreaths, etc,

Herbs that dry well are Lavender, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Chamomile, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Bay Leaves. These herbs also retain their strong flavors so they are very good choices to dry not only for crafts but also for cooking.

You can buy dried herbs but the good news is that you can save money and dry them yourself if you have an herb garden. Just like drying flowers, there are several easy ways to dry herbs.

Visit these helpful links about drying your own herbs:



How to Dry Flowers for Crafts


The beauty of flowers can be preserved so that they can be enjoyed even after their “vase life” after they have been cut. Dried flower arrangements are just as beautiful and colorful as fresh ones, and they can also be used in a variety of creative fragrant crafts like potpourri, soap, bath and body recipes, pressed flower crafts, wreaths, nose gays, etc.,

Dried flowers can be purchased at craft stores and florists but it is also fun to dry them yourself. You can use fresh flowers from your garden or from a florists bouquet and experiment with different sizes and colors to create wonderful aromatic crafts.

There are several ways that you can dry your own flowers, you can choose the one that is best and easiest for you. Click the links below for detailed instructions and tips on drying flowers and getting the best out of them.




Drying your own flowers is a fun way to get creative and you don’t even need a large space. In the past, I had turned a hanging closet into a flower drying rack and it worked great. You can experiment with your flower choices and be creative and most importantly, have fun!