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Layered Spice Jar


You can create lovely jar crafts with fragrant and pretty spices and dried botanicals. You can gather brightly colored botanicals and layer them across or even tilt your jar and create swirly layers.  When you’re layering your jar, make sure to use the bulkier and heavier botanicals and spices as the bottom layers and the lighter ones on the top. Also, after you’ve placed the bottom layer and you’re working on the middle, make sure not to shake your jar to even it out because you’re going to accidentally force some of the middle layer botanicals to fall into and mix in with the bottom layer. You can even out the middle and top layers by gently straightening them out with a spoon.

For the jar above, I used a bottom layer of dried hawthorne berries. They are hard and bulky, a little smaller than dried rosehips, and add a deep rich reddish brown color to whatever crafts you use them on.



For the middle layer, I used dried citrus peels which are chopped into small chunks. They are very fragrant and add a nice deep orange color.



For the top layer, I used crushed dried bay leaves.  If you have dried whole bay leaves, you can crush them with a mortar and pestle or even with your hands. They are also very fragrant and add a wonderful olive green color to the jar.



You can use whatever botanicals and spices you like, there are so many wonderful colors and fragrances that you can combine and get really creative with.  You can create as many layers as you want, depending on the size of your jar. You can also decorate your jars and give them as pretty and fragrant gifts.



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.



Holiday Gingerbread Fixins


This cute and fragrant fixins blend is perfect for Christmas. It has a fragrant combination of cinnamon and citrus smells. This blend is easy and fun to make with dried rosehips, dried citrus peels, dried orange slices, dried whole slit oranges, and cinnamon sticks. I also added cedar leaf tips for some green color. You can also add whole spices like cloves and anise stars to add to the lovely fragrance.

The cutest things about this blend are the little cinnamon gingerbread ornies. For these great smelling little ornies, you will need to make the cinnamon crafting dough, it’s really easy to make, all you need is:

1 cup ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons white Elmer’s glue

3/4 to 1 cup warm water


As you can see, these aren’t the kinds of ornaments you’re going to be able to eat after they’re done. The glue makes this dough get nice and hard when it dries, so your ornies are going to be pretty much indestructable, and they’re going to smell fantastically cinnamony. You can also hang them on a Christmas tree (or anywhere else) too, but if you plan to do this make sure you poke holes in them for string or ribbon when they’re still soft and pliable because as I already mentioned, this dough gets really hard when it dries out. And believe me, I speak from the experience of having a real DUH moment because when I first made them for my fixins, after they were dry it dawned on me that they would make great hanging ornament too…yeah I’m a swift one ain’t I? So needless to say I ended up making a new batch, but it’s fun so I really didn’t mind.

To make the dough, take a large bowl and mix the cinnamon and Elmer’s glue first and then gradually begin adding the water until your dough reaches the consistency of play dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour, this helps to make the dough more pliable. When your dough is ready, cut and roll pieces of it out with a rolling pin, just like you’re making cookies, to about 1/8 inch thickness and make cut outs with your cookie cutters. And if you plan to hang them, cut holes in the part where you want to pass your string or ribbon through.

Now for the drying out part, I recommend air drying them because first of all, they dry more evenly and thoroughly this way and second of all, there is less chance of the edges curling upwards. I’ve tried both air and oven drying and they come out much better when you air dry them even though it takes longer, it will take a couple of days and make sure that you turn them over frequently because this helps to keep the edges from curling.

After they are dry, you can leave them as is which would give your fixins a nice rustic primitive look, or you can add some color with acrylic craft paint. You can paint buttons, bow ties, eyes, and mouths. You can also use glitter, or glue little bowties that you cut out of paper or fabric, wherever your creativity takes you.

I also want to add that there are many different crafting dough recipes out there, some of them use applesauce along with the cinnamon. I just posted the recipe that I personally like because I find it pliable and easy to work with. If you decide to try it out, I hope you have fun!

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:



Fragrant Potpourri Idea: Citrus Potpourri


You can have a pretty citrus scented potpourri blend that is so naturally fragrant that it doesn’t even need added fragrance oil. For this blend you will need dried citrus slices (oranges, limes, and lemons). You can buy dried fruit slices from crafts stores but if you want to dry them yourself, click here to see how. You will also need dried citrus peel, this can also be purchased at crafts stores but you can also dry it yourself with these steps. What adds to the citrus scent and also adds a lovely green color to this blend is a wonderful lemon scented herb – Lemon Verbena. Just add dried Lemon Verbena leaves to your dried citrus slices and citrus peel. Make sure all your ingredients are thoroughly dried because if there is any moisture in them it will start to mold and ruin your potpourri. And just as an accent to add a little red color, I added some dried rosehips to the blend, but that is optional.

The combination of this blend creates a really nice citrus scent on it’s own but if you want to make it stronger you can add some citrus scented fragrance oil to it.



Drying Fruit Slices


Dried fruit slices and peels are a great way to give your home a country prim look and they provide a fun way for you to get crafty and creative. They are fragrant and can be added to potpourri blends, fixins blends, wreaths, swags, etc,. They also make pretty and fragrant gift package decorations and Christmas tree decorations. When they are placed around candles, especially bakery candles, they give a nice country prim look.

The pic above is of an prim apple fixins blend. It combines dried apple slices with fragrant spices like cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves. The look and smell is very seasonal and makes a great addition to country prim home decor.

The easiest way to dry fruit slices is to use a dehydrator. But if you do not have a dehydrator, you can use the standard oven method.

To dry apple slices using the oven method, core your apples and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. In order to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown during the process, dip the slices into a solution of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Make sure the slices are well soaked for about 15 minutes. After you remove them, pat them dry with paper towels and place them on cookie sheets and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to ensure good air circulation. Turn the slices when they start to curl.

For oranges, slice them about 1/4 inch thick and gently squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible without squeezing and misshaping the slices. Then place the slices on a cookie sheet and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. As with the apples, keep the oven door slightly ajar for air circulation.