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Fall Crafts Idea – Fragrant Cinnamon Stick Bunches

spicyfall

A pretty and fragrant Fall decor idea is to make cinnamon stick bunches tied with colored curly ribbons. You can add further fragrance to these cute little cinnamon stick bunches by placing them in decorative seasonal display dishes with strong smelling spices like whole allspice, cloves, and nutmeg.

In the photo above I placed my cinnamon stick bunch in a Fall leaf shaped dish filled with whole allspice, cloves, hawthorn berries, and dried orange peel.

I have a tutorial video on how to make these cute little cinnamon stick bunches and how to curl the ribbon:




Fragrant Spice Sachet



You can make a cute and fragrant decorative little sachet using a simple muslin bag and spices that are probably already in your kitchen.  Spices such as whole allspice, cloves, and anise stars all have their individual wonderful and strong fragrances and when they are all combined, you will have an amazing rich and robust spicy fragrance.  


These little bags are so cute and aromatic and so easy to make. Fill your muslin bag with your spices and you can further decorate it by tying cinnamon sticks to the drawstrings and attaching decorations to it.  For my sachet above, I made a little tissue paper flower and appliqued it onto the bag. Tissue paper flowers are fun to make and they are adorable little decorations for lots of crafts. Click the link below for simple instructions to make tissue paper flowers.





Simmer Potpourri



This is a simmer potpourri recipe to make your house smell wonderful. In a large pot of water, combine these ingredients and let it simmer on the stove top:

– Rind of one large orange (you can use lemon and limes too)

– 1/4 cup of cloves

– 1/4 cup of anise seeds

– 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks

– 3 or 4 bay leaves

You can adjust the amounts depending on your personal preference.

Be sure to use caution and keep an eye on the pot while the heat is on. The water will begin to evaporate as it simmers, make sure that the pot does not dry out You can add more water and let the potpourri continue to simmer for as long as you like.



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.



Fall Decor Idea


An attractive and fragrant idea for your Fall decor is to display scented candles with whole spices like cinnamon sticks, anise stars, allspice, and cloves. These very fragrant spices will add to the scent of your candles. You can use scented pillar candles, votives, and even bakery candles which look particularly awesome when they are displayed with spices.

*Always use caution with a lit candle and keep away from anything flammable and keep them out of the reach of children and pets.



Essential Oil Scent Categories


There are many wonderful essential oil scents to choose from when you’re preparing soap, bath & body, and other fragrance crafts. You can even create different scents by combining essential oils together. A good way to help you choose which scents you want to use for any particular crafting projects is to group the essential oils together by scent categories. Essential oils are categorized as Citrus, Herbal, Spicy, Floral, Woody, and Earthy. Some essential oils can fit into more than one category. If you want to combine scents, essential oils from the same category will blend well together.

Citrus:

Bergamot

Citronella
Grapefruit
Lemon
Lemongrass
Lime
Mandarin
Neroli
Orange
Tangerine

Herbal:
Basil
Chamomile
Clary Sage
Eucalyptus
Marjoram
Oregano
Peppermint
Rosemary
Sage
Spearmint
Tea Tree
Thyme

Spicy:
Aniseed
Cardamom
Cinnamon
Clove
Coriander
Ginger
Nutmeg
Pepper

Woody
Cedarwood
Cinnamon
Coriander
Cypress
Fir
Frankincence
Juniper
Myrrh
Patchouli
Pine
Sandalwood
Vetiver

Earthy:
Amber
Angelica
Frankincence
Lemongrass
Patchouli
Sandalwood
Valerian
Vetiver

Floral:
Chamomile
Geranium
Jasmine
Lavender
Lilac
Lily of the Valley
Neroli
Plumeria
Rose
Violet
Ylang-Ylang


You can experiment and see what combinations you like, generally citrus blends well with floral and spicy. Also, woody blends well with spicy and earthy.

Always use precautions when using essential oils because they are highly concentrated which makes them very strong, do not put them directly on your skin, make sure they are diluted first. Do not use any essential oils if you are pregnant.



Interesting Herb Myths


Are you an herb lover? You’re not alone, throughout the centuries people not only loved them for their practical uses but also became quite fascinated and even mystified by them. Their aromatic leaves have been used for cooking, decorating, and medicinal purposes. With their healing properties as well as being tasty, fragrant, and attractive, people throughout the ages believed that the plants possessed magical qualities and attributed some interesting myths and legends to them. These are some amusing myths and legends about some of the more popular herbs and spices:

Bay Leaf: According to myth, the beautiful Daphne was changed into a bay as she escaped the clutches of Apollo. Thus, Apollo made a crown out of bay leaves and branches and wore it in her honor; In the 17th century it was believed that bay leaves repelled witchcraft. Pots of bay were placed in front of doorways in order to ward thwart evil spells and curses; It was also believed that bay would prevent one’s house from being struck by lightning.

Chamomile: The Anglo-Saxons believed chamomile was one of the sacred herbs given to the earth by the god Woden; In Victorian times, chamomile symbolized patience in adversity; Chamomile is believed by some to possess the power to attract money, gamblers soak their hands in a chamomile infusion in order to increase their chances of winning.

Cinnamon: The Romans believed cinnamon to be sacred, and the emperor Nero burned bunches of it as a sacrifice at his wife’s funeral; In the Middle Ages, cinnamon represented wealth and power. At large banquets, hosts served cinnamon in order to impress the guests.

Cloves: When the fragrant clove forests were discovered in Indonesia, it was said that they must always be planted around water in order to flourish; For over 4,000 years, people chewed whole cloves in order to freshen their breath and it was said that in ancient China if anyone wanted to speak to the emperor, they were required to have a clove in their mouth.

Dill: Dill represented wealth to the ancient Greeks; During the Middle Ages, dill was believed to possess magical powers and could destroy evil spells. A drink made from dill leaves was the remedy for anyone who believed that a witch had cast a spell on them. People also wore charms made from dill leaves to protect themselves from evil spells.

Fennel: During the Middle Ages, fennel was hung above doorways and on rafters in order to ward off the devil. Fennel seeds were also placed inside keyholes in order to prevent ghosts from entering the house; In 470 b.c. the Greeks defeated the Persians at Marathon. They fought on a field of fennel and this led to the belief that fennel inspired courage and strength. Greek and Roman soldiers chewed fennel seeds before entering battle.

Lavender: Legend says that the pleasant smell of lavender comes from the baby Jesus. After washing his swaddling clothes, Mary hung them to dry on a lavender bush. Thus, the plant was given the smell of heaven; In the Middle Ages it was believed that couples who place lavender flowers between their bedsheets would never fight.

Mint: According to myth, Hades had developed a lust for a nymph named Minthe. Hade’s wife Persephone found out and angrily transformed Minthe into a plant to be trampled on. Hades could not undo the spell, but he was able to ease it by giving Minthe a wonderfully sweet fragrance which would be released whenever her leaves were trampled on.

Oregano (Marjoram): The ancient Greeks believed that Aphrodite created oregano; They believed that if it grew around a grave, the deceased would have eternal happiness; In Germany, oregano was hung over doorways to protect against evil spells; In the Middle Ages, oregano symbolized happiness and love.

Rose: According to myth, the first roses did not have thorns. While Venus’ son Cupid was smelling a rose, a bee came out and stung him on the lip. Venus then strung his bow with bees. She removed their stingers and placed them on the stems of the roses; Myth also says that all roses were originally white until Venus tore her foot on a briar and all the roses were dyed red with her blood; In Christian lore the red color of roses comes from the blood of Christ.

Rosemary: From the times of ancient Greece through the Middle Ages, it was believed that rosemary strengthened the brain and memory. When they needed to take exams, students braided rosemary into their hair in order to help their memory; The ancient Greeks burned rosemary in order to repel evil spirits and illness; In some parts of Europe, it was believed that if an unmarried woman placed rosemary under her pillow, her future husband would be revealed to her in her dream.

Sage: The Romans believed that sage was a sacred herb that gave immortality. Up until the 18th century, it was believed that sage increased fertility. It was also believed that sage strengthened the mind.

Thyme: During the Middle Ages it was believed that the scent of thyme inspired bravery. Knights wore scarves with thyme leaves sewn on them during tournaments; In English lore, if a person collected thyme flowers from hillsides where fairies lived, and rubbed the flowers on their eyelids, they would be able to see the fairies.

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.