Gather the petals and leaves from your flowering plants this summer, dry them out, and save them to make a delightful homemade potpourri that will make the house smell amazing until it is time to collect fresh flowers, again!
Equipment needed to make potpourri:
Wide mouth canning jars with lids and rims are great to store and mix the potpourri. Disposable plastic spoons are needed to mix in the ingredients. Did you know metal can cause the potpourri scent to change...why you should stick with glass and plastic whenever possible!
Miscellaneous Materials needed for potpourri:
Potpourri is made with dried plant materials (particularly floral and herb), but there are other things that can be included to add interest to each potpourri. These do not have to be natural substances, but they do have to be dry. Any moisture, except essential or scent oils, cause mold to form in the potpourri--not good!.
Miscellaneous materials could be thin ribbon, lace, fabric, and fabric trim that have been cut into small pieces. Beads make a nice addition and make the potpourri look pretty. Other natural items might include dried seedpods, small pine cones, and dried ornamental grasses.
Oils for homemade potpourri
There is a limited scent to a dried flower or herb. They lose alot of their great scent in the drying process. In order to make potpourri have a stronger scent, essential or scent oils are added and mixed in. The longer the potpourri sits out, the less scent it has, but it can always be renewed with a few drops of oil. Potpourri is a great place to add your favorite essential oils! It only takes a few drops to make extend the good smell of your homemade potpourri!
Fixatives for homemade potpourri.
A fixative is a substance that helps the smell not dissipate immediately. It is necessary to have a fixative in potpourris so that the scent lasts longer than a few days and you aren't constantly adding oils to it. Powdered or chopped Orris root is a good fixative, as is calamus root and oakmoss. Fixatives can usually be found in craft or herb stores or you can find it in the supply list below (I get mine online, most often).
My favorite part! After making your homemade recipe, add some miscellaneous ingredients and put it in an open bowl. Or, if you are feeling fancy, there are potpourri holders that have covers that allow the scent to come out.
Warning: keep potpourri out of the reach of kids. For obvious reasons :).
Recipes for homemade potpourri:
Each of the following recipes creates about 2 cups of potpourri. Store them in a canning jar until ready to use. They should keep their scent for several months. You can absolutely sub out flowers if you like. Just be mindful of the smell they will contribute to the overall mix.
Note: although I'm providing links to find these items online, if you have flowers in your garden you can gather and dry over the summer...use as much of that as possible!
Ingredients for a floral potpourri:
1 cup rose petals, any color
½ cup lavender buds
¼ cup chamomile flowers
¼ cup rose geranium leaves
¼ cup rosemary
2 tablespoons Orris root
5 drops rose essential or scent oil
5 drops lavender essential or scent oil
Place all the flowers and herbs in a canning jar. Shake to mix. Add Orris root and shake well. Add scented oils and shake well or mix with a plastic spoon. Add any miscellaneous materials and place in a bowl to scent the room.
Ingredients for spice potpourri:
My personal favorite, spice potpourri I find to be easier then floral because most ingredients can be easily found at my local grocery store or co-op.
1 cup cinnamon sticks, broken in pieces
½ cup cloves
¼ cup bay leaves, broken in pieces
½ cups small pine cones (hemlock cones work best)
½ cup lambs ear leaves or other dried small leaf you like
2 tablespoons dried orange peel
2 tablespoons Orris Root
5 to 8 drops clove oil
Cut the peel off an orange and place it on wax paper. Fold the paper loosely and place in a dry area to dry. It should take a week for the peel to dry completely. You can also bake it in the oven for about 4 hours. Set the oven to 250 degrees, bake for 1 hour and shut the oven off leaving the peel in until the oven completely cools. Place all dry ingredients including Orris root in a canning jar and shake to mix. Add oil and mix again. Add any miscellaneous materials and place in a bowl to scent the kitchen.
Make up your own combinations to make different scented potpourri. Make citrus, pine, rose, lavender, and herb scents to make the house smell amazing!