improve the atmosphere in your home make your own potpourri with these recipes,

Country Kitchen Potpourri
This potpourri has a warm "welcome home" aroma that's pleasant any time of year.

1 tablespoon aniseed
1 tablespoon allspice
6 nutmegs
6 cinnamon sticks, coarsely broken
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
¼ cup whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 vanilla beans, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup coarse salt such as kosher salt

Crush aniseed and allspice in a mortar and pestle. Use a hammer to crack the nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Mix all of the ingredients together and fill a lidded container of your choice. Old Mason jars work well. Open whenever you want to freshen the air.

Scented Pinecones

Method #1

These are quick and easy to make, they are ideal for group activities or school children.

Rinse pinecones under running water, lay pinecones on an old cookie sheet and bake at 200F until the pinecones open up (kills bugs, melts sap etc) spread pinecones out on layers of newspaper. Use a foam brush to apply glue. Mix cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in baggie. Add pinecones in spice mix. Shake to cover. Allow to dry overnight. Use scented pine cones in gift baskets, on wreaths or placed in bowls. Hang them from your door handles or from your Christmas tree.

Method #2

Pour cinnamon, clove or Christmas blend essential oil into a spray bottle with a little water and spray cones until they are damp. Place scented pinecones in a plastic bag and seal for 24 hours.

Method #3

Place pinecones in a sealable plastic bag, add several drops of cinnamon, clove or Christmas blend essential oil, close bag a and shake several times to distribute. Keep sealed for 2 -7 days.

To scent 2 pounds of cones you will need 3 ounces of cinnamon oil, 1/2 pound cinnamon chips, 1/2 pound of whole 3" cinnamon sticks, and one large heavy duty plastic garbage bag.

Seal bag tightly and leave scented pine cones in bag for 8 weeks. Shake and toss the bag once a week to blend the mixture.

For Large Cones

If you live near or have access to large pine cones (5" tall or more) you can scent them and decorate them individually. I have found that the best scent for these is apple cinnamon. Make the bottom of the cone level for setting. Take slices of dried apples and glue them between the cone petals. Scent the dried apple slices and the cone with scattered drops of cinnamon oil. You can further decorate this "pine cone tree" as desired. It looks especially nice with small, dried flowers and tiny ribbon bows glued on.

Decorating Tips
Once you have made a batch of homemade scented pinecones the next step is finding a way to display or package them.

Cut a large square of the fabric, netting or mesh, place a number of scented pine cones in the center and gather fabric up around the cones. To secure it, tie gathered end with a ribbon and make a bow. Attach cinnamon sticks and small berry floral picks to the bow.

Scented pine cones are not only easy to make, they are also a fun way to experiment with different scents.

Cottage Rose Potpourri

1 cup cellulose
1/8 ounce rose fragrance oil
30 drops essential oil of lemon verbena
20 drops essential oil of sandalwood
4 cups rose petals and buds
2 cups lemon verbena
2 cups patchouli
2 cups lavender buds

Mix the oils with the cellulose and store for two days in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Combine the dry potpourri ingredients with the oil/cellulose mixture and store for two to four weeks to allow the potpourri to age and develop.

How to make a potpourri gift jar

Create these beautiful and inexpensive potpourri jars for the perfect small gift for any occasion.

Clean baby food jars
homemade Cottage Rose potpourri
Lace doilies, paper or other
Miniature silk roses
Satin ribbon
Hot glue gun

Fill baby food jars with potpourri. Place lace doilies on top of jars, then use a reserved lid to press down and twist lightly making a firm rim impression on the doily.

Remove doily, then place a few drops of hot glue around the jar rim and fit lace doily back on securely

Place ribbon around the rim of jar and tie into a bow. Put about 2-3 drops of hot glue under the ribbon (1 in the front of jar under the bow, and another in the back) to keep ribbon secure. Then glue a small paper or silk rose onto the center of the doily.

Potpourri Projects

Small packets of cottage rose potpourri can find a home in lingerie and sweater drawers, mixed in with linens, in the folds of clothing inside suitcases, on coat hangers in the closet, at the party table as favors... almost anywhere a fragrant perfume is invited. Use readymade lace handkerchiefs for quick sachets.

Cottage Gift Basket Idea
Fill a straw basket withcottage rose potpourri gift jars surrounded by several homemade sachets wrapped in a doilies and tied with satin ribbon.

Orange Spice Potpourri
This recipe uses 1 pound of each ingredient and will make about 52 snack size Ziploc bags. Cost: $55.00 = $1.06 per bag.

1 pound Orange peel (Dime Size)

1/2 pound Lemon peel (Dime Size)

1 pound Whole Star Anise

1 pound Small Cinnamon Sticks (1 inch)

1 pound Whole Allspice

1 pound Whole Cloves

4 ounces Fixative Orris root, Cellulose Fixative

1-2 ounce bottle with dropper of Orange, Cinnamon, or Christmas Oils.

If making a small amount, use a jar. If making a larger amount, use something that you don't mind having the aroma in forever. When I make this orange spice potpourri, I use a plastic shoe box container. When finished I can put my craft supplies in it and whenever I open it I get the most wonderful aroma.

Mix together all ingredients except the oil. After mixing, add the oil by dropping it onto the potpourri. Trying to get as much as possible of the oil on the fixative. Continue to mix as you drop the oil into the potpourri. Use 1/2 of the oil. Check the aroma by smelling 2 or 3 days later; you can always decide to add more oil.

Let the orange spice potpourri sit for 2 to 3 weeks in a cool dark spot. Stirring every couple days. When finished bag up and label.

Various Potpourri Blends

Experiment making your own potpourri blends. In general, mix 4-6 different flowers and leaves and 3-4 herbs and spices to make a botanical blend. You'll need about 2 cups fixative for 4 cups of dried materials. Add one or more essential oils to the fixative drop by drop to simply moisten, not saturate, the fixative. Here are just a few of the many fragrant blends you can make.

Rose Blend
This distinctive perfume of rose oil is mixed with a fixative of orris root, then blended into a combination of rose petals, yellow pansies, myrtle, purple statice, and red pepper-berries.

Winter Blend
This is a spicy and woodsy potpourri that uses calamus root as the fixative, bayberry oil, and a blend of purple delphiniums, seed pods, white gompherena, and cedar chips or shavings.

Almond Blend
A hint of almond is achieved when bitter almond oil is added to an oak moss fixative and blended with woodland mix of honesty pods, white gomphrena, bits of bark, and gold sprayed leaves.

Strawberry Blend
Orris root is the fixative for this potpourri of myrtle, white gomphrena, rose petals, and rose hips. Strawberry oil mixes with the natural scent of the roses to create a strong and pleasing summer fragrance.

Spice Blend
Cinnamon oil and calamus root fixative serve up the spice that makes a nicely piquant potpourri filled with a mix of textures and exotic blossoms of yellow static, cockscomb, myrtle, hibiscus, orange rind, and juniper berries.

Lavender Blend
The sweet, long-lasting scent of lavender makes a good base. Unless the dried lavender has a particularly strong scent, add lavender oil to an oak moss fixative to add depth to the fragrance. Then mix with lavender, myrtle, blue static, and rosebuds for a richly scented traditional potpourri

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