Filling your space with a wonderful scent would be always something that you’d want. That’s why many people out there are making their own diffuser! What’s another option? The practice of drying flowers and using them to fragrance your home seems archaic in today’s world of scented candles, air fresheners, and plug-in deodorisers. But, it is always wonderful to have some dried flowers stored in your house to remind you of the summer splendour. You can also make your closet smell amazing in no time!
Making potpourri is very simple with low-cost components which can allow you to reduce and recycle while limiting the chemicals you use in your house for a more natural aroma. Here’s a tutorial on how to make your own potpourri.
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Things to consider when choosing your flowers
Morning is the best time to select flowers for drying. Wait until any dew has dissipated and the flowers appear to be fresh and vibrant. Flowers that aren’t entirely opened should be chosen since they will continue to mature during the drying process. Tie the flower stems together using string, twine, or a rubber band into little bunches.
Hang them upside down, with enough space between them to allow air to circulate. Ensure that they are in an area with excellent airflow and are not in direct sunlight, as the sun may bleach the colours. As the flowers dry out, the colours fade and the stalks get dry over a period of weeks. They will be fully dry when the stems are brittle and can easily snap.
Flowers that keep their colour and shape after drying are the best option for this project. It’s a plus if they’re scented as well, but you can always add fragrance of course. In fact, it’s best not to use too many aromatic flowers at once, as the scents may clash.
Bachelor’s button, calendula, gomphrena, larkspur, pansy, and scented geranium are all annual flowers that can be grown and harvested for potpourri. Lavender, rosebuds, dianthus, and chrysanthemums are all excellent perennial flower selections.
Consider adding natural elements from your local forests and fields, such as seed pods, to augment the visual attractiveness of a nice potpourri mix. Nutmeg berries, whole cloves, dried citrus rind, allspice, whole star anise, and cinnamon sticks are all fragrant and lovely additions to such DIY projects.
Make sure to use a non-metal container or dish because metals can react with essential oils. You can use holders such as baskets, empty candle jars, and bowls. If pets or small children can’t stop themselves from picking through the dried flowers, use a container with a perforated lid.
Finally, adding a sprinkle of hobby shop mixes like sandalwood chips, eucalyptus leaves, and tonka beans can also freshen your mix.
How to make a classic potpourri step-by-step
1. Get some petals, cloves, and orange peels
All of your ingredients will come together to make a fantastic and good-smelling mix. You can use any type of petals, as well as cloves, orange peels, vanilla beans, and cinnamon sticks. These elements will complement each other both in terms of scent and appearance.
2. For a winter potpourri, gather some pine needles and peony
The smell of the winter holidays is practically unmistakable. To keep with the theme, make a fragrant mixture of pine cones, pine needles, peony petals, and rose hips. Use any native pine cones and needles you have on hand.
Make use of your imagination when it comes to your ingredients. If you like roses, throw in some petals. If you come across some fantastic cedar bark, give it a go as well.
3. Experiment with your own combination of ingredients
You can be as creative as you want with the items you wish to include in your potpourri recipe. Combine your favourite flowers, bark, or any other form of natural woody material. Spices like cloves can also be added to the mix. Fruit peels are also another excellent addition.
4. Dry your ingredients for two weeks on a baking tray
Place all of your ingredients on a baking surface or in a box. Make sure they’re all on the same layer and don’t overlap. Allow 2 weeks for them to totally dry out. When you contact dry ingredients, they will be crumbly and may flake. Place your ingredients in direct sunshine to speed up the drying process.
5. Fill an airtight jar halfway with the dry ingredients
Pour the dried ingredients into a sealable jar with care. As you transfer them, try not to crumble or crush them too much. For little ingredients, use a mason jar with a cover. You can use a plastic wrap around a large bowl or cover it with a lid.
6. Add essential oils to the dry ingredients
They are a type of oil that is used to reintroduce the scent and moisture to your dry ingredients. Pour 2 drops into your components with an eyedropper. To properly distribute the drops, place one on each edge of the container. Rose, cinnamon, lemon, orange, honeysuckle, and bayberry essential oils are all excellent options to consider.
7. Allow the container to sit for up to 6 weeks after sealing it
Allow your dry components to absorb the oils for a longer-lasting scent. Place your container somewhere cold and dry where it won’t be disturbed. Put it in a closet or a dark bedroom.
8. Put your potpourri in a bowl or an open jar to show off
Pour your ingredients into a bowl, jar, or container with no lid so that the aroma can now spread around the room. For individual gifts, use small jars, or combine all of your ingredients into one large bowl to keep for yourself. You will have a strong scent for around two to three months.
How to make a potpourri with dry flowers
1. Hang your flowers to completely dry them out
Tie your fresh flowers together by the stems and hang them upside down for 3 weeks until they are completely dry. Alternatively, you can arrange your flowers on a baking tray and preheat your oven to 90 degrees Celsius. They should be baked for 2 hours or until they feel flaky and crumbly to the touch.
2. Fill a jar with dried flower petals or heads
Cut the stems off your flowers using sharp scissors if they have any. Fill a jar with individual rose petals or complete flower heads that can be sealed. It’s okay if the petals crumble a little in the container. Because this container will not be used to exhibit your final potpourri, it does not need to be of very good quality. Any container will be fine.
3. Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil
Rose, lavender, honeysuckle, and lemon oils are all excellent options to choose from. Because the oil is what makes your potpourri smell good, use a lot of it.
4. Allow 2 weeks to pass after sealing your container
Cover your airtight container and leave it alone for at least two weeks. This causes the oils to seep into the flower petals, giving them a much longer-lasting scent. Wait until you’re ready to use your potpourri before opening the jar. For a stronger house smell, keep your container sealed for up to 8 weeks.
5. Mix in orris root powder (1 tablespoon of around 15 g)
Orris root powder is a “fixative,” which means it prevents oils from evaporating and keeps your blend smelling fresh for longer. Shake orris root powder into your flower and oil mixture until it is evenly distributed. It can be found at most grocery and health food stores.
6. Use a shallow bowl or an open jar
Display your mixture in an open container to allow the aroma to pervade the room. Add some glitter with ornamental stones or some spices with cloves. You should replace it once you can no longer smell the oils.
How to revive an old potpourri
Here is how to do it but always keep in mind that if it is more than 6 months old, it may not have as strong a scent as you would want:
1. Fill a big mixing bowl or plastic bag halfway with your potpourri
Transfer your potpourri to a big mixing bowl or a sealable plastic bag if it has lost its aroma. Make sure it’ll hold all of your ingredients without leaking. Don’t worry if any of your components break or crumble. As you move it around, you might notice a stronger scent.
2. Pour a few drops of essential oil
To refresh your ingredients, use the same oil that you started with. If you don’t recall what you used or don’t have it, try an oil scent that smells similar to what you used. Because there will most likely be a small amount of oil left in your mixture, the fragrances will blend slightly.
Citrus potpourri can be made with lemon and orange essential oils. Rose potpourri can be made using either rose or lavender oil.
3. Toss all the ingredients together
To mix your ingredients, cover it with a lid or shake the plastic bag. Coat all of your ingredients in the oil. If it still doesn’t smell strong enough, add a drop of oil at a time until it does. Your potpourri can be revived up to four times.
Making homemade potpourri is a great way to put the flowers you grow in the gardens to good use. So be brave, try new things, and you will soon enjoy the results of your creativity with that long-lasting scent all over the place!