Making your own potpourri is easy and fun. It can be as simple as a bowl of lavender buds, or a mass of different dried botanicals with fragrance oils. Any craft store will carry a selection of dried botanicals that you can use, along with fragrance oils. You can use potpourri oil, candle scent or soap scent for your potpourri.
Think about the size of the container you need to fill. Larger dried flowers such as globe flowers or strawflowers will take up more space than chamomile or lavender. You can either use all natural botanicals, or dyed varieties, depending on what you want the finished look to be. For more inexpensive potpourri, you can use filler made of wood chips, or wood curls. These will soak up scent and cost less than the dried florals. Common scent fixatives used in potpourri are orris root, oakmoss or cellulose fiber. These absorbent materials will soak up your fragrance and you don’t have to worry about oil spots on delicate botanicals.
Here are several recipes and design ideas for your own potpourri:
Use a quarter cup of fixative (orris root, oak moss or cellulose fiber) and mix with a teaspoon of rose fragrance oil. Let this sit and absorb while you mix the rest of the botanicals. In another bowl, toss together one cup of whole rose buds (any color), one cup of rose petals (any color), half cup of chamomile flowers, half cup of white statice, one quarter cup of rosehips and a handful of eucalyptus leaves for green color. Blend with the fixative.
Mix a quarter cup of fixative with a teaspoon of pine fragrance and set aside. For the botanical mix, use 1 cup of miniature pine cones, quarter cup of rosemary leaves, half cup of rose hips and colored globe flowers in red and green. For an extra festive touch, spray paint half of the miniature pine cones with gold spray paint.
For this, you need to purchase some tulle circles or sachet bags at a craft store. Mix an eighth cup of fixative with half teaspoon of lavender essential oil. For the sachet, you want small pieces of botanicals, since they aren’t very big. Mix together one cup of lavender buds, half cup of chamomile flowers and add the fixative. Pour into the sachet bag, or for the tulle circle, place the potpourri in the center of the circle, gather it up and tie with a pretty ribbon. You can use these sachets in closets or a dresser drawer.
You can package your potpourri as gifts in either gusseted cellophane bags tied with a pretty ribbon, or a fancy glass jar with a lid. To get the most out of your potpourri, keep it in a covered container until you want to scent the room, then remove the cover. This will preserve the scent for a longer time. As the scent fades on your potpourri, you can place it in a zip top bag and add fifteen to twenty drops of fragrance oil to the material. Shake well and let it sit overnight before placing back in your container.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Crafts