Homemade Coastal Holiday Potpourri Gift Tutorial

Can we say happy holidays yet? I can't believe we are officially starting the holiday season now. Texas still hasn't made up its mind about the weather though...we were in the low 70 degrees this week, and this morning we are waking up to the high 30s! Makes me just want to grab some hot tea, have the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven travel throughout the house, and snuggle up on the couch with a fleece blanket. :)

If I had to name one thing that helps me get ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season at home, it has to be smelling the scents of the holidays. Cinnamon, orange, pine cones, a baking turkey, cloves, rosemary...and when combined together, you're in for a serious aromatherapy session.

In years past, traditionally we have bought potpourri in bags from the store to put in decorative bowls. But as I have been growing in my personal journey of natural wellness these past three years, I decided to take the challenge of creating homemade potpourri from everyday ingredients and essential oils. Sounds good right? IT'S THE BEST! So let's dive in to how you can make your own homemade coastal holiday potpourri to use in your home, or give to friends, family, or neighbors as a gift.

MATERIALS

  • 16 oz. mason jar(s) or a decorative glass bowl
  • Jute string
  • FREE printable gift and instruction tags (download here)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Leather string
  • Coffee filter
  • Tape
  • Parchment paper

INGREDIENTS

  • Two .75 oz bottles of cinnamon sticks
  • .75 oz bottle of whole cloves
  • .75 oz bottle of allspice
  • Two .12 oz bottles of bay leaves
  • Fresh rosemary springs
  • 2 whole apples cut into thin slices
  • 1 orange cut into thin slices
  • 2 lemons cut into thin slices
  • Mixture of nuts
  • 6 red peppers
  • 8-10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8-10 drops orange essential oil
  • 8-10 drops cinnamon (cassia) essential oil
  • 8-10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 8-10 drops clove essential oil 

First thing to get out of the way is making your decorative knotted jute mason jar. For a 16 oz. jar, you'll need to cut a strand to fit around the top neck of the jar, 6 strands of jute string of at least 3 feet, a strand half the size of the jar's bottom, and a strand as long as you'd like to make for the handle. Follow the steps below in the picture to complete!

Once you're done, it's time to bake lemons, apples, peppers (if you want to), and oranges. I baked the lemon and orange slices together since they are both citrus, and then baked the apple slices separately. Each gets baked in the oven on sheets lined with parchment paper at 200 degrees for 45 minutes to start out with, then add 30-45 additional minutes until the citrus slices are see-through, and the apple slices are curled/browned. Don't try to speed things up by baking above 200 degrees, you'll loose all the juicy oils that are needed. Also make sure to checkup on them to make sure they aren't drying up and browning too much.

You should have your slices similar to the above when done baking. Be careful not to brown the citrus slices too much..oops; they still worked though. ;) Let the slices cool down before mixing in with other ingredients.

Once slices are cooled, grab a mixing bowl and your ingredients. Pour everything into the bowl, adding the essential oils last so they soak in. Mix together a couple times. Now breath in...breath out. Breath in...breath out. Are you relaxed and full of holiday cheer now? :)

Next, you're ready to pour into your homemade potpourri into a mason jar(s) or decorative glass bowl. Remember, you can't use plastic because of the essential oils!

If you decide to go with a decorative glass bowl, you can pour each ingredient into the bowl layer by layer if you'd like, or pour everything in together mixed. After that, you're done making your homemade coastal holiday potpourri! If you are making mason jar gifts, continue reading...

Next step is to cover your mason jar with a coffee filter, then cut slits where the filter gets in the way of the jute string handle. To secure the filter in place, use a strand of leather string and tie it off as shown. Try to get this knot down because it's less bulky and allows for the tags to sit great. The coffee filter will let all the good smells out, but keep the ingredients inside the jar until after you've gifted it to someone.

After you have the filter in place and tied off, cut out all your "The Holidays In A Jar" tags. Choose your favorite designs and color combinations by choosing 1 gift tag, 1 instruction tag, 1 top cover, and 1 message tag if you'd like to write a message that can't fit on the gift tag. Fill out your tags with any messaging BEFORE you attach to the jar.

Tape down your top cover as shown above, then hole punch the tag set you chose and thread through the leather string. It should sit nicely and have no problems facing forward if you tied the knot right. Next, to secure the tags and complete the coastal look, take a clipping of jute string and tightly place a knotted bow in front of the tags.

Guess what you're done! How much more satisfying is it to know you can make your own holiday potpourri? It's better for your lungs and overall health, plus it can last even longer than store bought potpourri if you use it in its dry state and reapply essential oils if you'd like over a month or two + simmering on the stove.

------ UPDATE: 1 month after making the dry potpourri

It's been a month since I made the potpourri for single room dry use, now it's time to simmer over the stove so the smells of the holidays travel throughout the house :)

Take a medium pot, fill half way with water and warm on medium heat. Pour in your dried potpourri, do a good stir of everything, and increase the heat slightly so you start simmering the water. Within 20-30 minutes half your house will smell like the holidays, MMmm smells so good!

Check up on the pot every 15 minutes to give it a stir. After simmering for 1 hour, you'll notice everything becomes a little cooked, that's normal. You can simmer for a total of 1.5 hours, that seems to be the ideal time to fill your house with the smell, and prevent the ingredients from getting too cooked.

Get ready to start gifting scents of the holidays in a jar! If you make your own potpourri at home already, what ingredients do you use to get a certain scent? Let us all know so we can try it!

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