Creating potpourri at home is a delightful and simple way to bring natural fragrances into your living space. You can use dried flowers and plant parts from your garden to craft a unique and aromatic blend. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating potpourri, including my experience with gardenia petals.

Potpourri

Potpourri is a great craft to do with your family, especially kids. And it is a great skill to add to your arsenal. Gather those pine cones, acorns, flower petals, and other cool pieces and parts of plants on your property. Just dry them and have fun.

For more important skills to learn, check out 75 Important Self-Reliant Skills You Should Know.

Ingredients and Supplies:

  • Fresh flowers and plant parts (e.g., gardenia petals, rose petals, lavender, citrus peels, herbs)
  • Essential oils (e.g., lavender, rose, citrus)
  • Fixatives (optional) (e.g., orris root powder, cinnamon sticks, cloves)
  • A drying rack or screen (a table in an airy garage or shed works too)
  • A large bowl
  • Airtight containers or decorative bowls

Fixatives are an addition to help your potpourri retain its scent.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1. Gathering Potpourri Ingredients:

Collect flowers and plant parts from your garden. Choose those with strong scents and vibrant colors. For my potpourri, I used gardenia petals, which have a lovely, sweet fragrance.

Newly harvested Gardenia blossoms
Newly harvested Gardenia blossoms

2. Preparing the Flowers and Plant Parts:

Gently rinse your collection to remove any dirt or insects. Pat them dry with a clean towel. Remove petals from flowers and cut larger plant parts into smaller pieces.

3. Air drying the Ingredients:

Gardenia petals in a bucket
Half of a 5-gallon bucket that I filled from my Gardenia trees

 Spread the petals and plant parts in a single layer on a drying rack or screen. Ensure they are not overlapping to allow proper airflow.

Petals on dehydrator trays on table
1st batch of petals on dehydrator trays on my Dining Room table.

Place the drying rack in a warm, dry, and well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. I used an 8-foot table in my shed and kept the door open for air circulation after the first batch of petals because I didn’t have enough room eventually on the dining room table.

Gardenia petals dring on a table to be made into potpourri
Gardenia petals on table in garage to dry

Allow the ingredients to dry completely, which may take one to two weeks. They should be crisp to the touch when fully dried.

Fresh and dried gardenia petals
Dried petals on right ready to be put in jars.

4. Mixing the Potpourri:

Once dried, place the petals and plant parts in a large bowl.

If using fixatives, add a few tablespoons of orris root powder or a handful of cinnamon sticks and cloves. Fixatives help retain the scent of your potpourri for a longer period.

Add a few drops of your choice of essential oils. For my gardenia potpourri, I added a mix of various essential oils such as Lemongrass, Mandarin, and Cedarwood because I didn’t have any more Gardenia essential oil.

5. Curing the Potpourri:

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly to distribute the essential oils evenly.

Jars and essential oils
Jars with essential oils on top. I labeled the top of the jar.

Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and seal it.

Let it cure for about two weeks, shaking the container gently every few days to blend the scents.

Gardenia petals in jar with silicone packet on left and finished gardenia jars on right
Petals in a jar with a silicone packet on left and finished jars on right

6. Displaying Your Potpourri:

After curing, your potpourri is ready to use!

Place it in decorative bowls or sachets around your home.

Refresh the scent periodically by adding a few more drops of essential oil.

Potpourri
Finished potpourri in a bowl on my coffee table

Personal Experience:

I recently made a batch of potpourri using gardenia petals from my garden. The process was incredibly rewarding, and the resulting fragrance filled my home with a delightful aroma.

The gardenia petals retained their scent, enhanced by essential oils. The white petals combined with the lavender and citrus peels look amazing together!

Check out my video on YouTube to see how I made potpourri below.

Tips for Success:

  • Experiment with different combinations of flowers, herbs, and essential oils to find your favorite scent.
  • Ensure all ingredients are completely dry to prevent mold growth.
  • Store your potpourri in a cool, dry, place to maintain its fragrance. I keep mine in mason jars with a silicone packet.

Creating potpourri at home is a wonderful way to utilize your garden’s bounty and bring natural scents into your living space. Enjoy the process and the lovely aromas that will fill your home!

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