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Step-by-step on how to make potpourri as presented by: Crafty Corner

For any questions contact: Winnie

What you need to make potpourri:

  • Rose Petals
  • Fixative (or roots from an Iris flower for making your own)
  • Kitchen grater (for making own fixative)
  • Your favourite aromatherapy oil (eg. Lavender)
  • Non-iodized salt (swimming pool salt)
  • Paper Bag
  • Newspaper
  • 40 cm x 20 cm fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Step 1

You need to gather your rose petals (any flower petals will work, but rose have proven to be the best as they are large and retain much of their size once dry). Wait until a hot, dry day to do so, when your roses are ready to drop their petals.

wilting flowers

Step 2

On a large surface, lay your newspaper out and scatter the rose petals onto it. The newspaper will protect your surface and aid the drying process. Ensure that the petals are well spread out.

lay on brown paper

Step 3

The petals should be left to dry for a few days. You will need to toss them at least once a day to ensure that they dry evenly. When tossing the petals daily, inspect for any insects which may be eating your petals and remove them.

Iris Flower

iris flower

Step 4

Did you know: Iris plants should be divided every 3-4 years otherwise the clumps will become woody and produce fewer flower spikes. Splitting the clump is best done straight after flowering, or in late August - September. As you do this you will notice that the youngest and healthiest rhizomes are on the outside of the clump. These are the pieces to replant. The old pieces of rhizome can be used for your fixative.

Harvest an older section of rhizome from the Iris plant.

Don´t worry too much about destroying the plant as they are quite hardy and don´t mind being handled.

Step 5

Use your kitchen grater to finely grate this section of rhizome (root). Spread this over newspaper and allow to dry. Ensure that the root and petals do not mix at this stage if you are drying them on the same surface. The Iris root will help hold the fragrance, as well as providing a base scent for your pot pourri.

Step 6

After two weeks, when the petals and root are properly dry, place them in a bowl with salt and mix it all up. At this point you can add some pencil sharpenings and some small bits of bark. With all elements of your mixture together, you can go ahead and add a small bottle of aromatherapy oil to the mixture. Once added, give the mixture a thorough mix through.

Step 7

Place your potpourri in a brown paper bag and keep it in a dark place for a further six weeks making sure you toss the content of the bag once a week.

Making a bag for your potpourri

Step 1

Cut out a piece of fabric to 40 cm x 20 cm

cut out fabric

Step 2

Fold the fabric length-ways in half, right sides in.

fold fabric

Step 3

Using your sewing machine or needle and thread, sew the long side closed, and then sew one end closed.

Step 4

Turn the bag inside out, so that it is the right way round.

Step 5

Tuck half the fabric, from the open side, back into the bag with the right side showing. Tip: this is done so that there is a double layer of fabric, the inner layer of fabric will help to soak up the oils from the content of the bag and prevent the outer layer of fabric becoming spoiled.

fold fabric in half

Step 6

Fill the bag with the potpourri mixture to about 5cm from the top of the bag

fill potpourri

Step 7

Tie a ribbon around the top of the bag to close it. Tie it so that you can re-open the bag and re-do the potpourri after a few months when the smell dissipates.

tie a bow on the top of bag

Hang your bag of potpourri in your closet, or place them on a door handle around the house to make the house smell nice. Remember that lavender is a wonderful deterrent for moths, so make a bag or two with lavender chopped in and you won't have any need for moth balls. Place one or two bags onto your book shelves to help prevent your books from being eaten by insects.

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