Introduction: DIY With Flowers: Potpourri Room Fragrance

Welcome back to our latest post in the DIY With Flowers series. Our last few posts have all been about helping you to look great at the next spring or summer party, but this week we'll help you out with something for your home if you are the one who is throwing the party!

Potpourri's (pronounced poeporree) are popular as they bring a fresh and natural fragrance to your home, which can really help you to bring the feeling of spring into your home, even if the weather is stopping you from enjoying it outside!

Here, we'll show you how to make your own potpourri in just a few easy steps!

Step 1: What Do You Need?

Potpourri's are great as they give you a use for when your flowers are finally starting to look a little worse for wear after brightening up your home with color for several days!

The equipment needed might sound obscure, but you are sure to have most in your home, and the rest is easily found online for you to order and be ready to start in just a few days!

With flowers, as always you can choose what kind of combination you would like! Of course, we list below the flowers that we have used, but you can select some but not others, or adapt this to your own favorite fragrances:

We would definitely recommend Lavender, as it is brings a great edge to the fragrance. Whilst we haven't used it here, it is also a great idea to add some fruit peel, such as oranges and other citrus fruits, which can be recycled and add a kick to your fragrance which really make it noticeable!

Step 2: Pick Off the Petals

First off, pick off all of your petals! This is quite a simple step, and although it might be time consuming, it can be quite fun! Try to be relatively gentle as you detach them from the flower, as you don't want to damage them as you go along. The better state they are in, the better they will look and smell in a potpourri.

Step 3: Dry Out the Petals

There are two ways to do this step:

  • The quick way - put all of your petals, leaves, etc. onto some greaseproof paper and in a tray and put them in the oven at a temperature of around 100 degrees. Keep an eye on them to make sure that you don't burn them, or the aroma won't be the same!
  • The proper way - Place all of your petals on a large tray or bowl, trying to avoid overlaps, and leave them in a dry and warm place, perhaps such as next to a window which gets a lot of sunlight during the spring. Then leave them there to dry, occasionally moving them around slightly to ensure that all dry out evenly. This can take a few hours, or even days, so be patient.

We would definitely recommend the second step for the best results, as it retains the natural smell and look and the risk of it going wrong is much lower!

Once you have done this, place all of your items into your bowl, ready for the next step.

Step 4: Add a Fixative

What on earth is a fixative?! A fixative will help to keep the materials dry and will also help to retain their fragance, it is a bit like a natural preservative for your potpourri! The most common ones are orris root, oak moss, cellulose,ground gum benzoin or fiberfix, and can be bought in their original form or in powders. If bought in their original form, we recommend grinding them down into a powder before using them.

Now add the fixative, at a rate of about one tablespoon of fixative for every two cups of dried materials.

Step 5: Add Some Oils to Improve the Fragrance

Next up is to add your oils to add even more fragrance. The best oil to use is rose oil, but you can use any oil which you like the fragrance of to adapt your potpourri to meet your tastes. About 15 drops of rose oil are required, so if you are using a less fragrant oil, you may need a few more.

Once added, gently mix the oils, fixative powder and materials all together so that they are evenly distributed.

Step 6: Shake It All Together

The easiest way to do this next step is to put everything into a paper bag, and then roll the top over to secure it, or add a clip or peg to hold it sealed. Gently shake the bag, and continue to do so every now and again until it is ready.

The paper bag is then best stored somewhere away from direct sunlight and easily accessible so that you can shake it around and mix everything together every so often.

For best results, you may need to leave your potpourri for four to six weeks, so be patient, but you can of course use it whenever you want if your impatience gets the better of you!

Step 7: Enjoy a Fresh Aroma and Keep It Lasting!

Once you've waited, simply remove the contents and add them to a suitably sized bowl! They are sure to bring a great fragrance of freshness and spring to your home. It might seem like a lot of patience has been required, but it is sure worth it when you open the door to walk into this aroma! To keep it lasting longer, you can change over the contents every few weeks, or add a touch more oil and gently mix the contents.

We hope you are enjoying our DIY With Flowers series, and you can find the rest of our Instructables posts here! Thanks for reading, and happy making!

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