Making Your Own Potpourri

Category Floral
There are many wonderful herbs and flowers to collect in the garden or buy at the market to make your own fragrant blend. This page is about making your own potpourri.


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Last December our mother passed away and we received many beautiful fresh flower bouquets. After the service, my sister and I took all the flowers home, remarking how beautiful they were and what a shame they would die. I came up with the idea of drying the flowers and making potpourri out of them!

We did just that by letting the flowers air dry naturally. After a few weeks, we started collecting only the completely dry petals and leaves, leaving the others that were not quite dry yet alone to be checked on later.

We placed the dried petals in a big bowl that was uncovered and turned them weekly.

Finally when all the flowers had dried sufficiently, we sprinkled drops of refresher oil over all, stirred up good, and packed into decorative glass jars tied with a ribbon.


We then gave these jars out to family members this past Mother's Day in memory of our dear Mom. We chose a refresher oil of lilac as it was our mother's favorite but you could pick one that has special meaning to you and your family.

By Gina from Oklahoma City, OK

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Think ahead for wonderful Holiday gifts.

Each spring and summer, I used to go around to my friends' gardens and pick the flower petals up from the ground (do this at mid day when dew isn't on them.) Take the flowers or petals home and lay them out on newspaper on the floor and leave to dry (about 2 weeks.) Next, get as many glass gallon jugs as you can from restaurants and place a mix of different colored flowers in each. Then place different fragrance oils (essential oils) in each jar.


Ideas And Recipes

By Cyinda

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My daughters always give me odd flavored tea for gifts - hot cinnamon spice, gingerbread, and many other great smelling but not so good tasting teas. I tried putting some in a jar in my bathroom, and it worked perfect for a potpourri.

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September 22, 2011

Near the the holidays, I find myself buying more apples and oranges than usual. I love the aroma of baked apple pie or the smell of oranges. Whenever I peel an apple or orange, I throw the peel into a pan of water on the stove.

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When I deadhead my herbs, I put the clippings in a nice bowl on a table, the bathroom counter, or anywhere. Then every time I walk past, I just toss them a few times with my fingertips.


This releases the fragrance into the room even more and helps it to dry evenly.

Lemon thyme in a bowl.

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During the summer months we get a lot of flowers at our work. I wait until they are dying and then I strip away the petals and spread them in a box lid and allow them to dry. I turn them every so often and when they are completely dry I put them into a gallon sized baggie.

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April 7, 2005

Mix together, bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I use potpourri in a big pan with water and put on top of the stove to simmer all day to keep my home smelling good. My question is can I save the water of the potpourri and add a scent the same as the potpourri then use it as a liquid potpourri?


Angie from WI


January 7, 20080 found this helpful

What I would suggest rather than keeping the liquid, would be to just take water and add a few drops of pure essential oil. Lemon, orange, wintergreen, lavendar or any number of choices. The cost for the oil is expensive, but the bottle goes a long way as only two or three drops is required. Also works good in the bathwater too for a relaxing bath. You could also use the essential oils in a bottle with some alcool as a mist air freshner.

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January 8, 20080 found this helpful

Save yourself some money and buy a "little dipper" from Walmart. It is like a mini crockpot, it holds @3-4 cups. I use mine lots for dips and potpourri.
You can find them for around $5.00 and it takes a lot less power to use a plug in appliance that stove top. type in potpourri, they have recipes there.
I have used the same water for up to 3 days.

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January 27, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the tips

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August 15, 20100 found this helpful

How about the Dollar Stores Perfume Mist Sprays? A quick squirt in the dryer does it here & most Softener Sheets are Scented!

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August 18, 2010

How can I make homemade potpourri in five days?

By Cherry1976 from Sacramento


August 25, 20100 found this helpful

I have dried the flowers petals and botanicals in the oven on the lowest setting laying on paper towels on top of cookie cooling racks that are setting on cookie sheets. The petals dry overnight, cool them and then add orris root (to prolong the fragrance), and essential oils of your choosing. I also add dried citrus rind or slices, small pine cones or sweet gum balls, etc. etc.

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Can you make your own potpourri using gelatin and essential oil? Many thanks.

Helen xx

By helen from U.K


August 4, 20100 found this helpful

Sorry I was addressing another situation. Have no idea about using gelatin.
I made homemade potpourri with flowers that I dried and then adding a scent from the essential oils.
Good Luck!

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July 7, 2013

How can I use cedar clippings to make potpourri?

By kab

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I am looking for information about using a dehydrator for making potpourri.


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February 10, 2020

Wonderful seasonal fragrance can fill your home with a simmering potpourri. You can make a special blend for an inexpensive holiday gift.

Bags of holiday potpourri made as gifts.

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November 18, 2016

This is a page about making grapefruit potpourri. Release a luscious citrus aroma into your home by making your own dried grapefruit potpourri.

Making Grapefruit Potpourri

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August 25, 2016

This is a page about making a cinnamon and orange potpourri bag. The spicy scent of cinnamon and the sweet citrusy aroma of orange combine very well to make an amazing potpourri bag.

Close up of cinnamon and orange potpouri

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 18, 2010

I am looking for a recipe to make a simmering potpourri that I can heat in a small electric potpourri pot.

Bsue from Coshocton, OH


Potpourri Recipe

Long ago we mixed whole cloves, allspice, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon with fresh orange, tangerine, and lemon peelings, a few juniper/rosemary/lavender needles if available naturally there, with a few drops of alcohol and simmered in enough water to cover, continuing to add water until there was no scent, usually several days. Even though it darkens, no one is looking inside the pot and loves the fragrance all winter long, if you want the management of watching the tiny pot's boiling.

Just guessing I'd use the following proportions:

To 16 oz. water, add:

  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. mace
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp isopropyl alcohol

Small peelings of 1 orange, 1 tangerine, and 1 lemon with a sprinkling of each of the herb needles.

Simmer adding water when low, stirring occasionally as needed with metal spoon. Place in draft inside waterproof/fireproof container (in case of cracks, leaks, or accidental tipping), such as a clay pot drain saucer, towards rooms or in front of a poorly insulated window. Enjoy.

Come spring, watch for hyacinths, forsythia, early
blooming/fragrant blossoms to begin a fresh potpourri of :

Lime, vanilla, cherry flavoring, and flower petals, to the water in similar proportions to the above, adjusting to your own sense of smell, adding a few drops of your favorite floral cologne in place of alcohol.

No one and nothing can compete with essential oils, but this recipe is one of the favorite fragrances of long ago before they were more available.

Remember to check your pot's water level before it dries out, usually once an hour or so, if tiny as you describe. I prefer to increase the portions and use a small electric skillet with the steam vent open in the lid as it simmers. God bless you. : ) (01/03/2007)

By Lynda

Potpourri Recipe

I always put a tbsp each of allspice, star anise, peppercorns, and one cinnamon stick in a pot with 3 cups of water. Place that on a back burner on the stove on low. In about a half hour your house with smell divine. (01/03/2007)

By Nilaja

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May 28, 2009

I sometimes make my own potpourri by using a tsp. of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves (apple pie spices.) These make your house smell wonderful. Just put them on the stove in a small pot of water to simmer on very low heat. Everyone coming in your home will be searching for the pies. You can also use other spices of your choosing. Pumpkin smells wonderful also!

By Michelle from Lanett, AL


Make Your Own Potpourri

I made homemade potpourri and gave it away as Christmas presents, it's easy and cheap to make so it's good for gifts for people you want to acknowledge but don't want to spend a lot of money. What I did was buy one bag of each: apples, oranges, lemons, and limes. I sliced them pretty thin and laid them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at like 200 degrees F for a few hours. This part is a little tricky because each fruit takes a different amount of time. You want to take them out of the oven when they're not all the way dried, if you let them dry all the way in the oven they will turn brown and ugly. They'll be a little brown but you'll still be able to see the orange or the red of the apple and so on.

Just put everything in a big bowl and let it finish drying naturally for a day or two. Then sprinkle the whole mix with spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg whatever you like the smell of. Then mix with dried cranberries, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves. Use your imagination, there's really no right or wrong way to do it, I put mine in jars tied with ribbon and in those little sheer bags you can find in the wedding isle at any WalMart or craft store. I found mine at the dollar tree 4 for $1, and they're great for putting in a drawer or suitcase. You can even simmer some on the stove in a pot of water. I don't have one but I would think if you used a food dehydrator to dry the fruits you would be able to retain more of the color in the fruits, but the oven method works fine for me. Have Fun! (04/02/2007)

By bambi2003

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