Don’t have a green thumb? You can also purchase dried herbs, oils and orrisroot or calamus fixative from herb shops and health food stores, or order them online. If you are using homegrown materials, consult these harvest and drying instructions.

For information on working with essential oils, check out this handy guide.

Mixing and Blending

  1. Use only glass, graniteware, stainless steel or glazed pottery for preparing potpourri. The oil will corrode aluminum containers, and plastic will absorb some of your potpourri’s aroma.
  2. Gently mix dried flowers, leaves, spices and herbs in a bowl and set aside. Mix orrisroot or calamus fixative with oils. It will take several days for the fixative to absorb the oils, but this step is essential—it will “fix” your potpourri’s long-lasting fragrance.
  3. After the oils have been absorbed, gently blend the fixative with the flower/herb mixture. Store in a tightly covered jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for 6 weeks. Jar should have enough “head room” so you can stir potpourri periodically to blend.
  4. Stir mixture daily for the first week, then two or three times a week.

Using Your Potpourri

  1. Display potpourri in pretty glass containers, bowls or baskets. Choose containers with lids so fragrance can be added to the air when desired.
  2. To make sachets, wrap potpourri in small squares or circles of cloth cut from fabrics such as organdy, calico, velvet or net. Embroidered handkerchiefs are excellent choices. Or make a filet crochet sachet  or make an easy fleece sachet using our online instructions.
  3. Place potpourri in center of fabric. Gather fabric edges and secure with a rubber band or ribbon. For added interest, trim with silk flowers, lace, feathers, sequins or old costume jewelry. Tuck inside drawers and closets for fresh fragrance year-round.
  4. Make potpourri presentation boxes by recycling cardboard containers (any small box that once held gifts, jewelry, tea bags, coffee mix, loose face powder). Cover box and lidl with pretty wallpaper or floral fabric. Decorate with ribbon, lace, silk or dried flowers.
  5. Fill with potpourri and display in your home (or give away as gifts). Remove lid to allow sweet fragrance to waft through rooms.

Yield: Makes about 11-1/4 cups of potpourri

If you prefer a delicate jasmine fragrance, use the following ingredients to make Sweet Dreams Potpourri. Follow the directions above.

Sweet Dream Sachet Materials needed:

1/2  cup dried German chamomile flowers
1/2 cup dried jasmine blossoms
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
1 cup dried pink rosebuds and petals
1/2 cup dried spearmint leaves, whole
1/4 cup dried rosemary leaves, whole
1/2 cup dried bergamot leaves and flower petals
1 cup dried scented geranium leaves and flower petals
2 handfuls dried lemon verbena leaves, whole
1 tablespoon whole cloves, crush
1/2 cup orrisroot or calamus, cut
1/4 ounce jasmine oil

Yield: about 8-1/4 cups

DIY Calico Rose Potpourri designed by Vicki Fischer, Dixon, Iowa.
DIY Calico Rose Potpourri Photography by Reader’s Digest/GID.