I cannot believe how great this stuff ended up smelling. I just added a few ingredients to it. It is so easy to make - Little Guy pretty much did it all himself! Just make sure that you have the whole family save their orange peels!
Orange Spice Potpourri
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Whole Allspice
- Whole Cloves
- Peels from Oranges
- Bay Leaves
- Pine cones or Wood shavings (from untreated wood!),
- Orange or Citrus Essential Oil
Next, I used Clementines. Little Guy can peel them by himself and the peels are very thin, they dry very quickly. I kept a bowl near the trash can and told everyone to put their peels into it. Little Guy's job, before bed, was to tear the peels into small pieces (about 1/2" X 1/2"). Then, we spread them onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and popped them into the oven. We have a pilot light that is on all of the time, so the little bit of heat generated by it helped dry the peels overnight. If you don't have a pilot light, try setting the sheet near a heating vent or anywhere that the air circulates.
You don't have to go collecting pine cones and wood shavings like we did. I just wanted to be able to bulk up my batch of potpourri so I could give out more and use less spices (they might have been bought at the dollar store, but the cost does add up, anyway!) We had a friend save his shavings for us. Since we had a lot of time before having to give the gifts, We mixed up a little food coloring into warm water and added the shavings. I let them sit for a couple of hours, then drained and spread onto a cookie sheet. I was worried about the orange scent being overpowered by the spices, so I shook a little bit of the essential oil onto the still wet shavings then put them into the oven to dry. They took about 24 hours, and I used my hand to turn them over a few times so they'd dry all over.It added a little extra color and extra scent to the mix.
Now, I didn't give any measurements because there really aren't any. I used about 8 cinnamon sticks. I had to get out a hammer and gently hit them so I could break them into 1/2" to 1" pieces. I used one jar of cloves (0.62 oz, I think), and the same amount of allspice. I think we had the peels from a dozen clementines (they shrink a ton when they dry!) and around 1 1/2 c. of wood shavings. I dumped it all into a bowl and Little Guy used a wooden spoon, then his hands, to mix it all together.
We wanted to have enough potpourri to give to ten people, so we put about 1/2 cup (eyeballed it) into a sandwich bag, then tied closed with a pretty ribbon. The potpourri smell good enough to just set in a bowl. When it stops being "smelly", just put a tablespoon or two into a mug filled about halfway with water and microwave for 45 to 60 seconds. Mmmm!
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