How To Make Potpourri Using Dry Flowers And Herbs

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Homemade potpourri is a cinch to make! Learn how to make potpourri yourself using dried flowers and herbs right from your own garden.


One of my greatest joys is my flower garden! I grow an enormous variety of flowers each year. 

Every week through the growing season, I cut fresh flowers and make bouquets to bring pieces of my garden indoors. I love having their beauty, scent, and that little touch of nature’s very best close by inside my home.

Similarly, every year a part of me dreads watching my flower plants die at the end of the growing season. Several years ago, that same dread motivated me to learn how to take my blooms at the end of the season and make homemade potpourri!

Dried flowers and herbs in jars on a wooden tabletop framed with hanging dried colourful flower bundles.

Potpourri: What is it?

Originating in France, potpourri began as people hanging dried flowers in bowls in their houses. Now, it’s a mixture of dried flowers, herbs, fruits, pods, spices, and essential oils. People display it in bowls to add beauty and fragrance to their homes.   


Homemade Potpourri vs. Store-Bought

Store-bought potpourri is expensive and often loses its scent faster than I would like it to. I have also found that store-bought varieties often don’t contain the types of flower or filler combinations that I prefer.

Learning how to make potpourri at home is extremely simple, and it allows me to turn a depressing ending into a special and one-of-a-kind beginning!

By drying my dying blooms, herbs, fruits, and pods, I can create fragrant and beautiful potpourri that’s unique to my beloved garden.

Rose potpourri in a small wooden covered bowl against a rustic white wooden table top.

Items You’ll Need To Make Homemade Potpourri

Make sure to have these items on hand when you want to make potpourri.

  • Dried flowers and herbs.
  • Spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, vanilla beans)
  • Dried fruits or apple, orange, or lemon peels (optional)
  • Seed pots such as pine cones, rose hips, or sweet gum balls (optional)
  • Sealable container
  • Essential oils or fragrance oils (rose, lavender, lemon, bergamot, geranium, sweet orange, wisteria, cinnamon, etc)
  • Orris root powder (or Vetiver root)
Making potpourri with dried flowers, herbs, spices and organic materials.

How To Make Potpourri From Items In Your Garden

The process for making homemade potpourri is simple and straightforward.


Step 1

Choose the flowers, herbs, spices, and anything else you want to include in your mixture. You can use any flower you want!

I’m partial to the ones with strong fragrances, such as roses and other flowers with individual petals. I even like flowers that have entire heads to dry and use. But, I guess I’m too not picky when it comes to preserving my garden through the winter months.


Step 2

Dry your flowers and herbs using your favorite drying method. I personally prefer to use the air drying or dehydrator methods when drying flowers that I want to use in potpourri.

Note: Once they’re dried, your flowers will be dry and crumbly to the touch, so handle with care!


Step 3

Place your dried items into a container that you can seal. The fragile petals may crumble just a little, but that’s normal. Don’t worry about how this container looks because it’s not what you’ll use to display the finished product.


Step 4

Add essential oil to your dried items. That’s what’s going to make your potpourri smell so fragrant. Pick a scent that either enhances the fragrances from your dried petals or a scent that complements the fragrance.


Step 5

Seal the container and let it sit for 2-4 weeks. The essential oils will soak into the dried flowers and make them smell more fragrant. Don’t open the container until you want to use the homemade potpourri.


Step 6

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of orris root powder (or Vetiver root) over your potpourri and shake it up. It will act as a fixative to prevent the essential oil from evaporating so that your mixture smells amazing even longer.


Step 7

Arrange your homemade potpourri in a decorative shallow bowl or jar to display or add it to sachet bags to put into drawers, closets, or give as gifts!


How To Restore Scent To Potpourri

You can expect your homemade potpourri to keep its fragrance for around 2 months. After that, you’ll likely notice that you can’t smell it as much.

It’s easy to restore the scent by adding more essential oils.

Dried rose flower buds and flowers in glass jars.

Here’s What I recommend:

  • Don’t use metal bowls, containers, or utensils when making potpourri. They can have a tendency to react with the oils and ingredients and change the scent. Instead of metal, I suggest using glass, ceramic, or wood.
  • If you want to enjoy your homemade potpourri in other ways, try adding it to sachet bags and tucking it into drawers, bags, closets, storage cabinets, pillowcases, and anywhere else you want to enjoy the scent.

Different Potpourri Variations To Try

Feel free to get creative when mixing ingredients together!

Add the things you like so that you’ll love the final product. For example, if you enjoy flower petals, go heavy on those and add a few other favorites as fillers for visual interest.

Here are a few ideas of combinations you can make to spur your creativity.


Fruity Potpourri

Mix any combination of dried:

  • Apple slices
  • Orange slices 
  • Lemon slices 
  • Apple peels 
  • Orange peels 
  • Lemon peels
  • Cinnamon, cloves, or vanilla

Dried orange slices against a bright white table top.

Floral Potpourri

Try any combination of dried:

Jar of floral potpourri against a bright white background.

Spicy Potpourri

Mix any combination of dried:

  • Flower petals 
  • Orange peels
  • Apple peels
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Allspice
  • Bayleaf

Spicy potpourri in a glass jar against a rustic wooden backdrop.

Winter Potpourri

Try a combination of any of these dried:

  • Pine needles
  • Pinecones
  • Sweet gumballs
  • Peony petals
  • Rosehips
  • Star anise

Winter potpourri with pine needles, pinecones,  cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Ever since I tried making my own homemade potpourri, I’ve never bought a pre-made mix again. Creating your own DIY potpourri is just so affordable, easy, and customizable, why not try it? It’s a wonderful way to preserve your flower garden long after the growing season comes to an end!


More From Little Yellow Wheelbarrow


How To Make Potpourri Using Dry Flowers And Herbs

How To Make Potpourri Using Dry Flowers And Herbs

Yield: As much as you want!
Active Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 20 minutes
Estimated Cost: $15

Materials

  • Dried flowers and herbs
  • Spices (cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, vanilla beans)
  • Dried fruits or apple, orange, or lemon peels (optional)
  • Seed pots such as pine cones, rose hips, or sweet gum balls (optional)
  • Sealable container
  • Essential oils or fragrance oils (rose, lavender, lemon, bergamot, geranium, sweet orange, wisteria, cinnamon, etc)
  • Orris root powder (or Vetiver root)

Instructions

Step 1

    1. Dry your flowers and herbs using your favorite drying method. I personally prefer to use the air drying or dehydrator methods when drying flowers that I want to use in potpourri.


    Step 2

    1. Note: Once they’re dried, your flowers will be dry and crumbly to the touch, so handle with care!

    Step 3

    1. Place your dried items into a container that you can seal. The fragile petals may crumble just a little, but that’s normal. Don’t worry about how this container looks because it’s not what you’ll use to display the finished product.

    Step 4

    1. Add essential oil to your dried items. That’s what's going to make your potpourri smell so fragrant. Pick a scent that either enhances the fragrances from your dried petals or a scent that complements the fragrance.

    Step 5


    1. Seal the container and let it sit for 2-4 weeks. The essential oils will soak into the dried flowers and make them smell more fragrant. Don’t open the container until you want to use the homemade potpourri.

    Step 6

    1. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of orris root powder (or Vetiver root) over your potpourri and shake it up. It will act as a fixative to prevent the essential oil from evaporating so that your mixture smells amazing even longer.

    Step 7

    1. Arrange your homemade potpourri in a decorative shallow bowl or jar to display or add it to sachet bags to put into drawers, closets, or give as gifts!

    Notes

    * Time frame for creating your own potpourri will depend on if you are using pre dried flowers or making your own.

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