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Thursday, 1 December 2011

Pot Pourri (Make Your Own)

It's the first day of December and the festive season is on the horizon. Christmas is coming, lots of lovely decorations are in the shops and now is the time to think about your coffee table centrepiece.

Pot pourri is something I love but I rarely purchase ready-made bags as I am not keen on the items used to bulk out the packages. If you too are not keen on wood shavings making up half of the contents of store-bought pot pourri, here are a few ideas to create your own mix.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Twiggy stars are a must-have. These can be found in either Hobby Craft or in large garden centres. Buy them in bags and have them all over your house in little bowls.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

A few glittery baubles add sparkle. Remember to snip off their hanging thread as it will get snagged on the other items and drive you potty.


Lots of lovely exotic seed heads can be bought online. Browse specialist websites offering craft botanicals.

http://www.daisygifts.co.uk/


These handmade straw starbursts were bought about 10 years ago from a local craft fair, held to raise funds for a village hall. Try to attend one charity fete or school's Christmas Bazaar as it keeps your community's wheels turning.


You could easily make these twiggy balls with ivy, honeysuckle or willow. Allow a fortnight to dry and tighten. They can be bought in bags of six, ten and so on. I have seen red ones in Sainsbury's, white ones in Morrison's and plain ones are in most garden centres and are not too expensive.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Star Anise. I love the smell of aniseed and it doesn't overpower the pot pourri once blended. It is readily available in all good supermarkets in the herbs and spices section.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Exotic seed pods. These were bought from a garden centre and can be found in bags of 10. Look in larger garden centres which have gift departments and a flower arranging section. You will find dried chillies, poppy heads and other lovely ingredients for your pot pourri which I have not photographed here.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Cinnamon bark can be bought in large pieces from a spice merchant or online. If you are lucky to live in a town with a huge Asian supermarket or specialist food store, they will definitely stock it as well as an array of amazing things which will make your pot pourri blend really smell fabulous. However, do not worry if you can't find it as I have included cinnamon sticks further on.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Dried exotic fruit slices can be found in luxury pot pourri so if you do choose to buy one or two bags from a store, to get your bowl started, look for unusual contents.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Dried limes. You can buy dried whole citrus fruits in nearly all of the retail outlets who have a Christmas section. These are limes but I left them on a window sill and the sun bleached their skins. It doesn't matter though, it's just one of those things :)

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

More exotic items which I have had so long, they are old friends. The great thing with good quality ingredients is that they last and last. You can add fragrance or essential oils as well as change the contents of your bowl as your feel.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Pretty little acorns still with their caps. The big frilly example is the result of a gall and it's too lovely to leave on the group.

*Tip: Pop acorns in the freezer for two days if you are worried about bugs and beetles.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Huge dried bean pods can also be found online from specialist sellers of dried flowers. Search for florists' suppliers or click the Daisy Gifts link I added earlier as their range is very good.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

These are furry husks and I have no idea from which fruit or nut tree they herald but they were bought in a mixed selection from Dunelm.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

These twiggy bundles were in the same box of pot pourri from Dunelm. Look in their section near the candles. However, they are so simple to make if you wanted to try. You will need secateurs, rubber bands and garden twine.

Simple gather sausage-sized bundles of tiny twigs, secure with a rubber band and trim the ends. Take your twine or raffia and tie to hide the rubber band. Allow a few weeks for the twigs to dry out.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Good old fashioned basics such as (uncracked) whole walnuts and whole Brazil nuts. You only need a handful of each and if the children want to get involved, let them paint the nuts gold. It adds a lovely touch and a dash of gold gives the bowl colour dimension.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

American corn can be found online. This example is only as long as my longest finger - if that helps! - so make sure you don't accidentally order cobs which are the size of cucumbers because they won't fit in your bowl. You will only need 2 or 3 of the baby corn as they are a statement ingredient due to their delicious colouring.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Cinnamon sticks are also readily available in the same location as the star anise I mentioned earlier. If you wanted to make a few matching decorations for your tree, take four sticks and tie with pretty ribbon. Loose sticks in the pot pourri are fine and you can easily add cinnamon essential oil to the inside of the sticks throughout the season.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Another pair of exotic seed heads which are the most amazing pigeon-blood red. These come out every year as they bring both colour and texture to my bowl of pot pourri.

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

I thought I would show you a different pine cone on this post. These are just fabulous and I am smitten with the fact that they nearly all fall off the tree with their stems intact. If you like pine cones as much as I do, why not go collecting this weekend and make yourself a pine cone garland. Full instructions can be found here:

http://lellalovescreativity.blogspot.com/2011/11/pine-cone-fireplace-garland.html

http://lellalovescreativity.blogspot.com/2011/11/pine-cone-fireplace-garland-part-2.html

Lella Loves... Pot Pourri

Primitive decorations such as these rusty punched-metal mittens can be bought online from the USA. There are seasonal markets in every major city, lined with stalls filled with handmade delights and they are well worth a visit.

I mentioned it earlier but please do look for unusual items for your pot pourri to give it your own style. I might use too many dried limes and be obsessed with pine cones but there are no rules on what you choose.

Have a lovely day,

Lella  xx

http://lellalovescreativity.blogspot.com

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