DIY: Scented Seasonal Woodland Mix

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and I actually mean that – I absolutely love the festive season! One of my favourite things to do at this time of the year is to break out the festive crafts, it’s the best crafting time of year. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to get making yet this December, but one lovely thing that I have managed to do is help my mum to create these gorgeous seasonal pot pourri bags to sell at a Christmas market she was going to. How festive?! She’s shared all her top tips with me and I can’t wait to share them all with you today – let’s get into Christmas!

You will need | Bags or big Jars (We reused some bags we already had, but you can try and find compostable ones too!) | Christmassy Essential Oils | Permanent or Paint Pen | Pinecones | Fir tree trimmings | Leaves | Oranges (Limes, Apples or Lemons too!) | Twigs | Cinnamon Sticks | Cloves | General festive foliage!

The first thing to do is prepare all the lovely autumnal and winter bits and pieces that you’d like to include in your seasonal mix. You can see what we included in the ‘You will need’ section above, but the key thing for anything that you gather is that it needs to be dried. So, let’s take a look at how you can dry or prepare some of the key elements you might want to use!

Citrus Fruits – Oranges are best, but limes and lemons can look super lovely too and give a bit of variety of size and colour, which is great! You can also use apples, which you slice the whole way through and give a beautiful shape – right through the middle. To prepare your fruits, you’ll need to thinly slice them and give them a pat with some kitchen roll or a cloth to start to dry them out.

Next, lay them out on a lined baking tray, then pop them in oven at a very low heat for about 3 hours or more – you’ll have to keep checking them and turning them. Soon you’ll not only have a wonderful lot of oranges to go in your seasonal bags, but your house will smell amazing too – winning!

Pinecones – See what different sizes you can find on your next walk, you’ll be amazed at the variety and they smell great too! When you get home, give them a shake to make sure there’s nothing hiding in them and then pop them in a bowl or a box without a lid and put them in your airing cupboard for a few days. They’ll soon be dry as a bone!

Leaves – You’ll be able to get these on your festive walks too and you’ll find them easily. The best ones are the most colourful, your yellows and reds, but all shapes and sizes too! What you need to do is grab your leaves, pop them in an airing cupboard for just a few hours – then when they’re just about to start drying – put some paper between some heavy books, place the leaves inside and sandwich them. You want to use the books just like a flower press to press the leaves flat and dry and this’ll stop them from losing their shape and colour!

Twigs and festive foliage – There’s not much to be done to prepare these, just try and find some small nicely shaped twigs (fallen ones with lichen are beautiful) and some fallen pine needle bundles or snip some off a festive tree, if you have one in your garden. The twigs can just be left in a cool dry place to dry off, but the festive foliage can be kept fairly fresh to give that lovely christmas tree scent that we all love so much!

When everything is dry, pop it all in a big box together, along with the cinnamon sticks, cloves and anything else you’ve collected. Now add in about 10 cotton wool balls with 6 drops of essential oil on each. And with the rest of the essential oil, dilute with one tablespoon of water and spray over the mixture. Mix it all in with a metal spoon, pop on a lid and leave for a few days for it to soak up all the smells. Alternatively, the items themselves will all smell lovely themselves so if you don’t want to add essential oils, this isn’t …. well essential!

Now, all that’s left to do is to make up your little bags of festive scent! I wrote on each of ours before we filled them using a white paint pen and decorated them with a few seasonal snowflakes, but you could do any design! I love the idea of using jars and tying some reused ribbon and an orange slice or pinecone around the top. Let your imagination run wild and then get filling!

When filling it is great to start off with some pinecones in the centre and some foliage at the back (almost like a background) and to build up from there. Push your most attractive oranges or leaves down the side for a pop of colour and there you have it! The perfect winter gift this Christmas, or don’t bag it up at all and just pop it in a big bowl in your house to enjoy all December long.

What do you like to make at Christmas? Are you into festive crafting? In previous years, I’ve done lots of festive tutorials, so check out my seasonal section here to enjoy – one of my favourites is these personalised clay decorations from 2019!

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