Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY Upcycled Christmas Tree Potpourri

At the start of the year, I made this easy natural potpourri using upcycled bits of my Christmas tree (collected before composting the rest of it) along with other seasonal kitchen scraps and spices. You can get a head start making Christmas tree potpourri by collecting scraps from a tree salesman or using the bits that will inevitably fall off your tree as you transport it into your home.

This recipe makes a small batch of potpourri (about a quart). Triple or quadruple the recipe and put into vintage-feeling mason jars to make fantastic holiday hostess gifts.

You'll need:
  • two branches from a small Christmas tree
  • dried clementine, orange, and/or tangerine peel (Hang peels to dry or just leave on the counter for a few days. I know from experience that both work equally well!)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • a small palm full of whole cloves
  • 2 cotton balls or pads
  • lemon essential oil
  • pine or cedar essential oil (I actually used Wondercide, a cedar oil natural insect repellant. It was great to get some off-season use for it!)
  • medium brown paper bag 

Do this:
  1. Break branches into smaller pieces, 1" to 3" long, and toss into a brown paper bag. It's fine to use needles that have fallen off the branch too.
  2. Break citrus peels into small bits and toss into bag.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves to bag.
  4. Put three drops of lemon essential oil on a cotton ball.
  5. Put three drops of pine or cedar oil on a cotton ball.
  6. Toss cotton balls into the bag.
  7. Shake the bag.
  8. Put into an airtight container and leave it alone for one week.
  9. Enjoy at your leisure. It should remain fragrant for at least a year if stored in an airtight container.

To enjoy:
Remove cotton balls. Put a bowl or open jar of the potpourri in a room you'd like to smell festive. Garnish with a found pine cone and some acorns if you're feeling fancy. This air freshener is free of artificial fragrances, technically edible (don't eat it though), and completely safe to use around kids and pets.

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Wanna keep nerding out about creative green living? Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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  1. This looks AWESOME. Thank you, Olivia. I can't wait to gather some things this weekend and try it out!

  2. So glad you're gonna do it. Lemme know how you like it. In my opinion, it's like Christmas in a jar.

  3. OK! I made it. It was really fun gathering some pine this weekend (and then gathering things from my cabinets). I love it! It smells great and it is beautiful. I'm excited to have it around. Right now it's spicing up the area around my computer. :-)

  4. Woo hoo! That's such a good place for it. I'm gonna move a jar to my desk too. thanks for the idea!

  5. This looks great! Will the branches from the Christmas tree turn brown eventually?

  6. my pine branches were still pretty green a year later. (the top picture is year-old potpourri, the bottom photo was taken thre day i cut the branches) it's kinda weird that they we're still green now that you mention it.



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