Every year I like to encourage the kids to hand make something for their Godparents and teachers. I’m fairly sure the teachers, in particular, would prefer a nice bottle of red, but hand making stuff at Christmas gives me a warm, festive glow.
This year’s crafty gift idea has been unashamedly robbed from my BFF Sara, who is not only one of the most creative people I know, her house is so beautifully and artistically adorned for Christmas it wouldn’t look out of place on the central pages of the Christmas edition of Ideal Home magazine.
So, this is how my kids and I made our Christmas Potpourri.
You will need:
- Oranges, cloves and cinnamon sticks
- Essential oils – I used cinnamon and orange
- Pine cones (if you forage for them make sure they are clean, dry and have no creepy crawlies in them! Baking them in the oven on a low heat should sort them out). I also used some wooden stars that I found in my local craft shop, but you could use artificial red berries or whatever you fancy.
- Raffia ribbon, string or ribbon
- Cellophane sweetie bags (or mason jars, as used by Sara!)
- Medium sized zip lock freezer bags
Get small people to fill freezer bags with pine cones and then ask them to liberally add drops of cinnamon essential oil into the bags, add the cinnamon sticks then seal them.
Pop your wooden stars into a separate freezer bag, add the cloves and seal.
Now, onto the oranges. Slice your oranges to about 5mm thick, then blot as much juice as you can from them.
Arrange all your orange slices on racks in the preheated oven and bake on a low heat of 100c or gas mark ¼ for 2-3 hours.
You will need to keep an eye on them, and turn them occasionally. If you see any starting to go brown take them out as they can catch even at this low heat. Opening the oven every now and again helps to release some of the moisture trapped in too. The smell is quite gorgeous! When they look dry and have turned golden, it’s time to take them out and let them cool.
When you remove your slices, if they still have any moisture in them, pop them on the radiator for a few hours and that should sort them out.
When the oranges are cool, pop them in a freezer bag, add the orange essential oil and seal.
Leave all the freezer bags closed for a few days, to let the oils sink in.
When you are ready to assemble, get your helpers to simply pop a handful of pine cones, a cinnamon stick, some wooden stars, a pinch of cloves and a couple of orange segments into a bag or jar. You might want to add a couple more drops of oil just to give it a bit more fragrance, then tie up with the raffia or ribbon.
Then, add your gift tag and TAADAA! A lovely, festive, fragrant, handmade gift to give to the special people in your lives. And your house smells divine to boot!
With love and seasonal smells,