The first step in making your own potpourri is collecting the necessary plants from your garden. Select blossoms, petals, and herbs of your choosing, but keep in mind that color and texture are more important elements than their actual fragrance. The scent of your potpourri will be primarily attributed to whatever essential oils you add to the assortment later on.
If you wish to lend added texture to your potpourri mix, you can forage in the woods for seedpods, evergreen cones, or berries of your choosing. Remember to collect more material than you think you need, as plants will shrink as they dry. Dry these materials on a newspaper or screen after collecting. After about a week they should be crisp to the touch, and ready for use. If you are not ready to make your potpourri by the time they’ve dried or have an excess of material, store the petals in an airtight jar.
Once you have your plant materials, you will need to select an essential oil and a fixative, which will accentuate and extend the life of the potpourri’s scent. A popular fixative choice is orrisroot, which is available at most craft stores in the form of small crystals or a powder. When it is time to actually make your potpourri, stir your fixative and essential oil in a glass jar. After stirring thoroughly, set the mixture aside to blend for several days.
For every cup of dried plant material, you should use 1-2 tablespoons of fixative and 6 drops of essential oil. Then, place your dried plants in a large plastic bag and add the fixative and oil mixture. Shake thoroughly and allow the potpourri to sit in the bag for two to three weeks. The potpourri should then be ready to use. If the scent fades, throw the mixture back in the bag and add a few more drops of oil. After a few days, it should regain its scent.