How to Decorate With Potpourri

Potpourri isn’t just a blend of dried petals and spices; it’s an art that infuses your living spaces with warmth and an inviting fragrance. With an array of colors, textures, and aromas, potpourri adds a touch of elegance to any room while also appealing to our senses.

How to Decorate With Potpourri

In this introduction on how to decorate with potpourri, we’ll explore the origins of potpourri, its decorative and aromatic qualities, and the variety of ways it can enhance the ambiance of your home. It’s time to add a new sensory experience to your decor!

Origin and History of Potpourri

The word potpourri comes from the French language, meaning “rotten pot” or “mixture.” It was originally used to describe a type of stew made with various meats and vegetables. However, in the 17th century, potpourri became associated with dried flowers and herbs that were used to freshen up rooms and mask unpleasant odors.

Potpourri gained popularity in France and England during the Renaissance period as a way to scent clothing and linens. It was also believed to have medicinal properties and was often used for aromatherapy purposes. Over time, potpourri evolved into a decorative element, with its use spreading across Europe and making its way to the Americas. Today, potpourri is enjoyed worldwide in different forms and fragrances.

Definition and Components of Traditional Potpourri

Traditionally, potpourri is a blend of dried flowers, herbs, spices, and essential oils. The ingredients are carefully selected to create a harmonious mix of colors, textures, and scents. Dried petals from roses, lavender, jasmine or carnations are commonly used as the base for potpourri. These are then combined with fragrant herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage and spices like cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg. Essential oils are added to enhance the fragrance and extend the longevity of the potpourri. The ingredients are then mixed and left to sit in a cool, dry place for several weeks before being displayed.

Used to Describe a Type of Stew

Decorative and Aromatic Qualities of Potpourri

The appeal of potpourri lies in its decorative and aromatic qualities. As a decor item, it adds a natural touch to any room, bringing in the beauty of nature indoors. The blend of colors and textures creates a visually pleasing display, making potpourri a versatile element that can be used in any interior style.

Potpourri’s aromatic qualities are equally important as its decorative appeal. It infuses the room with a subtle yet inviting fragrance that adds to the overall ambiance of the space. Different scents can evoke different moods or emotions, making potpourri an excellent tool for creating a specific atmosphere in your home. For example, lavender potpourri can promote relaxation and calmness, while citrus-based potpourri can energize and uplift the mood.

Choosing the Right Potpourri for Decoration

When choosing potpourri for decoration, consider the style and color scheme of your room. For a more traditional or vintage look, opt for potpourri with dried flowers and herbs in muted tones like deep reds, purples, and greens. For a more modern or minimalist space, choose potpourri with simpler ingredients in neutral colors like white, cream, or beige.

Another factor to consider is the fragrance of the potpourri. As mentioned earlier, different scents can create different moods or evoke different emotions. Choose a scent that aligns with the purpose of the room and complements other fragrances in the space. For example, if your living room has a strong citrus-scented candle, choose potpourri with a similar scent to create an overall cohesive aroma.

Create a Harmonious Mix of Colors

Gathering Materials and Tools

Making potpourri at home can be a fun and creative project. To start, gather all the necessary materials and tools, including:

  • Dried Flowers and Herbs From Your Garden or Local Craft Store
  • Spices Such as Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise, or Cloves
  • Essential Oils in Your Preferred Fragrance
  • A Large Mixing Bowl
  • Airtight Container for Storing the Potpourri
  • Decorative Glass Jars or Bowls for Displaying the Finished Product. 

Once you have all the materials, it’s time to get creative and start mixing!

10 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Decorate With Potpourri

Step 1: Choose a Base for Your Potpourri

This can be dried flower petals, herbs, or even dried fruits like orange slices. Choose a base that complements the colors and scents you are using. The base will also act as a filler for your potpourri, so make sure to choose enough to fill your container of choice. It’s best to have a variety of shapes and sizes for added texture. But be careful not to choose too many large pieces, as they can overpower the scent. The base should be about 50% of your overall potpourri mix. It is a good idea to crush or break up larger pieces into smaller ones so that they mix better with the other ingredients.

Step 2: Collect Your Ingredients

Gather your dried flowers, herbs, spices, and essential oils. You can also add small decorative items like pine cones, dried leaves, or miniature figurines. Be creative and choose ingredients that align with your color scheme and scent preferences. You can also add dried fruits like apple slices or cranberries for added texture and visual interest. This step is where you can really customize your potpourri to fit your personal style and taste. You will want these ingredients to make up about 25% of your overall mix. The remaining 25% will be essential oils.

Step 3: Mix Your Ingredients

It Adds a Natural Touch to Any Room

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dried flower petals, herbs, spices, and any other decorative items. Gently mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon. Be careful not to crush the dried flowers or herbs too much, as this can decrease their fragrance. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. It’s okay if there are a few larger pieces, as they can add visual interest to the final product. But make sure the mix is mostly small and evenly sized pieces. You can also add in more essential oils at this step if you want a stronger scent. The amount of essential oils you use will depend on personal preference and the strength of the oils.

Step 4: Add Essential Oils

Using a dropper or small spoon, add a few drops of your chosen essential oils to the potpourri mix. Start with a small amount and add more if necessary. The essential oils will not only add fragrance but also help preserve the mixture and extend its longevity. Make sure to distribute the essential oils evenly throughout the mix so every ingredient is coated. Otherwise, some pieces may have a stronger scent than others. It’s recommended to use about 10-12 drops of essential oil for every cup of potpourri mix. But you can adjust this amount depending on your preference. The more essential oils you add, the stronger the fragrance will be.

Step 5: Mix Again

After adding the essential oils, mix the ingredients again to ensure even distribution and to activate the scents. The fragrance should be noticeable but not overpowering. If you feel like the scent is too strong, you can add more of the base ingredients to tone it down. If the scent is not strong enough, add a few more drops of essential oils. The strength of the fragrance can also depend on the type and quality of essential oils used. It’s a good idea to use high-quality oils for the best results. You can also mix different scents together to create a unique blend. It’s all up to personal preference and experimentation.

Step 6: Let it Sit

Mix Until All Ingredients Are Evenly Distributed

Once you are satisfied with the scent and mix, let it sit for a few hours or overnight. This will allow the essential oil to fully infuse the other ingredients and create a stronger aroma. You can also cover the mixing bowl with a clean cloth or dish towel to help trap the scents. It’s important to let the potpourri sit before placing it in a container for storage or display. You can also add more essential oils after it has been sitting if you feel like the scent is still not strong enough. It is best to do this in small increments to avoid overpowering the potpourri. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the scent will become.

Step 7: Prepare Your Container

While waiting for the potpourri to infuse, prepare your container for display. Make sure it is clean and dry before adding the potpourri mix. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the bottom of the container to intensify the scent. This will also help preserve the potpourri and extend its lifespan. If using a decorative bowl or jar, consider adding a layer of moss or other natural elements to create an attractive base for the potpourri. Although not necessary, this can add another layer of visual interest to your display. The container should be about 25% of the overall potpourri mix.

Step 8: Add Your Potpourri Mix

Once your container is ready, add the potpourri mix. Use your hands or a spoon to arrange the ingredients and create a visually appealing mix. You may want to add more essential oils at this point if you feel like the scent has dissipated during the waiting period. The potpourri should fill up about 75% of the container, leaving enough room for air circulation. It’s important not to compact the potpourri too tightly, as it needs airflow to release its fragrance. The remaining 25% should be left for decorative elements.

Step 9: Decorate Your Container

After adding the potpourri, you can add some final decorative touches to your container. This can be anything from ribbons and bows to small figurines or dried flowers. Get creative and choose embellishments that complement the colors and scents of your potpourri. You can also add a label or tag with the name of the scent or any other personalized details. It’s also a good idea to add a few drops of essential oils on top of the potpourri before sealing the container to intensify the scent. This will also help preserve the potpourri for a longer period.

Consider the Style and Color Scheme of Your Room

Step 10: Display Your Potpourri

Now that everything is ready, it’s time to display your beautiful potpourri creation. You can place it in a prominent area of your home, such as a coffee table or entryway table, where it will be seen and appreciated by guests. Make sure to periodically give the potpourri a gentle stir or shake to reactivate the scents. With this simple guide, you can create endless variations of potpourri mixes to suit any occasion or style. Enjoy the delightful fragrance and visual appeal of your homemade potpourri!

Following these steps on how to decorate with potpourri, you can create endless variations of potpourri mixes to suit any occasion or style. Have fun experimenting with different ingredients, scents, and decorative elements to make your own unique blend. You can also give homemade potpourri as gifts for special occasions or use it in natural household cleaners and sachets. The possibilities are endless, and you can continue to customize your potpourri with each batch you make.

How Much Will It Cost?

Making your own potpourri is an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to purchasing expensive store-bought options. The cost will vary depending on the ingredients you choose, but in general, it is much cheaper to make your own potpourri than buying pre-made blends. Plus, you can save money by using leftover herbs, spices, and flowers from your garden or kitchen. It’s also a great way to repurpose old or broken decorative items by incorporating them into your potpourri display. It’s a win-win situation for both your wallet and the environment. Have fun creating your own potpourri and enjoy the benefits of a natural, long-lasting fragrance in your home. 

Additional Tips

  • Store your potpourri in a tightly sealed container to preserve its fragrance and prevent it from getting dusty.
  • Place a few drops of essential oils on the top of the potpourri every few weeks to refresh the scent.
  • Use dried citrus slices or cinnamon sticks as decorative elements for a festive touch during the holidays.
  • If you want a more budget-friendly option, you can use dried herbs and spices instead of essential oils for fragrance.
  • Avoid placing potpourri in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as it can cause the ingredients to dry out and lose their scent.
  • Have fun and get creative with your potpourri mix, experimenting with different scents and decorative elements to create your own unique blend. 
The Base Will Also Act as a Filler

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: How Long Will Homemade Potpourri Last?

A: Homemade potpourri can last for several months if stored properly, i.e., in an airtight container away from direct sunlight and heat. You can also refresh the scent by adding more essential oils as needed. The strength of the fragrance may diminish over time, but you can always add more to revitalize it.

Q2: Can I Use Fresh Flowers and Plants in My Potpourri?

A: Yes, you can use fresh flowers and plants in your potpourri mix, but they may not last as long as dried ingredients. You may need to replace them more frequently, and they may also cause the potpourri to spoil faster. It’s best to use dried flowers and plants for longer-lasting potpourri.

Q3: Can I Use Artificial Fragrances Instead of Essential Oils?

A: Yes, you can use artificial fragrances in your potpourri mix, but keep in mind that they may not have the same benefits as essential oils. Artificial fragrances are made with synthetic chemicals, whereas essential oils are derived from natural plant sources. It’s important to use high-quality, pure essential oils for the best results and benefits.

Q4: Can I Customize My Potpourri Mix for Different Seasons?

A: Absolutely! You can customize your potpourri mix based on the season or occasion. For example, you can use citrus and floral scents for spring and summer, while warm and spicy scents are perfect for fall and winter. You can also add seasonal elements like pinecones, dried leaves, or cinnamon sticks to enhance the overall look and scent of your potpourri. 

Use High-quality Oils For the Best Results


Creating your own potpourri is not only a delightful way to bring a touch of nature’s beauty into your home, but it’s also a fun and creative hobby that can be personalized to reflect your style and preferences. With the guidance on how to decorate with potpourri provided in the previous steps, you have learned how to select a harmonious blend of aromatic ingredients, design a visually appealing mix, and effectively use essential oils to achieve lasting fragrances.

Whether you are aiming to enhance your living space, craft thoughtful handmade gifts, or simply enjoy the crafting process, the art of potpourri-making can be a deeply satisfying and enjoyable experience. Remember that the key to exquisite potpourri lies in experimentation and personalization—so let your imagination run wild and revel in the sensory delight of your very own potpourri creations.  So, go ahead and try your hand at making potpourri today!  Happy crafting!

Leave a Comment