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Canning Day Quilt

One Gift- Three Ways

Several people commented or emailed asking for ideas on how I package the Stove Top Potpourri to give as a gift.

Here’s a few ideas:

A decorative Chinese takeout box makes a perfect container for giving stove top potpourri.

The box is just the right size and I never get tired of their charm.  All it needs is bow on top and a tag on top with instructions and it’s good to go.

How about the great new boxes with a window?  I love how they look with potpourri inside.  I also love them with a stack of cookies.  Yum!  Martha Stewart sells them at Michael’s.  This box is from American Crafts (Yeah!  I got it on their sale!)  And all it needs a tag.

Last but not least: An inexpensive cellophane bag with a bow.  I love how the green stripes of this bag matches wonderfully with the orange inside and the red ribbon.  I’ve printed and punched out the instructions using my favorite 2″ Scalloped Punch.  Then tie it up with a bow.  I also added a few jingle bells on the tag string for fun.

If you’d like to use the document I created to punch out my instructions, here it is.  I put as many instructions to a page that I could fit, since I was making 70 bags of potpourri.  I used a paper trimmer to cut columns and then punch, punch punch them out.  I used a Small Hole Punch at the top of the tag so I could string it on my gift tag.

Just a little word about tools:  I am not big on having lots and lots of tools and gadgets- either in the kitchen or my craft space.  I have a few hard working craft tools that I use A LOT.  My 2″ scallop punch, my 2″ round punch, my small hole punch, and my paper trimmer are at the top of my list for hard-working, indispensable paper tools.

As for the Stove Top Potpourri, the holidays always arrive with a pot on my stove.  My home has smelled like heaven all weekend long… and the same pot of potpourri will last for weeks.  Yes it does turn dark and mucky looking, but it continues to smell heavenly.

Stovetop potpourri is a gem of a gift that costs very little to make and will be appreciated throughout the Season.

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72 Responses to “One Gift- Three Ways”

  • Alexa:

    On the original post, someone commented about putting the cranberries and oranges in their dehydrator to make it non-perishable. Which led me to think of packing it in a mesh bag (check the jewelry section of the craft store) and hanging it in the car. Which then leads to sweeping up pine needles and doing the same.

  • I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea :)

    I was wondering too about packing fresh cranberries and oranges but I see the comment above mentions dehydrating them first — good idea :)

  • Linda:

    Thanks for the great idea!! They are darling!

  • Great idea! Thanks! Where did you end up finding the cinnamon sticks? I can’t find them anywhere.

  • You have the best ideas! Love them all.

  • I just tried this out and it’s amazing! Smells wonderful! I’m going to give this as gifts as well… I was wondering, if I make up the mix and packages this week, how long will it stay good? Should I store in the refrigerator until I give? I’m just not sure how long the oranges & cranberries will be good – I don’t want to give a mushy bag of fruit as a gift!

    • Calli:

      Hi Marcie, I made some up last week and one is still in my refrigerator. It is holding up nicely. It is important to use fresh, firm cranberries and orange. Then store them in the refrigerator until you give them away. I would only keep them that way for 5 days or so just to be on the safe side. cheers, Calli

  • Sueb:

    Thank you. I get very ill from most smells – I’ve ended up in hospital because someone decided to wear perfume knowing I was allergic. So, this is just awesome because I can actually tolerate it. Another big plus for your post :-)

  • Kimberly:

    I’ve got some of this going on my stove right now and it smells amazing! I’m wondering, when I turn it off and it cools, do I need to store it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to warm it again or will it sit ok on in the pan on the cold stove top? Thanks!

    • Calli:

      I just keep it on the stove in the pot… but the heat is on under it often in the day and our home is very cool at night in December. It’s never turned moldy or anything bad like that. It does turn very dark over a few weeks, but continues to smell wonderful.

  • I made some of this yesterday and now my house smells wonderful. I am going to follow your suggestion and give it for gifts to a few friends who have diabetes.

  • Chris:

    Love your idea & cute presentation. How do you type on the labels?

  • Jame R.:

    Can you use dried orange peel instead?

  • Janice:

    Could you put it in a small slow cooker? I feel like the water might evaporate more slowly….

    • Calli:

      I don’t own a slow cooker, but I’ve thought a small one would be perfect for the potpourri.

    • Donna:

      I have a small pot that is like a slow cooker but specially for potpourri. I do refer this over the stove top. I think I picked this up at Walmart for around $5

  • Patty:

    Since I have a gas stove I use a small crock pot to simmer mine, works great and has an on/off switch, another ingredient I add to mine is Cardamom…

  • Lynne:

    I have been doing this since my children were very small,(30 years or more) and they have grown to love the fragrance. You can also add a teas of vanilla (real) to the water and it adds more of a cake like smell to the other,like some delicious delight is in the oven cooking!

  • Where I work my residents will love this,and I also know wht my co-workers are getting,this saved my running all over to see what to buy.
    Thanks Pat ( UNIQUE JEWELRY )

  • I just wanted to add if you want less monitoring, I put my potpourri in a baby-sized “Crockpot”. I love the smell and you can save money on this too! I get a lot of the spices on sale at Rural King! Thanks for sharing.

  • Deanna:

    First off, this sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to make it for home. Second I’m def making it for gifts. I have one of those “wax warmers” similar to the Scentsy kind. They have a small bowl to melt the wax in at a low temp. Do you think that this would work in there? It’s lower heat than crockpot. Thanks for your time and wonderful idea. We are a one income family and I need to budget a lot but hate giving super cheap gifts. I love homemade gifts that people would really love to get.

    • Calli:

      I don’t have a wax warmer (or a mini crockpot) to try it, but the scent is created because the ingredients are warmed… so I think it should work.

  • Can I make this adding some sort of pine or cedar? I love “The Smell of Christmas”, and it has some sort of greenery. Can I add something, and how much? Thanks. Terry

  • I might add that I’m on a limited budget this year, and I am also going to make gifts of this. It sounds wonderful! This season, I just can’t afford the store bought potpourri I mentioned. Thanks again. Terry

  • Karen:

    Has anyone tried this with dehydrated fruit? Just wondering if I could package it early to give as a gift?

  • Have you ever made this in a tea kettle with a removable lid? That could take care of how ugly it starts to look? Or maybe I’m missing some important detail for which you’d want to have an open pot? Im trying to figure out what to suggest when I hand out gifts?

  • Rachel:

    For gifts, could you bottle them ready made in mason jars.. would they turn brown?…thanks for the wonderful idea!!!

  • Linda:

    I am in Florida and our Publix has a ton of spices in the ethnic section, Badia brand, they are so much less expensive than the McCormick or even the Publix brand. I use them all the time and they have larger quantities sometimes than are found in the regular spice section. I am gonna make some of this right away, ready for the scent of the season!

  • Jen K:

    I have this on my stove right now, thank you!

    Just a tip for everyone, I found the cloves and the cinnamon sticks in the Hispanic spices section of Walmart. Four large cinnamon sticks were only 99 cents and the cloves were the save. WAY cheaper than the regular spice section!

  • Gail B:

    If I use a small crockpot…how much liquid should I use?

    • Calli:

      Fill your pot as full as you can without having it overflow. It will evaporate with the heat, so be sure to check and add liquid everyday.

  • Maria:

    Not crazy about leaving a pot on the stove all the time. Have you ever stored in the fridge in a container when not in use?

  • Jodie Holiday:

    Can you substitute a lemon for the orange?

  • Shirley Salo:

    This is a wonderful idea for next year’s craft show. How about using one of those little simmer pots that we plugged in for potpourri? I think I have one around here somewhere and it would work better if you used orange peel and made your mix a bit smaller.

  • I love this….we used to make this from Oct to Jam..you have made it soooo easy to know how much…we always ..just guessed at it..thanks soooo much

  • eleneida:

    I have seen this for the longest and I decided to try it today. Due to the fact that sometimes I leave the house, I would not leave my stove on. I used the coffee maker. I put all of the ingredients in the pot, and water where you usually put it to make coffee. As the water starts dripping into the ingredients you can smell it already.! I had it for almost 2 hours and turned it off and the smell lasted 5 hours including the 2 hours that the coffee maker was on. Such a great idea :D

  • Gail:

    I have only had this on for a couple of hours, and it is nice but it is STRONG! Hope you like cinnamon and cloves, because that is all you smell. The orange and cranberries make it colorful and festive looking, but you can’t smell them because of the overpowering of the spices. Next time I will cut the amount of the cinnamon and cloves in half and add twice as much fruit.

  • Jill:

    I was wondering if you could go ahead and make it and put it in mason jars with water to give as teachers gifts? Or will the water turn brown?

  • Wendy:

    Hi Calli, We cant buy fresh Cranberries in Australia do you have any suggestions for a replacement scent to add to this… I cant wait to do this for my family

    Thank you !!!


    • Calli:

      Hi Wen, Do you have access to dried cranberries aka Craisins? I’ve had readers who have tried them and say they work great. If not, I would add apples or even dried apples.

      cheers, Calli

  • Amy:

    Love this idea. If I made this in mason jars with fresh fruit (not cut) how long do you think it will last before I gift it? Do I need to refrigerate it?


    This is wonderful. I love this scent..it just says Christmas. Who would buy it when yu can make it for less than half the price.

  • Kelly:

    Thank you for the idea. I’m a little confused. Is it supposed to stay wet? If so, how do I bag in a paper box. I am so excited to try this but I always second guess a recipe and I want to get it right. And do the people I give it to have to warm it up as well? Thank you!

    • Calli:

      Hi Kelly, give the items whole and dry. The recipient will add the water and heat the mixture after they’ve received your gift.

  • Suzanne:

    I see a few mentioned about dehydrating the berries and oranges. I do not have a dehydrator, is there a way I can dry them out in the oven? Also, it called for Cloves…..ok I am dumb in the kitchen…Cloves of what or are they just called Cloves? Thanks so much ladies.

  • Dot:

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwww!! Thanks for sharing this information with the site. I can’t wait to try this.

    Dee Dee

  • I have some on the stove right now. It smells wonderful. My cleaning lady is here and I made her a zip lock bag with ingredients for her to take home. She is loving it. Thanks!

  • Christina B .:

    I stumbled upon this thru Pinterest. Can’t wait to make it. Thanks so much for sharing the PDF to make my life simpler. Merry Christmas!

  • Tiffani:

    I grew up with the concept of a small pot of scents on the stove simmering. It would be this holiday combination, or cinnamon and vanilla with water, lavendar and water, peppermint, etc. It lasts for several days, even weeks, just be careful it doesn’t burn. This was my mom’s go-to countermeasure when frying fish or freshening up the house for company without aggravating my sister’s allergies. So, thanks for sharing this wonderful method with others! I do LOVE your idea as gifts!

  • Sally:

    Love this. I just use the orange peel, and use cookie cutters to cut designs in it. Little stars, hearts, or even just circles.
    Orange slices and cranberries can be dried in a slow oven. and hung on string, with cinnamon sticks, in front of a window for suncatchers too.
    Smells heavenly.

  • Jan:

    Since this is fall again, the winter fruits will be plentiful. Whenever I peel apples for pies;eat oranges or fruits with peals, I always slice the peals thinly, put in baggies & freeze them. Whenever I need some, I always have it on hand. Don’t forget the grapefruit peels ! They really give that extra citrus smell, as do lemons & limes. I make a citrus potpourri & it gives off a great fresh smell! But Christmas potpourri is the best!

  • Something that works and smells terrific is instead of using water for your base liquid. Use a cheap apple juice. And add the fruit the smell is great

  • Katie:

    Did anyone try this In a mason jar to give as a gift

  • [...] mix is an easy and inexpensive way to make a home smell wonderful during the holidays. And here are three ways to package it as a [...]

  • [...] mix is an easy and inexpensive way to make a home smell wonderful during the holidays. And here are three ways to package it as a [...]

  • Penny:

    Hi! This is a wonderful idea for Christmas gifts–thank you. To cut down on costs, I bought a big bag of clementine tangerines and put 2 per bag in the potpourri along with the spices and cranberries. Looks so colorful and easy to put together.

  • Julie:

    I’ve heard this ruins your pot or at least makes it VERY hard to clean after boiling this for a few weeks. Do you know if this is true?

    • Hi Julie, I use an enamel coated cast iron pot and it cleans up nicely. I’ve never had anyone mention that to me, but I think it would depend on the type of material the pot is made of. If it’s something that worries you, it might be worth using an old pot that you don’t care about.

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