DIY Christmas Potpourri

If you follow me on social media you may be working out that I am somewhat of a fanatic of Christmas, I love all things related to Christmas, I’ve been loving some of the Christmas potpourri in garden centres at the moment but the cost in most is crazy. So I’ve made my own, I’ll be honest I will mainly be using this for a garland (to keep out of reach from small grabby hands) and I will chuck some cinnamon sticks in too, so apologies for the slapdash arrangement. I’d love to see photo’s of anyone that completes this.

My little helper displaying pine-cones in bags

There’s two main parts to this potpourri, pine-cones and orange slices, so lets start with the easier one, pine-cones!

Collect, treat and bake pine-cones so they are nicely opened (info on this can be found in the Christmas wreath tutorial). Once cooled pop in a ziploc bag with a few drops of your favourite Christmas essential oil. leave to infuse for at least a few days. If like me you do not own any Christmas essential oil, you can buy some cheap online and it’s still cheaper than buying one pot of the scented pine-cones in shops and it’ll last for ages!

Orange Slices

The orange slices are a bit trickier, slice oranges a few millimetres thickness, place on kitchen roll and gently try and press as much juice out as possible. pop the slices on a baking tray lined with baking paper and put in an oven on low (mine was about 110 degrees) to mix it up a bit I popped some cloves in some as well, it made the house smell glorious while baking!

Turn every half hourish and bake for 2-3 hours or until they are dry. Obviously the thicker you cut the longer they will take, but do not turn up the temperature as they will just burn rather than dry.

I then popped all of the slices in a ziploc bag with some more cloves and will keep them there until ready to use.

 

And done, all for cheap! I’d love to see anyone’s displays

The Pine-Cone Wreath tutorial

 

So after I posted an image of a pine-cone wreath on my personal Facebook page I received a lot of messages from people asking me how I’d made it as they wanted to make one themselves. I’ll be honest I looked at some on Pinterest and then made it up as I went along but I thought I would share my how to with you guys in case you wanted to give it a go. So you will need;

  • Pine cones (lots of the bastards) I foraged mine in local woods with the toddler (free labour and she loved it, whoop whoop)
  • A wreath base (image of the ype I used further down)
  • Beading or floristry wire
  • White acyrlic spray paint, and clear spray paint to protect.
  • Fake snow (I think mine was a B&M bargain, but at this time of the year this stuff is everywhere!)
  • Glitter because I bloomin love some extra sparkle
  • Super sticky glue

So here goes;

Take a little person to the woods and have them collect pine-cones with you, alternatively you can buy pine-cones but I used a ton of them and I’m all for doing things cheap as possible. I think we had a carrier bag full.

I treated my pine-cones in a mix of water and vinegar solution to help kill any creepy crawlies lurking in there (soak for about an hour). You don’t need to do this as the oven should kill anything but I like to be sure, to be sure.

Next lay the pine-cones on foil covered trays and pop in the oven on low (about 120degrees in my fan oven) for a few hours, checking regularly, as they open try and stand them up so they open evenly.

Once fully opened I tend to let them rest for 24 hours, I then spray a covering of of white acrylic spray paint over them and again leave for 24 hours.

Then take your wreath base, wire and pine-cones, wrap the wire around the base of the pine cones and then wrap around the base, I’ve read a few different recommendations on the best way to do this, some say start from the inside working out, others do the inside and outside then middle. I’ve tried a few different ways but am yet to find which works best and do my own thing, let me know in the comments what you went for.  Don’t forget when you’re working round to make a little hook out of some of the wire to hang your wreath from.

Once you’ve done the three layers (inside, middle and outside) your basic wreath is complete however you will most likely have lots of gaps and spare pine-cones so I go a bit crazy with the tacky glue and stick loads in-between the gaps to give it the full look.

Once I’m happy with how full my wreath is, I apply a few coats of the white acrylic spray paint all over and once happy I sprinkle some fake snow over the wreath while the paint is still wet. I then leave for 24 hours.

The next day I sprinkle with iridescent glitter and the first coat of the clear spray paint to seal it all. Wait another 12-24 hours, I then lift the wreath to ensure any loose debris come away and an decide whether it needs any more glitter or snow.

Then over the course of the following days I spray a few more clear coats and voila, one DIY pine-cone wreath, made cheap for your front door.

If you give it a go pop a photo in the comments, Merry Christmas!