How to Make the Best Stovetop Potpourri With Your Kids!

by Sharlene Habermeyer

Inside: Here are 3 recipes for making the best Fall stovetop potpourri with your kids! As it simmers on the stove, your house will smell like a cross between a freshly baked apple pie or a gingerbread cookie. Plus, your children will learn some interesting scientific information…all in the name of fun! Note: look for “Teaching Tips for Parents,” at the end of the blog. It will give you ideas on how to make this a learning experience with your kids and raise brighter children. 

When Fall arrives, I feel like a cupboard has been opened and all the sights, sounds and smells of the season come tumbling out. Cinnamon, clove, ginger, cranberry, orange, lemon, nutmeg and more. Combining these delicious ingredients produces a luscious stovetop potpourri that will permeate your home and make it smell like warm gingerbread cookies popping out of the oven.

This DIY potpourri recipe is simple enough for the smallest of hands to make. It’s a fun gift for you or your kids to give at holiday time and it’s the perfect activity for grandparents to make with their grandchildren.

Do you like activities to do with your kids that are fun AND have a learning curve? I do. So look for the “Teaching Tips for Parents,” at the end of the blog and discover interesting information about how this activity teaches the power of scientific patterns and how to share these ideas with your kids.

Stovetop Potpourri for the Holidays

The recipes are considered stovetop potpourri meaning that their essence, oils, and fragrance are released when simmering on the stove.

There are 3 variations: one for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Each starts with the same base ingredients. Most of the items are dried, but before putting the potpourri on the stove, I like to add fresh oranges, lemons or apples (depending on the holiday).

Watch the 2-minute video here on how to make the stovetop potpourri.

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This Fall stovetop potpourri is easy to make and has 7 basic ingredients: cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, bay leaves, and depending on the holiday: orange peel, cranberries and fresh lemons, oranges or apples.

3 Recipes, 7 Ingredients, 4 Easy Steps

I purchase my ingredients from Atlantic Spice Company and Both places sell in bulk and have great prices.

Halloween Stovetop Potpourri Ingredients


  • Combine all the ingredients in a 2-quart pot
  • Add 4 cups water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and let simmer. Add water as necessary.
  • When ready, turn off and let cool
  • When cool, put the potpourri into a plastic container; cover; refrigerate and use another day. It will keep for at least 1 month.
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This is delicious smelling potpourri…perfect for the fall season! Most of the ingredients are dried, but before putting it on the stove, I love to add either a fresh lemon, orange or apple–depending on the season. After simmering, cool and refrigerate to enjoy another day.

Thanksgiving Potpourri Ingredients

Follow the same directions above

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For the Thanksgiving potpourri, instead of adding dried or fresh oranges, substitute dried apple and a 1/2 of a fresh apple to simmer on the stove. When combined with the cinnamon, your house will smell like an apple pie right out of the oven!

Christmas Potpourri Ingredients

You can also add dried oranges to the bag (it looks pretty)

Follow the same directions above.

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For the Christmas potpourri, use dried and fresh oranges and lemons. I also add 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries to the mix. It adds a beautiful red color to the potpourri and a wonderful smell to the room.

5 Ways to Wrap the Stovetop Potpourri for Holiday Gift Giving

Check out these different ways to wrap the potpourri for that special gift.

1. Labels & Directions

Attach a label and the directions on every bag of potpourri. Make your own or download this printable. It has 3 sheets of labels; one for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The intensity of the colors works best when you use a high-quality paper or cardstock. I ran a test copy on both an ink-jet printer and laser printer. Both work great, but again–quality paper is key.

Click here to download the labels

2. Cellophane Bags

Purchase clear cellophane bags. Carefully place all the ingredients into the bag. Tie a bow with ribbon or fold the edges down and clasp with a small clothespin. Attach a label with directions.

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For this photo, the label is on the side, but attach it to the actual potpourri cellophane bag

3. Fabric Bags

There are dozens of fabric bags you can use to put the potpourri in. Check Paper Mart for bags that come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and fabrics.

4. Baskets

When giving this as a gift include the potpourri along with a fresh orange, lemon or apple. Put everything in a colorful basket for the perfect fun gift!

5. Attach to a Larger Gift

If you’re looking for something to make a special gift to someone look extra creative, think about adding a bag of potpourri to the top of your gift. Put the potpourri in a cellophane bag, tie with ribbon and tuck it underneath the bow of your package.

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This is a Halloween gift (wrapped in black paper) and after putting the potpourri in a cellophane bag, you can tuck it underneath the bow of your package. The label is attached underneath the potpourri. It makes the package more interesting and fun.

These are easy recipes to put together, but if it seems too daunting, consider the alternative: air fresheners from the store…ugh!

Commercial Air Fresheners…Dangerous…Dump them! 

Commercial air fresheners are BAD—all of them! They produce what are called xeno-hormones and can cause issues with your lungs, asthma, hormones, and brain. The chemicals in air fresheners accumulate in the fatty tissues of your body and make weight loss very difficult.

What is even more distressing—there is no regulation on all these air fresheners, so the manufacturers can put any chemical into them. They are nauseating and cause headaches and more. Get rid of them—your body and brain will thank you.

Stovetop Potpourri…Safe…Healing & Cleansing Benefits

The opposite is true with this stovetop potpourri recipe. It builds the brain and does not cause negative health issues with your body. When heated, the oils in the cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves and fruits release an oil into the air that cleanses, brightens and freshens the air—not to mention creates the most amazing AND safe smell that will permeate your home.

Here is a chart showing some of the health benefits of three of the ingredients used in the potpourri (share this information with your children):

Last, make this a teaching experience for your children. Here are some tips on how to do it…

While making the potpourri with your children, explain these 3 learning tips about patterns. This is a fun way your child can learn about the importance of some simple scientific patterns!

The Best Stovetop Potpourri for Holiday Gift-Giving

This easy stovetop potpourri recipe will safely freshen your home and make it smell amazing. And use it as part of your holiday gift-giving. It’s perfect for that small gift for your family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, or an additional special touch on a Christmas package; or a fun gift for your kids to give their school teachers. A family is all about creating memories and establishing traditions. This DIY stovetop potpourri can be both because it’s “Scent with Love…”

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You can use this potpourri recipe in a variety of ways during the fall season and holidays. Add it to a gift, or use it as THE gift for teachers, friends, and neighbors. Include directions on how to use with a promise it is “Scent with Love…”

Have you ever made a potpourri? Any recipes you would like to share? Please comment in the section below.

Blogging Friends with Fun Halloween Ideas!

Want some more great Halloween ideas? Check these out…they are written by some of my amazing blogging friends. Tiffany, Steph, and Lorrie are moms, bloggers, and creators. They have fabulous ideas to celebrate Halloween with your family and friends. You will enjoy reading their posts! And sign-up to receive their emails—you don’t want to miss even one of their creative ideas!

Tiffany Hernandez at Lake Life State of Mind (lifestyle blogger) will teach you how to make a Spider Web Cookie Cake for Halloween (this is too cute and tastes amazing!)

Stephanie at StephShares (health & wellness blogger) will teach you everything you need to know about Halloween Healthy Dinner Ideas (something all families need to know)

Lorrie at Stony Ridge Farm (gardening, etc) will show you some amazing ideas on October Seasonal Food highlighting delicious pumpkin recipes (and who doesn’t love more pumpkin recipes for fall!).

And last…want to remember this? Post this DIY Stovetop Potpourri recipe to your favorite Pinterest board!

The post How to Make the Best Stovetop Potpourri With Your Kids! appeared first on Good Parenting Brighter Children.

Syndicated with permission of Sharlene Haymeyer of

Sharlene Habermeyer is the author of “Good Music Brighter Children.” A blogger (Good Parenting Brighter Children) and educator; she has lectured all over the U.S.; holds a Master’s degree in Education and started a community orchestra in 1999. Visit:

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Patricia is the founder and editor of Little Bytes News, a former elementary teacher, radio talk show host, political activist and political blogger. In 2012, Patricia was nominated one of “Circle of Moms” top 25 political bloggers.

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