How to Make Potpourri with Dried Flowers

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Preserving flowers is a great way to create a keepsake or make a unique gift for others. In this tutorial, I’m showing you how to make potpourri with dried flowers so your creations will smell wonderful, too!

Mixed floral potpourri with fragrance oil and wooden scoop.

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What is potpourri?

According to Merriam-Webster, the name potpourri comes from the French phrase pot pourri which means “putrid pot.” That’s not the most flattering description, I know!

Today, potpourri is known as a medley of dried flowers, herbs, and spices, often scented with oils to enhance the aroma.

Mixed floral potpourri with fragrance oil in wooden bowl with wooden scoop.

If you don’t have fresh flowers to make homemade potpourri, you can choose any combination of orange slices, cinnamon sticks, dried apples, cloves, or other spices.

Short on time? You can buy dried petals and add your scented oil later!

Homemade Potpourri image with text reading "How to Make Homemade Potpourri"

Watch the full video!

Check out this 6-minute video on YouTube for a full step-by-step tutorial.

How to Make Potpourri

Before you begin, check out my post on How to Dry Flowers. It has five different methods–yes FIVE–you can try when drying fresh flowers.

For this tutorial, I’m using the air-dry method and oven-drying method. You can see all of these techniques in action in my video on drying flowers.

Dried flowers on cooling rack.


Step 1: Prepare fresh flowers for drying

If using fresh flowers, I always recommend picking your flowers in the morning after the dew has evaporated.

Try to avoid flowers with bruised or damaged petals for the best results.

Plumbago flowers on plant
Plumbago flower from my garden

Did you just receive a lovely bouquet or flower arrangement that you’d like to use instead? You can follow the same steps, either drying them in the oven or letting them air-dry by hanging them upside down in a cool, dark place.

(The yellow roses for my potpourri came from an anniversary bouquet. I air dried them in our laundry room while we went on vacation.)

In my experience, some flowers lend themselves to oven-drying better than others. Rose petals, lavender, and berries are popular additions to potpourri. Below you’ll find a list of others to consider.

Best to Dry

  • Roses (and rosebuds)
  • Lavender
  • Jasmine
  • Globe amaranth
  • Statice
  • Violets
  • Sage
  • Strawflower

Good to Dry

  • Zinnias
  • Mums
  • Mint
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Hydrangeas

Worst to Dry

  • Iris
  • Hibiscus
  • Plumeria
  • Succulent/cacti

Don’t forget you can also include herbs like bay leaf, thyme, and lemon balm for extra fragrance and texture. I have a related post on how to dry herbs as a reference.

Note: If you’ve had a good or bad experience with any of the flowers listed (or others not listed), please let me know! I am always updating this list for the benefit of readers like you.

Step 2: Dry flowers in the oven

Make sure any thick stems are removed before placing flowers on a baking sheet. This makes for a prettier potpourri collection.

Arrange the flowers face up on a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet. I recommend using parchment paper on the baking sheet for easier cleanup.

Dried flowers on baking sheet

Bake the flowers at 200°F (93°C) for 1-2 hours until the flowers have fully dehydrated. They can continue to dry naturally if removed from the oven too soon.

Continue baking flowers in batches until you have the number of dried petals desired.

Step 3: Add fragrance oil or essential oil

Dried flowers won’t typically retain their original fragrance after drying. To enhance the scent, add 5-10 drops of fragrance oil or essential oil to the dried petals. Then, gently toss the mixture.

You can pour the mixture into a paper sack to let the fragrance permeate the flowers.

This fragrance oil set is the exact one I used, and the floral scents are wonderful! I also found this Christmas oil set that would be perfect for a holiday gift potpourri.

More Crafts with Essential Oils

You will most likely have fragrance oil left over after making potpourri. You can use the remainder for diffusers, soaps, lotions, sugar scrubs, or room sprays.

Mixed floral potpourri with fragrance oil and wooden scoop.

Step 4: Add orris root powder

The secret ingredient to making potpourri last is orris root powder. It acts as a fixative to enhance the scent of the fragrance oils and preserve the potpourri longer.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of the powder to your dried floral mix, and toss it gently. Again, a paper sack works well for this step.

Step 5: Place potpourri in a mason jar or sachets

To make your dried flower potpourri a gift, you can use sachet bags or a mason jar.

Homemade potpourri packaged as a gift in a mason jar with a gift tag.

I used this gift tag maker to create my own custom tag. Then I printed and cut a cover for the mason jar lid using the same pattern.

Pro Tip: To allow the potpourri to “breathe” in the mason jar, try using one of these flower frog lids. Otherwise, potpourri that isn’t fully dehydrated can become wilted in the jar.

How to Make Potpourri with Citrus Fruit

One popular variation to this recipe is using citrus slices mixed with dried florals or spices. You can even place the mixture in water for a stovetop simmer pot.

Simmer pot ingredients, including oranges, dried orange slices, cranberries, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, rosemary, and bay leaves.
Simmer pot ingredients

For a unique fall or Christmas potpourri, try this combination:

  • Dried fruit slices, like orange slices or orange peels (using the same oven-drying method)
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves or star anise
  • Nutmeg
  • Dried roses
  • Holiday scented oils

Pin it for later!

DIY potpourri with photo of fresh plumbago flowers and text overlay reading "DIY Potpourri with dried flowers"
Mixed floral potpourri with fragrance oil and wooden scoop.

How to Make Potpourri

Author: firstdayofhome.com
Learn how to make potpourri to give as gifts or preserve special memories. Get tips on drying flowers for this craft and making it last longer.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Project Type Arts & Crafts
Cost (US$)15-20
Yield 4 cups


  • Oven (if drying in oven)
  • Baking sheet (if drying in oven)



Oven Drying Fresh Flowers

  • If using fresh flowers from the garden, pick the flowers in the morning after the dew has evaporated.
  • Trim off any thick stems. If desired, you can remove petals from layered flowers like roses.
  • Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet (optional), and gently lay the flowers on a baking rack, face up.
  • Bake the flowers in the oven at 200°F (93°C) for 1-2 hours until the flowers have fully dehydrated. Continue baking the flowers in batches until you have the desired amount of dried petals.
  • Place the dried flowers in a paper sack or bowl. Then, add 5-10 drops of fragrance oil or essential oil. Toss gently to combine the mixture.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of orris root powder to the mixture, and gently toss to combine.
  • Let the mixture sit overnight. Then, place the potpourri in a mason jar or sachet bag for gifting.

Using Store-bought Dried Flowers

  • Follow steps 5-7 above.


Add more drops of fragrance oil if the scent fades over time.
For best results, keep the potpourri out of direct sunlight. This prevents colors from fading and preserves the scent longer.
If you seal the mason jar too soon, flowers can become wilted or damp due to moisture that hasn’t fully evaporated. You can use a flower frog lid on the mason jar to allow moisture to escape.
Tried this project?Mention @firstdayofhome or tag #firstdayofhome!

FAQs on How to Make Potpourri

  1. How long does homemade potpourri last?

    Like any craft with dried flowers, you can expect the color of potpourri to gradually fade over time. With orris root powder and high-quality fragrance oil, potpourri can last 2-3 years. To prolong the scent, you can add more drops of scented oil as needed.

  2. How do I make potpourri last longer?

    To make your homemade potpourri last longer, avoid placing the petals in direct sunlight. The orris root powder will help retain the potpourri scent longer, but you can always add more drops of the fragrance oil as needed.

  3. Can I use silica gel to dry my flowers?

    You can certainly use silica gel for potpourri. Silica gel is my preferred method of drying flowers when you want to retain a flower’s shape and color. However, most potpourri mixes consist of petals rather than whole flowers, so using silica gel is not necessary.

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    1. Hi Liz! The orris root powder is really meant to extend the life of the fragrance oil, so you could always skip it and just add more drops of the fragrance if the scent starts to fade over time. I hope this helps!

  1. 5 stars
    Hello! Is it possible to make potpourri using whole flowers, with the stems and all? I’d like to make a scented hanging dry flower rack. I’m wondering if the orris root powder will work the same with whole flowers?

    1. Hi Tiff! Yes, you could use whole flowers and just hang the flowers upside down to dry. You might try to mix your scented oils with water and witch hazel (or rubbing alcohol) and spritz the scent on with a spray bottle. If it were me, I’d probably skip the orris root powder for whole flowers with stems. The powder just serves as a fixative to preserve the scent. You could spritz the flowers from time to time if they start to lose their fragrance. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for this Crissy! I have yellow roses left from Valentine’s Day and they dried perfectly in the vase (without water in it, that doesn’t say much for my plant care skills!) I want to take the list of flowers you recommend and plant them this year for drying! Pinning 😊

    1. Ha ha! I’ll bet you could still turn those yellow flowers into potpourri for sure. Thanks for pinning for next time! I can’t wait to see how your potpourri turns out!

  3. Crissy!! I saw your post about doing flowers and one thing lead to another and before I knew it, I decided I needed to turn my flowers from the garden this year into potpourri!!! Love this idea!!

    1. Aliya!! It’s so great to hear from you! I’m glad I could entice you to click around. It’s so fun to use different flowers for potpourri, and if it comes from your garden, it’s even more special. I hope you have a great time with it! Hugs!

  4. What a great post on how to make your own potpourri! I always love the ideas you have for dried flowers, and this tutorial is so thorough! I love that tip on using a frog lid on the jar to help the flowers stay dry!

    1. Thank you, sweet friend! Yes, that frog lid is on my wish list. I can’t wait to try all the scents and make stocking stuffers for the holidays.