DIY Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri - Easy 3 Step Guide

DIY Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri – Easy 3 Step Guide

To make homemade Thanksgiving potpourri, thinly slice an orange, lemon, apple, and pear, and place them on a metal cooking rack, put it in oven and flip the slices every half hour to dehydrate until they’re fully dry. This guide details the easy steps to make your own homemade Thanksgiving potpourri. Ingredients For The Potpourri When it comes to creating …

To make homemade Thanksgiving potpourri, thinly slice an orange, lemon, apple, and pear, and place them on a metal cooking rack, put it in oven and flip the slices every half hour to dehydrate until they’re fully dry.

This guide details the easy steps to make your own homemade Thanksgiving potpourri.

Ingredients For The Potpourri

When it comes to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for Thanksgiving, you need a potpourri that celebrates the homely and welcoming sensation. The combined aroma of the fruity, like orange, apple, pear and lemon, and the spicy, like star anise, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, is the perfect mix to highlight those sensations. It’s an immediately recognizable presence and creates a subconscious sense of being happy. Your homemade potpourri is the prefect charming touch needed to enhance the Thanksgiving festivities.

Orange slices

Nothing compares to the citrusy burst of aroma that oranges release when cut into thin slices. It is what immediately comes to mind when thinking for smelling something fresh. Its zesty flavor works great at eliminating unwanted odor.

Fresh cranberries

Fresh cranberries are versatile in the sense that they’re a traditional staple for both Thanksgiving dinner as well as homemade potpourris. Their tart and tangy fragrance complements the warmth of other ingredients well especially when combined with spicy flavors.

Star anise

The distinctive star anise is famous for its sweet and licorice-like perfume. Its exotic richness is one of the longest lasting aromas of the whole potpourri mix.


Nutmeg is the signature of a warm and cozy autumn evening. The aroma of freshly grated nutmeg flirts the nostalgia of a time well spent.


There’s nothing inconspicuous about the famous cloves. Its easily recognizable strong, spicy scent reminds one of holiday baking and mulled cider: an immediate classic of the Thanksgiving atmosphere.

Bay Leaves

Green bay leaves add the much craved for herbal and woody aroma to your homemade potpourri. It’s an obvious touch of nature drenched in the aroma of the earth. Dried bay leaves also emit a subtle vanilla-like comforting scent.

Cinnamon sticks

Nothing beats cinnamon sticks when it comes to being sweet and spicy. Its fragrance is reminiscent of freshness and warm baked food. Indomitable as it is, cinnamon can overwhelm other aromas if not used in moderation.

Step-by-step Guide To Making Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri

Make Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri: Fragrant Fall Recipe
Credit The Spruce

Homemade potpourri is a delightful way to infuse your home with the warm scents of Thanksgiving. We have familiarized ourselves with the ingredients that can be used in making a potpourri and now we’ll look at the exact steps to bring the idea to fruition.

Slices of fruity goodness

Gather your fresh fruits: orange, apple, pear, and lemon. Slice them up in thin and even slices. They have to be as uniform as possible otherwise the dehydration process won’t be efficient.

The cooking rack

Next, lay the slices on a metal cooking rack. Avoid cluttering and overlapping the slices otherwise air won’t circulate properly to dry the juices stuck between folds.

Dehydrate using an oven

You need an oven that has the dehydrate function. Preheat it to that setting. It’s important because in this setting, the heat is gentle and uniform enough to dry the watery particles of the fruit slices while not enough to burn them.

Now, cook for 30 minutes and then take out the rack. Flip all the slices, slide the rack into the oven again and start cooking. Repeat the process after another 30 minutes. This ensures that the slices are evenly dry on both sides. One important thing to keep in mind is that the total time needed for full dehydration is determined primarily by the thickness of the slices. Better if you keep them on the thinner side.

One done dehydrating, take the rack out and let the slices cool. You now have the structure of a basic homemade potpourri. While you can display these as an actual piece, you could also add essential oils and/or other dry elements to further enhance the fragrance of your homemade Thanksgiving potpourri.

Enhancing The Fragrance Of A Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri

There are hypothetically endless possibilities when it comes to personalizing the fragrance of your homemade potpourri. By tweaking a combination here and adding a few new elements there, you can come up with a variety of aroma combos for your potpourri. Let’s explore some ideas.

Drops of favorite essential oils

Adding essential oils is a great way to enhance the aroma for your homemade potpourri. Choose oils that are reminiscent of the season like cinnamon and nutmeg, add a few drops to the dehydrated slices and mix well until evenly distributed. Essential oils also work as a preservative for the perfume.

Apples for cranberries

While cranberries go hand in hand with the festive season, you could substitute them with apples. It’s a subtle touch of different in place of the classic. To add them to the potpourri mix, slice and dry apples like you did before and add with the other ingredients. The sweet, fresh, and crisp scent of apple complements the warm and welcoming aroma of Thanksgiving.

Ground spices

Using ground spices instead of whole ones further simplifies the homemade potpourri making process. They are easier to mix and distribute and their distinctive aromas are much easier to detect. However, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, and cloves are way more potent than their whole counterparts and thus their respective quantities should be adjusted accordingly.

Sweetness of vanilla

The rich and comforting sent of vanilla shifts the whole aroma of a potpourri more on the ‘sweet’ side of the spectrum. It complements all the spices that are identical to the Thanksgiving season perfectly. Just add a few drops of pure vanilla extract or some vanilla bean paste to the mix and let it dry to infuse your potpourri with the vanilla goodness.

Fresh ginger, almond extract, or pumpkin pie spice

None of these three ingredients are what you’d call traditional when it comes to the Thanksgiving aroma but it’s always nice to try your creativity out. The slight tangy and spicy flavor of fresh ginger goes quite nicely with the sweet and nutty aroma of almond. Pumpkin pie spice, which is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, can work as a substitute for the other spicy ingredients of the potpourri. The resulting aroma will undoubtedly carry your personalized and unique signature.

By incorporating these enhancements and variations into your homemade Thanksgiving potpourri, you can create a customized fragrance that captures the essence of the season. Whether you’re making it for yourself or as a thoughtful gift, this aromatic blend will add a touch of warmth and coziness to your holiday celebrations.

Tips For Storing And Using Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri

DIY Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri
DIY Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri

The delightful fragrance of homemade Thanksgiving potpourri can add a cozy and festive touch to your home during the holiday season. To ensure that you can enjoy the scents of Thanksgiving for months to come, here are some handy tips for storing and using your homemade potpourri.

Make it last longer

When the right container and storing methods are used, your homemade Thanksgiving potpourri can retain its perfume for up to three months. Using essential oil extracts instead of some natural ingredients can further increase its longevity since they all have some antimicrobial properties.

Use an airtight container

If you keep your potpourri displayed in open air then its fragrance will either dissipate naturally or by the corrupting nature of external elements. To reach the aforementioned three months, you should store the homemade potpourri in a tight-lid mason jar or a similar airtight sealable container.

Display in a dish or a mason jar

Keep in mind that a homemade Thanksgiving potpourri is not only a source of sensory delight but also adds a pleasing element to your home décor. Instead of keeping it displayed in open air, arrange it in a clear and/or sealable mason jar and place it on a surface that draws attention. This will add an ever present touch of festivities to any room in your home..

FAQs On Make Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri

How Do You Make Homemade Potpourri?

Thinly slice orange, pear, apple, and lemon and place the slices onto a metal cooking rack. Put it in oven and flip the slices every 30 minutes to dehydrate evenly. Once done, take them out, cool, and arrange the slices in an appropriate container.

How Do You Make Dry Holiday Potpourri?

Put your oven to dehydrate setting, slice the fruity and wet ingredients and place them on a metal cooking rack. Once heated, put the rack into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Next, take the rack out and flip the slices. Repeat the process until all the pieces are evenly dehydrated. Mix other ingredients like pure vanilla extract to give it some extra oomph.

How Long Does Homemade Potpourri Last?

A properly dried potpourri can retain its fragrance for up to three months. Using essential oils instead of natural ingredients can enhance a potpourri’s lifespan.

What Is A Cranberry Substitute For Potpourri?

You can replace cranberries with sliced apples, vanilla extract, some pumpkin spice, almond extract, or fresh ginger.

What Are The Ingredients For Homemade Thanksgiving Potpourri?

Orange slices, fresh cranberries, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks.


Homemade Thanksgiving potpourri is a delightful way to embrace the festive season and fill your home with warm and inviting scents. Whether you choose to make it on the stovetop or in a mason jar, the combination of dried fruit, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and other natural ingredients will create a beautiful aroma that will bring the essence of Thanksgiving into your space.

Give it a try and enjoy the comforting atmosphere it will create during the holiday season.

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