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Handmade Christmas Gift: Stove Top Potpourri

livingChloe | Boxwood Ave.4 Comments

Use simple seasonal ingredients to make this handmade christmas gift; an easy stove top potpourri recipe that packs a serious punch! 

An easy handmade Christmas gift // stovetop potpourri | boxwoodavenue.com

The last time I visited Chateau Sonoma, I left with baskets full of pomegranates and persimmons. And while I was able to use some of them up in syrups and pureés, I still had quite a few left over, so I decided to dehydrate some in my oven to create a colorful homemade potpourri for Christmas gifts. 

I had never dried fruit in my oven before, and honestly just sort of guessed on how to do it - but the results were fantastic. I simply sliced the fruit into uniform pieces, and then placed them on Silpat baking mats in my oven. I set my oven to the lowest setting, and let them dehydrate all day long. Each time I opened the oven I was hit with humidity from the fruit - proving that the magic was happening. After roughly 6 hours, the fruit was dry, and ready to use. I let it cool and then placed it in a container to use later. 

I really, truly love making things. Making my advent calendar this year was one of the highlights of the season, and creating this easy and beautiful gift seconds it. Compiling the fruit and spices into little glass jars with darling little labels was a gift to myself all on its own.

With that said, I made these without actually testing the recipe. I figured - hey, this will work right? I had some left over ingredients after making a few jars, and decided to give it a go. I thought that since the ingredients were dry, they probably wouldn't be as potent as my fresh stove top potpourri recipe. Well, I was very very wrong. 

This recipe is truly fantastic, and just as wonderful as a fresh recipe. I was amazed by the lovely scent that has lasted for days. I let my potpourri sit for a few days before tossing it. By day two it doesn't look as pretty, but it still smells just as nice! 

I cannot wait to give these as gifts. They are toxin free, which is a huge bonus, and they are very inexpensive to make. I plan on pairing them with turkish tea towels and a Christmas note. I hope you enjoy making these for your neighbors and friends! Don't forget to save a batch for yourself! 


Dried Stove Top Potpourri 


Ingredients: 

An easy handmade Christmas gift // stovetop potpourri | boxwoodavenue.com

Supplies: 

To prepare the potpourri: 

Step 1: Slice fruit into uniform pieces. Place sliced fruit and herbs onto a lined baking sheet.

Step 2: Turn your oven to its lowest temperature, and dehydrate the fruit & herbs for 6-8 hours. Make sure the fruit is 100% dry because mold can grow if there is moisture still present. 

Step 3: Remove from the oven, and save until you are ready to assemble the jars. 

To prepare the jars:

Step 1: Print out the free labels, and using a paper trimmer, cut the strips of tags. 

Step 2: Place a varying amount of dried fruit, herbs, cinnamon sticks, and spices into small glass jars until full. 

Step 3: Cut rounds of kraft paper roughly 1" larger in diameter than the glass jars. Use a glue dot to secure the kraft paper to the lids. 

Step 4: Use another glue dot to secure the tag to the kraft paper, and then add twine and other festive accessories to the jars. Enjoy gifting these to neighbors and friends! 


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My Christmas Advent Calendar (with a Free Printable!)

livingChloe | Boxwood Ave.Comment

This Christmas advent calendar is made using antique French grain sifters and muslin bags, plus click below to download each day's printable for free!

Christmas advent calendar / simple farmhouse christmas

I am one of the many that truly loves Christmas. Growing up, we always had a birthday cake for Jesus, and made sure to remember the reason for the season. I continue to do so as an adult, and I really enjoy everything that Christmas brings. The joy and cheer, the music, the decorations. It's all so beautiful to me, and as Oprah would say, "5 star joy!!". 

Since the month of December can become so saturated with parties and gatherings, having an advent calendar is a lovely way to take a little moment out of each day to remember the spirit of Christmas. 

Christmas advent calendar / simple farmhouse christmas

I remember having advent calendars growing up, but I haven't had one in many years. Truth be told, I didn't really know the history of the advent calendar. I knew it stemmed back to a saint, but I didn't realize that originally the advent began much earlier than Christmas.

What is Advent?
Advent is the four-week period beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) through the following three Sundays. Historians estimate that Advent, which derives from the Latin word for coming, has been celebrated since the fourth century. The period originally began as a time for converts to Christianity to prepare for baptism, but is now more commonly associated with the anticipation of the anniversary of Christ’s birth on December 25.

Of course, our modern traditions show the advent beginning on December 1st and leading towards Christmas. Nonetheless, I believe it is a way to be mindful of the Christmas season. Whether you are religious and celebrate each day with a bible verse, or you simply want to soak up every day leading up to Christmas, an advent calendar is a wonderful way to fully enjoy the holidays. 

I really am excited about this advent calendar because I think it turned out so darling, it is hung in our dining room, and every time I walk by it, I smile so big. I think this is because sitting down to make this calendar was incredibly fulfilling. Lately, I have been so busy that I haven't had a single second to enjoy my hobbies. I have been going going going...and the past three months have slipped away from me. So getting to sit down, pull out my craft supply boxes, and enjoy a few hours making something with my hands was pure joy. 

I hope that whether you decide to make an advent calendar this year or not, that you are able to find time to slowing down and do something you love. It we aren't careful, three months, turns into three years, and three years turns into ten...and before we know it, we've blinked and missed the whole thing. 


Christmas advent calendar / simple farmhouse christmas

DIY CHRISTMAS ADVENT CALENDAR

in grain sifters with free printable tags & daily inserts

Supplies:

Step 1: Cut out the tags and daily inserts, I used a slide cutter! Then fold them in half. I love my slide cutter - it makes cutting paper so easy! 

Step 2: Fill each baggie with a daily task, quote, verse, or treat! Then decorate each bag - I stamped mine with farm animals and used glue strips to secure the daily tags, bells, ribbons, pine cones, etc... to them.

Step 3: Attach each baggie to the sifter. I used earring studs to secure them. 

Step 4: Enjoy!! 


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