How Do I Make Potpourri Logs?

wiseGEEK Writing Contest

Who doesn't love a nice, roaring fire during cold nights? There's just something about a fireplace that feels comfy and loving. You know what's even better than an ordinary fire? A potpourri fire that fills the home with calming fragrances. You can easily make this happen in your own home by using something you might already have at your house: an empty paper towel roll!

Potpourri logs are very simple to make. Just purchase or make your own potpourri, then place it inside the paper towel roll. Fill the roll as tightly and as full as you possibly can. The best way to do this is to stand the roll up, with one opening down on a table and the other opening free for stuffing. You can use a dowel - or another implement - to pack the potpourri tightly into the roll.

Wrap the paper towel roll, containing the potpourri, in gift wrap, newspaper or any other type of paper. Tie the ends shut with string or twine.

Although the potpourri logs won't burn as long, or give off as much heat, as ordinary logs, they can be added to the fire with the logs for a warmth that smells terrific.

Don't have any potpourri? Make your own from pine cones. Gather pine cones and soak them in various solutions and you can even create colorful sparkles in your fireplace. For instance, soaking the pine cones in a solution of salt will make the potpourri logs burn yellow, whereas Epsom salt will make them burn bright white. Use potassium to create a purple flame, while allum (found in the canning supply aisle)will give you a green flame.

Combine the color-creating ingredients with liquid potpourri, and soak the pine cones in it overnight. Fill a bucket with warm water, add the chemicals or ingredients, and let soak 24 hours. Drain and allow to thoroughly dry before placing them in the paper towel roll.

There are things you likely have in your kitchen that can help with the paper towel log scent. Vanilla, apple juice and cinnamon, or even peppermint extract can be added to the soaking water to give you pleasant scents without having to purchase them.

The potpourri logs make a fabulous housewarming gift or just a special surprise for a friend. Stack them in a basket for presentation, or make a pyramid of logs and tie them up with a satin string. You'll enjoy making the potpourri logs and you'll enjoy the aroma and sparkle that you created yourself!

submitted by Emma S.