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Potpourri Jars  
An easy gift idea for your child to make this holiday.


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Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunBefore long you'll be canvassing the local malls in a hurried search for last minute gifts for teachers, day-care providers, school bus drivers, and other people your child interacts with daily. From fast food gift certificates to coffee mugs and boxes of candy, you'll spend an amazing amount of money on items that you know (deep down inside) will likely find a home in a dark drawer or closet. This year, why not turn the time you'd usually spend frantically searching the stores into a fun craft time and help your child make some easy but personal handmade gifts for those special people in their lives? An easy gift idea that proves useful and involves both you and your child's effort is a potpourri air freshener jar. Easily made with little expense, these little jars release their fragrance as they dehydrate and serve as a thoughtful reminder of your child.

What you'll need:

  • Small jars with lids (old baby food jars, or wide-mouth canning or jelly jars)
  • 4 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups distilled water
  • Food coloring
  • Approximately 50 drops essential oil (scent of your child's choice) or liquid potpourri (available at craft stores)
  • Scrap material for wrapping the lid
  • Raffia or ribbon (available at craft stores)
  • Newspaper (to catch spills and ease cleanup)

Note: Since this project involves hot water and concentrated oils, it is recommended that you take the age of your child into consideration and provide adult assistance or supervision where appropriate.

By initially pouring the water into your jars, you will be able to determine how many fragrance jars you will be able to make with a single batch. Two cups of water will fill only a single pint jar, but several baby food jars. After you determine the number of jars you are using, pour the water back into a container and place the jars on a work surface covered with newspaper.

The preparation of the base mixture for the fragrance jar requires heating water and is best done by an adult. In a medium saucepan, heat one cup of the distilled water. Add the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Once the gelatin is thoroughly dissolved, add the remaining one cup of distilled water (if using liquid potpourri—replace the last cup of water with an equal amount of liquid potpourri). Add food coloring to achieve the desired color. Set the mixture aside.

Place the drops of essential oil in the bottom of each of the jars you will be using. If you used liquid potpourri in the base mixture, you will skip this step. Carefully pour the gelatin mixture into each of the jars. Place the jars in the refrigerator for two hours to allow the gelatin to set and become firm. Given the high concentration of gelatin in the mixture, once it has gelled it will stay solid—even at room temperature.

Place the lid on each jar. Using safety scissors, cut a square of fabric large enough to cover the lid. Tie a piece of ribbon or raffia around the lid to secure the fabric in place and your fragrance jar gift is complete. To release the scent, all your gift recipient has to do is place the jar in the desired location and remove the lid. As the gelatin mixture dehydrates, it will release the fragrance into the air.

So with very few materials and a little creativity, your child can produce a handmade gift for a grandmother, teacher, or another favorite person, and you can watch them gleam with pride as they give a gift they made on their own (with a little help!).

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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