Don’t you just love walking into your home and being met with the wonderfully delicious aroma of Fall? Cinnamon, apples, pumpkins, and pies – these are just a few of my favourite scents. It’s these kind of Autumn aromas that make a house feel warm and cozy, perfect for the cooling weather. I decided to find out what kind of eco-friendly DIY crafts would smell perfect for the season, and came up with these 6 easy and affordable ways to scent and decorate your home. These DIY crafts and decorations will be featured on a Breakfast Television segment this week.
I’m sure many people are familiar with the decorative scented pine cones that frequent our homes during the Fall/Winter season – they add a festive aroma to your household. While the store-bought pinecones are often pricey and obnoxiously perfumed, these homemade ones are easy, cheap, and a lot more subtly scented. If you are unable to find the large, woody pine cones that are generally seen in stores, the smaller ones will work too.
Start this project well in advance of them you need them, because it takes at least 2 weeks to infuse the cinnamon scent, and longer if you want them to be more aromatic.
Things you’ll need:
To begin, choose your pine cones and gently rinse them in warm water to rid them of excess dirt, or insects. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees, and gently dry off the cones before placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Depending on the type of cone, it may take 1-3 hours for them to fully dry out, and should open up during this time, if they are still tightly closed. This cooking process also kills any bugs and other bacteria that may be living in the pine cones. Let them completely cool.
If you choose to use cinnamon essential oil for this project, your next step is done for you. If you wish to make your own cinnamon oil, keep in mind it will be less fragrant, but quite easy and more affordable. In a small pot, heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon, stir, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter into a sterilized airtight jar or bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.
Next, Place the cones in a large resealable plastic bag, with enough room to close it. Put a few drops of the cinnamon oil and just a bit of water in the spray bottle, shake and then generously spray the pine cones. Add cinnamon sticks if desired. Close the bag and shake it to mix the oil with the pine cones. Open the bag and spray again, once more closing and shaking the bag. Leave the bag tightly closed for a few weeks to infuse the pine cones with the scent. Shake the bag every week or so to distribute the oil scent. If desired, you can take the cones out to display them and then replace them in the bag to reinvigorate the scent.
If you’ve ever wanted to try making your own scented candles, these are so easy and quite eco-friendly. This method uses everyday household spices, and beeswax blended with coconut oil for a softer candle that burns better than straight beeswax. Beeswax is 100% natural, is non-toxic (unlike paraffin wax), and burns clean with very little smoke. For this project I used cinnamon, but you can use any of your favourite household spices including: pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, ginger, clove, etc.
Start by placing the wicks in the jars and securing to the bottom either with tape or hot glue. Take the tops of the wicks (cut them long) and wrap them around an old pencil and place in the centers of the jars.
Place the beeswax, coconut oil, and desired spices together in the large mason jar, and then fill a saucepan with a few inches of water to create a double boiler you can put the jar in. Melt the ingredients together on low-medium heat, do not boil. Once the wax is fully melted, start by pouring a small amount into the bottom of the jar and let it set up to hold the wick in place.
Pour the rest of the wax, leaving about half an inch or more space at the top. If you want to prevent the spices from falling to the bottom, pour the wax in layers and let it firm up before continuing. Let the candles sit undisturbed until the wax has hardened, and then you are ready to burn your candles!
As an alternative to potpourri or candles, you can easily create a simmering pot of your favourite Fall scents to fill your home with a deliciously warm and inviting smell. I used cut apples, oranges, cinnamon sticks, whole all spice, and a splash of vanilla extract to create a delicious aroma that can be simmered on low for hours, or placed in a mason jar to be given as a gift.
These should keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. To use, simply pour the mixture in a pot and heat on low on your stove throughout the day. Make sure you keep an eye on it and add more water as needed. Feel free to substitute any of your favourite scents such as pears, cloves, almond extract, or even just the peels of oranges and apples.
These tree stump candle holders are a really easy and unique way to use and display scented tea lights to decorate your home. And if you ever get tired of them, you can use them for fire wood!
First, select the tree stumps that you would like to use with a diameter of at least 3”, and cut to desired length, making sure they are clean cut so they sit stable on a flat surface. I cut a range of different sizes so they could be placed in varying and interesting arrangements when used. Saw off any protruding branches or twigs. Next, use the wood boring drill bit to drill a ½ “ hole in the center of each log. It’s ok if the tea lights aren’t flush with the surface of a stump, as long as they sit flat. When finished, brush off excess dust and bring the candle holders into your house to arrange as desired. I placed some of the scented pine cones I made earlier around the bottom of the log arrangement.
Another way to make an easy decorative candle holder is to take any clear glass or plastic vases you have at home and fill them with alternating layers of dried beans, peas, lentils, or corn kernels to create a beautifully rustic and affordable centerpiece. I used kidney beans, split peas, corn kernels, and pinto beans to create layers of different colors, and then placed a scented candle in the top.
If you’re looking for an easy way to decorate the house and add a subtle aroma to certain spots, these dried orange and cinnamon ornaments are so simple and smell delicious!
To start, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Cut the orange into very thin slices, less than ¼ inch if possible. Discard any seeds. Place a cooling rack over a sheet pan and place the orange slices on the rack to keep them elevated while drying. Dry in the oven for about 2 hours, and cool completely before continuing.
For each ornament, begin by tying the center of a piece of ribbon securely around a cinnamon stick, and then lace the ribbon up through the center of a slice of orange. Place another cinnamon stick on top of the orange slice and tie the ribbon securely around it, then continue layering orange slices and cinnamon sticks, ending with a cinnamon stick. For a short ornament, use 4 orange slices and 5 cinnamon sticks. You can also combine all the slices and cinnamon sticks for one long ornament using a longer piece of ribbon. Tie the final cinnamon stick with the ribbon and use the remaining ribbon to hang the ornament, securing it with a bow.
Cinnamon Orange Ornaments
DIY Scented Pinecones
Fall Candle Centerpiece
Fall Scented Spice Candles
Simmering Pot recipe & Mason Jar Gift
Tree log tea light holders
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