Hey Yummy friends! You guys have been blowing me away. In the two weeks since my post about DIY Natural Room Scents went live, it's been pinned over 100,000 times on Pinterest and shared on Facebook over 8,000 times. Yowzer! So glad you liked that one. It makes my blogger heart skip a beat. The best part has been reading all of the comments, suggestions and questions from readers at the end of that post. We've had some great conversation going. Today, I am sharing some ideas that all took root there --your tips and questions about gifting jars of naturally scented water were the inspiration for today's post. So, THANK YOU!
Unique, fun, inexpensive gifts. These are such a novel gift, and something that the recipient is sure to enjoy. Consider giving them as gifts to teachers, neighbors & co-workers, or take them along to a party for a host/hostess gift.
Make jars ahead for gift giving. I've had many questions about how to make these scented jars to give as gifts and if it's possible to make them up ahead of time. So, I did some experimenting to figure out how long they will keep in the fridge or freezer. I'll share what I learned.
Printable gift tags and recipe cards. To make it easier to turn these fragrant jars into gifts, I made some downloadable & printable gift tags. I also made up a printable recipe card, in case you'd like to give it along with a scented jar so that the recipient can make more of these after their gift jar runs dry. You'll find the links for the printables further down in the post.
Use these scented jars as centerpieces. Yummy reader April wrote, "How pretty! I am going to use these jars as centerpieces for my fall brunch & send them home with my guests." I LOVE THAT IDEA! (Thanks, April!). In fact, I love it so much that I played around with ways to arrange these jars as centerpieces. You can even turn them into candles on the table, if you like. I'll show you how.
First the Basics. For details about how to assemble 5 different scent jars and heat them to add fragrance to your home, read my original post:
...store in the fridge. Uncooked jars of scented waters will keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, so you can make these ahead to have on hand or for gift giving. I recommend adding all of the ingredients, including the water, to the jars before refrigerating them. I've tried refrigerating the fruit/spice/herb combos in jars without the water, but they don't last as long that way.
...freeze them. I've tried freezing them both with and without the water added, and both ways work fine. I haven't tested them in the freezer longer than 3 weeks, but I'm confident that they can be frozen for a month or longer. Make sure you use freezer-safe jars like these pint wide-mouth mason jars. (Not all mason jars are freezer-safe.) I like to use plastic jar lids. If you add water to the jars before freezing them, make sure you leave at least 3/4" at the top to allow for expansion when it freezes.
Below are two jars that I froze. I didn't add water to the jar on the left. I did add water to the jar on the right. After the two jars were frozen, thawed, and water was added to both, they looked identical. So, it's fine to freeze them with or without water in the jar. You choose.
Gift tags, recipe cards, and ribbons.That's all you need to turn these into a fun, festive gift. These can be decorated to be suitable for any occasion. I made gift tags in 2 colors to make them more versatile. The recipe cards give the gift recipient all of the information they need to refill the jar to make more scents of their own. They also include directions for heating the scented waters.
Download printable gift tags and recipe cards.
Print a sheet of these tags for adding the finishing touch to your gifts.
To use the tags:
Print these on card stock, cut them out with scissors, punch a hole in the corner, and hang them from a ribbon or string.
Print them on sticker paper and stick them to your gift. Or, stick them on with tape.
If you don't have a printer or specialty papers, you can have a store with printing services download and print them for you.
Centerpieces for guests to take home. Use these scented jars in the center of tables or to decorate a buffet table or entry way. When your party guests leave, offer them one of the jars as a gift to take home. You can tie them with a ribbon to jazz them up a bit. Or, place a floating candle on top to add even more atmosphere to your table.
Group several jars for a bigger centerpiece. If you want to add some height to the arrangement, put some of the jars on top of smaller jars or lids to elevate them slightly. I used inverted wide-mouth half pint mason jars to elevate 2 of the center scent jars in my arrangement. Add some greens, leaves, citrus, cinnamon sticks, or other natural decorations around the base of the jars, if you like. Adding floating candles on top is optional, but I sure do think it looks pretty!
This arrangement with lit floating candles would be beautiful on a buffet table or in the center of a table. The jars could also be spread out along the center of an oblong table.
When the party is over, put lids on the jars and ask your guests to help themselves to one to take home. Offer them a recipe card to go with their jar so they have directions for using it when they get home and making more, if they like.
For a bigger gift, give the jars along with a mini slow cooker. I keep my mini slow cooker filled with scented water & plugged in throughout the day to add a subtle fragrance to my kitchen. Yummy reader Donna shared that she is planning on giving a scented jar along with a mini Crock Pot to people on her holiday gift list this year. LOVE THAT! Thanks, Donna. I'm totally doing that, too. Here are some items I will group together into a gift basket:
scented jar (I'll probably do the one with oranges, cinnamon and cloves--that one has good staying power)
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I keep a little crock pot of scented water simmering throughout the day. This small model holds one 2-cup (pint jar) batch of scented water. It doesn't have a removable insert, but is an economical, compact option.