Gift Ideas or Something Special for Your Home

Orange Spice Potpourri
Bath Salts and Body Powder


orangeOrange Spice Potpourri* with adaptive lesson plan

About this project -

This is a wonderful smelling potpourri recipe. This can be given to anyone as a small gift at Christmas time (or any time) to let them know you are thinking of them -- mail carrier, hairdresser etc. And it is very inexpensive.
This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

 Supplies -

1 pound Orange peel (Dime Size)
1/2 pound Lemon peel (Dime Size)
1 pound Whole Star Anise
1 pound Small Cinnamon Sticks (1 inch)
1 pound Whole Allspice
1 pound Whole Cloves
4 ounces Fixative Orris root, Cellulose Fixative
1-2 ounce bottle with dropper of Orange, Cinnamon, or Christmas Oils.
    Note: This recipe uses 1 pound of each ingredient and will make about 52 snack size ziplock bags. Cost: $35.00 = .65 per bag.

Project how to -

  • If making a small amount, use a jar. If making a larger amount, use something that you don't mind having the aroma in forever. When I make it I use a plastic shoe box container. When finished I can put my craft supplies in it and whenever I open it I get the most wonderful aroma.
  • Mix together all ingredients except the oil. After mixing, add the oil by dropping it onto the potpourri. Trying to get as much as possible of the oil on the fixative. Continue to mix as you drop the oil into the potpourri. Use 1/2 of the oil. Check the aroma by smelling 2 or 3 days later; you can always decide to add more oil.
  • Let the potpourri sit for 2 to 3 weeks in a cool dark spot. Stirring every couple days. When finished bag up and label. I use ziplock snack bags and make labels using address labels on my computer.

  • Remember you can make as little or as much as you want with the recipe above -- just add and adjust to your liking. Good Luck.
This project was contributed by:
    Christine Hammoudeh,
    Adaptations by Paula Bliss
    Spices can be purchase at wholesale prices at:
    Attar Herbs and Spices
    P.O. Box 245
    New Ipswich, NH 03071   orderline: 1-800-541-6900

    adaptive lesson ideas for students with disabilities or young children:

    • First I took each of the 8 ingredients and put a sample of each in a small jar and labeled the jar in bold print and with pictures when possible. We passed these jars around and had each student smell and touch the ingredients (except the orris root which is a powder). We named the ingredient, described its characteristics in regard to texture, color, and scent: round, star shaped, rough, smooth, brown, sweet smelling.....smells like...., feels like....
    • I also took an eight item "cheap talker" (communication device) and recorded the names of each ingredient. The cheap talker buttons were labeled and are color coded. This was used for nonverbal students to identify the ingredients and participate in the activity by pressing the required buttons when each ingredient was being discussed. It was also used with an "active" student to have a hands on activity to do, while at the same time we could reinforce color recognition and appropriate class participation.
    • The students helped scoop ingredients out of the spice bags with a one cup flour scoop and mixed the ingredients in a large stainless steel bowl stabilized by the assistance of classroom staff.
    • Each class period after the initial mixing of ingredients we took out the 4 large containers of spicy mixture, mixed it up again by shaking the container, then added a few drops of orange oil and shook it up again.
    • Next we reviewed the ingredients by passing around the jars of spices and identified them by name, textures, shape etc. using verbal language and the cheap talker for student responses.
    • We did this for about 3 weeks while at the same time working on other Christmas craft projects.
    • I purchased 3 yards of red mesh and cut it into squares. We scooped a heaping scoop of the potpourri onto the square of netting and tied a green ribbon around the top of it. I passed around samples of the netting for the students to feel. Ingredients labels made on the computer were stapled on the bundles of potpourri. Each student got a finished potpourri to examine while we were doing this. Finished potpourris were counted individually by students and as a group.
    • To keep short attention span students with the group, they were given the cheap talker to touch and another was given a big red switch attached to a tape recorder (via Ablenet switch control box), and they pressed the switch to keep the Christmas music playing. These activities where switched  after approx. 10 minutes so students could get a variety of activities to do and to maintain attention level.
    • Next class the students decorated lunch bags that were used to package the potpourri's to take home. Many of the students need assistance with writing and fine motor tasks so we provided a variety of  decorative materials that the students could choose from to decorate their bags. Example: different colors and types of bows, gift labels, stickers (these were taken off of their papers and stuck to the edge of the table. This way student with some gross motor ability could touch the sticker and peel it off the table then stick it onto the bags independently). The students decided who the gift was going to be given to and gift labels here written to them with staff assistance.
 Make up activity sequence cards with each step illustrated by either drawings or photos and numbered. This would add an activity to the project for students who have abilities in picture identification, reading and sequencing.


Bath Salts

rated: very easy
ingredients: Epsom salts and scented oil (like the kind you use for potpourri
or scented soaps).
other materials: baby food jars, labels, closed container for mixing.
Mixture ratio: 3/4 - 1 cup of Epsom salts with 1 drop of oil (eye dropper drops).

procedure/lesson plan: I used yogurt containers to mix the Epsom salts with the oil. You want to use something disposable because once the scent gets into the container it's there for good. You fill the container about 3/4 full of Epsom salts add a drop of oil, put the lid on tightly, and have the kids shake them up good. After they are well shaken, pour into baby food (or other jars). Let them sit for at least a week before sending home, selling etc. to let the scented oil penetrate the Epsom salts. We started with a sample batch to test the scents and show students what the end product would be. We dissolved the bath salts in warm water so everyone could see, touch and smell the results. We also designed labels on the computer for the jars of bath salts with the instructions: add 1-2 TBLS per bath

another version of bath salts

  • 3 parts Epsom Salts
  • 2 parts baking soda
  • 1 part sea salt
  • 15-20 drops of essential oils ( optional )

use 1/4 cup in running warm bath

Body Powder

This recipe is all natural, no chemicals, no dyes, no talc (which can be harmful )

  • 1 part cornstarch
  • 1 part arrowroot
  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part ground calendula and/or ground chamomile
  • essential oils ( optional )

    You can buy cornstarch and baking soda at the grocery store. Buy the arrowroot bulk at a natural food store. I purchased the calendular flowers from a local person who makes natural soaps and body products and sells the materials. I used a coffee bean grinder to grind the herbs/flower to a powder before mixing with other ingredients.

    We made the the bath salts and body powder for a Christmas Craft Project. I purchased cute container from Bascom Maple Farms Inc. in Alstead NH. They send me a supply catalog and I found containers that they were just right for these projects.

    A great reference for making natural body products is:

The Herbal Body Book, A Natural Approach to Healthier Hair, Skin and Nails, by Stephanie Tourles

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