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Who doesn’t like things that smell good? Except for my Ollie. Sometimes the smells that boy makes is other side of the grave smelling but dang if I don’t love him to pieces anyway. But usually I’ll get rid of something quicker than you can blink your eye if it smells bad.
Funky cheese? Get out of my fridge! Perfume that smells oddly like b.o. when I put it on? Get to steppin’ and I don’t care how much you cost.
I like pretty smells so much that I will stand in the aisle for candles and air fresheners and other smell goods for ages and ages. Over and over and over I sniff and it inevitably makes me so light headed! But what do I do? I keep going because I haven’t found one I like yet. That’s nuts! :)
And as I’ve been thinking of DIY gifts I keep thinking “mason jars are hot” because they are and that I not only want a trendy gift but a useful one, too. So I made a list of things I’d like to receive and I picked this one: Stove top simmer scents in a jar. Boom. Trendy. Useful. Fabulous. Let’s do it.
For this project you will need:
- Lemons & basic kitchen stuff (oven, knife, etc.)
- Rosemary plant
- Vanilla beans (buy on eBay)
- Mason jars
- Tags, markers, etc.
Grab your lemons and peel the stickers. Go ahead and give them a wash because that’s what you do but since we won’t be eating them I guess it doesn’t matter. :)
Slice lemons to about 1/4 inch thick.
Place a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with foil. If you don’t cover with foil the acid will completely destroy your cookie sheet, just so you know.
See how I didn’t use foil. Womp. Womp.
Place into an oven at 200° and bake about 5 hours or until the lemons have mostly dried up. The insides will be a little plastic-like but the rinds will be tough. It’s easy to burn them so take care and be sure to check regularly a good 3 hours in. Allow to air cool and sit for a day or so before using.
Fancy up a jar however you please. This is a $1 jar from the Halloween bins at Target. The have seasonal ones now that you can snag for Christmas and winter, too! Decorate however you see fit. I went simple and first went over the “label” area with a gold leaf marker and then when it had dried rubbed black acrylic paint in for an aged look. I added simmer in white paint which doesn’t really match anything going on but I just got excited and slapped it on there :)
I am going to start a hand lettering online course soon so I’ll get better at these things!
Fill the bottom 2/3 of the jar with dried lemons.
Jam 1 or 2 vanilla beans into the jar as well. FYI – you can buy Madagascar B grade vanilla for this project for cheap on eBay here.
If you have a big rosemary plant you can find so many uses for it. Like this… It also is great to have just for cooking and it’s super easy to grow and I’ve not killed it yet :) It also makes your kitchen smell lovely all of the time.
Don’t have rosemary? If you have some pine trees you can also whack some smaller and more tender parts of the tree off and use that. It’s actually my first choice but I have lots of palm trees and not so many pine trees around these days :)
Jam all of that business in your jar and get ready to share the directions…
Okay – so maybe cup isn’t quite enough but to be honest I made this for myself anyway :) You’ll need to tell the recipient the same but say 1-2 cups of water. I used a fun cork label from Walmart that wound up sucking lemons because writing on it with my Sharpie was so dang hard! :)
Now isn’t that a lovely little gift to give? You’ll either want to dry your rosemary by hanging upside down if waiting a while to give these away or just put together the day before you’re ready to gift them.
And whether you make this for yourself or as a gift one you’re going to realize that not all winter scents have to be heavy on cinnamon. This is fresh, clean and oh, so inviting!