We host our family’s Christmas Eve party every year, and while the adults don’t exchange gifts, I always like to have a little something to send home with our guests. Last year I put together these simple DIY simmering bags for all of my aunts and cousins, and they were a hit! They’re so fast and easy to put together, and they’re really cost effective if you’re looking for a gift that you can give to lots of people. They’re not Christmas-specific, but are perfect for winter in general. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to make holiday simmering bags!
What is a Simmering Bag?
If you’re not familiar with simmering bags, let’s get you acquainted! Simmering bags are basically a cozy and pretty way to make your house smell amazing for the holidays (or any time). You fill a cotton bag with spices and dried fruits with your favorite holiday scents. Then you heat a pot of water on the stove, toss the bag in, and as the water simmers, your house smells like all of your favorite things! It’s a clean, organic (if you use organic ingredients) way to make your home smell like a holiday wonderland — no chemical sprays or room fresheners.
How to Make Holiday Simmering Bags
- drawstring cotton bags
- cinnamon sticks
- dried cranberries
- dried orange slices
- whole allspice berries
- whole cloves
- fresh rosemary
- Optional: food dehydrator
Make Time: 30 Minutes (Plus Drying Time)
Step 1: Start by dehydrating your fruit, if you’re planning on using fresh fruit and dehydrating yourself. Wash and slice your oranges, and rinse your cranberries. Dry them in your dehydrator according to the instructions for your machine. Sometimes this process can take a day or two, depending on how much you’re dehydrating and how your machine works. So leave a little time if that’s your plan. I love dehydrating my own fruit because it’s cost effective and cool to know that you really did it yourself!
Step 2: Wash your cotton bags to make sure that they’re clean and fresh.
Step 3: Start filling your bags! I recommend in each bag: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2-3 orange slices, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1 TBSP cloves, 1 TBSP allspice berries, and a couple of stems of fresh rosemary.
Step 4: If you like, add a little tag to the bag with a label and directions for using the simmering spices. You can say something like, “Drop the contents of this pouch into a pot of simmering water to make your home smell like the holidays!”
That’s it! I love DIY ideas like this one, that are simple but show lots of thought behind them. You could even tweak the recipe a little bit to your liking and use them as mulling spices for wine! Okay. Now I want mulled wine. I feel another project coming on!
I’d love to know if you make these DIY holiday simmering bags for any holiday gifts this year. And leave us a comment with some of your favorite quick easy DIY gift ideas too! xoxo
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