DIY Simmer Pot Gift

How-Tos, Recipes

A DIY simmer pot gift is beautiful, easy to assemble, inexpensive to make, and it’s an incredibly thoughtful gift. Who doesn’t love the smell of the holidays!? Everyone is sure to love this gift including family, friends, host and hostesses, co-workers, teachers, and more. Don’t forget to make one for yourself too. You deserve it!

DIY simmer pot gifts, one in a clear bag and another in a mason jar.

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Homemade Gifts are the Best Gifts

It’s no secret that I love homemade gift ideas!  This holiday season alone, I’ve made several including:

Homemade Peppermint Bath Salts

How to Make Chocolate Dipped Spoons

Snowy Jar Candle Holders

Roasted Rosemary Cashews

Baking Soda Dough Christmas Ornaments

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Now I can add DIY Simmer Pots to the list too! 

What is a Stove-top Simmer Pot?

A DIY simmer pot with oranges, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, rosemary, and spices in a cast iron pot.

In a nutshell, a stove-top simmer pot is a pot filled with water, fruits, spices, and herbs that gently simmer on the stove creating a wonderful aroma that fills your home. A holiday stove-top simmer pot literally makes your home smells like the holidays. Typically a pot can simmer for several hours and up to a day or two when you are diligent about watching the water level. A simmer pot is also a nice alternative to lighting a scented candle during the holiday season.

Favorite DIY Simmer Pot Ingredients

Ingredients for a DIY simmer pot gift including an orange, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, rosemary, and red ribbon.

Whether I am making a holiday DIY simmer pot for the farmhouse or making gifts, my favorite recipe includes the following:

  • Fresh orange (or clementines)
  • Fresh cranberries,
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Star of Anise
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaves 
  • Nutmeg
  • Fresh rosemary (from the garden) 

How to Make a DIY Simmer Pot Gift

Here is everything you need to make these incredibly easy DIY simmer pot gifts. 

Makes 4 gifts.

  • 4 oranges (or eight clementines), divided
  • 1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries, divided
  • 12 cinnamon sticks, divided
  • 4-8 stars of anise, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cloves, divided
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg or 4 nutmeg seeds, divided
  • 4 bay leaves, divided
  • 4-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary or pine, divided
  • Clear bags or wide mouth jars
  • Gift tags
  • Ribbon

After gathering all the ingredients, divide them among the four bags or wide-mouth jars. Then, tie the bag up with a beautiful and festive ribbon or screw the lid on the jar and add a ribbon around the neck. Finally, tie on a little tag that includes the ingredients (in case of allergies) and instructions for your recipient to use in order to get their simmer pot started at home. You can certainly print something out, but in my book, anything handwritten is more thoughtful. I write out the following:

Holiday Simmer Pot

Ingredients: Orange, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, star of anise, nutmeg, bay leaf, rosemary (or pine) 


Make your home smell like the holidays! Cut the citrus into slices. In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water and the ingredients of the bag to a simmer over low heat, uncovered. Check the water periodically and add more water if it gets low. You can simmer the ingredients for about 2 days. After 2 days replace the pot with fresh ingredients. Merry Christmas! 

A DIY simmer pot with oranges, cinnamon sticks, cranberries, rosemary, and spices in a cast iron pot.

Holiday Simmer Pot Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

A holiday simmer pot is an easy, inexpensive, and all natural way to make your home feel cozy and inviting this holiday season. The aroma of orange, cranberries, cinnamon, cloves, star of anise, nutmeg, bay leaf, rosemary (or pine) will waft through your home creating a warm and wonderful holiday feeling inside.


  • 1 orange or 2 clementines
  • 3 ounces of fresh cranberries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 star of anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of rosemary or pine


    Cut the orange or clementines into slices.

    In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water and the ingredients to a boil. Then, turn the heat down low to allow the ingredients to simmer, uncovered.

    Check the water periodically and add more water if it gets low. You can simmer the ingredients for up to 4 hours for 1-2 days. After 2 days replace the pot with fresh ingredients. 


You can also add the water and ingredients to a small slow-cooker (crockpot) if you prefer to not use the stove.

Other Variations for a DIY Simmer Pot Gift 

DIY simmer pot gifts, one in a clear bag and another in a mason jar.

Although I shared my favorite holiday simmer pot recipe with you above, you can also add in or exchange some of my favorite ingredients with other things you might like more. Including, but not limited to apple core, pear, lemon, grapefruit, cardamom pods, and pine (from the Christmas tree or outdoors). 

Rather than use a clear bag, you can also use a wide-mouth mason jar.

With the ingredients and directions tag, consider tying on a handmade baking soda Christmas ornament, a candy cane, a cinnamon stick, or a mini Christmas cookie cutter.


“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

I leave you with this beautiful quote. During this season of giving, remember to give from your heart and with love. There is nothing more cherished or special during this holiday season. 

If you are looking for more holiday and farmhouse inspiration, join me on Pinterest and Instagram where I share all my latest home decor sources and styling tips, recipes, DIYs, crafts, gardening tips, and the latest happenings on the farm. 

Pinterest Pin for DIY simmer pot gift.




  1. I love this idea Meeghan! Can’t wait to feature it in my Saltwater Sounds wrap-up on the blog.

  2. […] idea on Pinterest. Once I tried it in the farmhouse, I was hooked! Last holiday season, I shared a simmer pot recipe that is perfect for Christmastime. The post also includes a DIY simmer pot gift idea that […]

  3. […] a great tutorial. I love the star ornaments the blogger added to the […]

  4. […] sure what type of beverage your recipient likes? You can also give the gift of cozy simmer pot ingredients to help fill their home with the scents of the […]

  5. Jenn H says:

    Can you tell me where you got the star ornaments? Love to add!

  6. Mercedes Grandinetti says:

    Can I use dried orange instead of fresh ?

  7. Elena says:

    Hi, these look lovely. I used your ornament recipe to make Thanksgiving turkey placecards. Could you let me know, how far in advance I could make these? Should I keep them in the fridge if more than a few days?


    • Meeghan says:

      Hi, Elena! Thank you for your kind words. I love that you used the baking soda dough ornament recipe for Thanksgiving placecards! I make my simmer pot jars or bags a day or two in advance. If you are making them further out than that, I thinking keeping them in the fridge is a great idea. Happy holidays!

  8. Ingrid says:

    A really nice gift! Do you know how long does is last.
    I like to make something like this 1 or 2 weeks before giving them away. Maybe with dried oranges. I’m wondering if the cranberries will take that long.

    • Meeghan says:

      Thank you, Ingrid! I typically make my bags or jars a day or two in advance, so I’m not sure how long the ingredients last. Drying the oranges should help to make them last longer. I think the freshness of the cranberries will dictate how long they will last. I would imagine they’d still be good in a week. I hope this helps. Happy holidays!

  9. Jessica Crouse says:

    How long does the fresh ingredients last for in the jar?

    • Meeghan says:

      Hi Jessica,

      In all honesty, I’m not sure. I’ve never made the jars more than a day or two in advance before gifting them. Most of the recipients I heard back from after gifting the jars to them, used them within a day or two. As with all fresh ingredients, the sooner they can be used, the better. Happy holidays!

  10. Amanda says:

    What size jar did you use in the picture above?

  11. Tay says:

    How far ahead of time am I able to make this?

  12. Karen Mills says:

    What size bag is needed for the simmer pot ingredients?

  13. Chris says:

    If using the nutmeg seed, do you just add the whole seed to the pot? Thanks

    • Meeghan says:

      Hi Chris! Yes, I typically add the whole nutmeg seed. However, you can also just grade a bit of it in. It all depends on your preference. Happy holidays!

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