6 Ingredient Homemade DIY Simmer Pot Jars

Learn how to create DIY simmer pot jars easily and affordably! Stay with me as I walk you through this step-by-step tutorial, complete with supply links for your convenience.

I love making a new DIY gift for extended family and friends each year. Last year, I made southern tabasco pepper sauce from peppers homegrown and our backyard and jarred festively for the holidays. This year, I decided to try my hand at putting together DIY simmer pot jars.

I had leftover fresh sage and thyme after Thanksgiving that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I decided to freeze it. Then my wheels started turning, thinking about ways I could use the frozen herbs. I settled on saving them for holiday simmer pots (AKA stovetop potpourri)!

DIY Simmer Pot Jars

After some research, I found a formula I like that allows for personalization based on what you have on hand. The general guideline is to choose at least two ingredients from each of the following categories: fruit, herbs, spices, and baking extracts.

DIY Simmer Pot Jar Ingredients


  • Cranberries (dried or fresh)
  • Oranges or Clementines (whole or dried slices)
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Apples
  • Cherries

Herbs: When deciding the amount, for fresh herbs I recommend 2-3 sprigs. And for dried herbs, use a tablespoon

  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Pine
  • Thyme

Spices: whole or ground. If ground, I did a teaspoon then add more as needed

  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Whole Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaves
  • Juniper Berries
  • Ginger (I love the frozen ginger cubes from Trader Joes)
  • Dried Roses (available as a tea)
  • Whole Peppercorns

Baking extracts: start with a tablespoon, add more as needed

  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Hazelnut extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Maple extract
  • Lavender oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lemon extract
  • Rosewater

Phew! There are so many options and you can be flexible with your recipe.

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DIY Simmer Pot Jars

Here is exactly what I ended up putting together.

Recipe & Supplies to make DIY Simmer Pot Jars

-3 sprigs of fresh then frozen thyme

-3 fresh then frozen sage leaves

-1 clementine (I did not cut it, I left it whole to give the jar a longer shelf life). Slice it before you are ready to simmer

-Dried cranberries

-3-4 cinnamon sticks

-a pinch of whole cloves

-a pinch of whole peppercorn

-a teaspoon of vanilla extract

-a teaspoon of each: ground nutmeg, ground allspice and ground cardamum

-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

16 oz mason jars

-hot glued bows to the top

-Printable directions tag

-Jute to tie on tag on with a bow

-Paint/chalk pen to label who the jar is to, and from

DIY Simmer Pot Jars

Steps to Assemble your DIY Simmer Pot Jars

Step 1: Gather Supplies

First, choose what to fill your jar with. You can follow my recipe listed above, or create your own from the all inclusive list. Here’s a couple considerations I want to share about my ingredients.

I chose to put a whole Clementine in my jars. I chose a Clementine because they are smaller than oranges to ensure they would fit in the jar whole. Alternatively, you could slice and dry the oranges yourself. I did this 3 years ago to use as decor on my tree and around my house, and I am still using the same orange slices this year! For that process, you can find the complete tutorial here.

DIY Simmer Pot Jars

Next, the cranberries. I chose store bought pre-dried cranberries due to availability and ease. Fresh cranberries would be fine if they plan to use the jar soon. Or, again you can dry your own! Up to you and how shelf stable you want the gift to be.

The rest was a mix of whole and ground herbs and spices, and vanilla extract. I made 6 jars this year for family and friends. In the future, I may make more as teacher gifts. I think it’s the perfect simple yet thoughtful gift to share.

Step 2: Decorate your Jar

Since these were Christmas gifts, I decided to hot glue a festive bow on top. The jars I used and linked also come with black sticker labels that I addressed with a white marker.

Last, I tied jute string around the top and threaded a recipe label around each jar with instructions for use. Here is the text I typed onto the label to provide the directions:

“-empty contents into pot (slice the orange first!)

-add 3 jarfulls of water

-simmer uncovered over low heat all day for a fragrant treat

-replenish water as needed”

I made this cute printable on Canva that you can download and print as well here.

They made such a cute DIY gift that you can easily make in bulk if you have a long list of recipients you need a gift for. Let me know if you have any questions, and happy holidays!

Enjoy the process,

DIY Simmer Pot Jars