Creating your own scented gel air freshener is an easy craft project that only takes a few minutes and can produce decorative air fresheners that will last for many weeks.
The ingredients and steps are so simple that children could do it, but I don’t recommend letting them do it unsupervised, as it requires handling boiling water.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to get started making your own air fresheners.
Your Ingredients List
You will need the following ingredients. Click the links to see my recommended versions of each:
- A pan for the stove.
- Pot holders for holding a hot container.
- A large spoon for stirring.
- One box of unflavored gelatin mix – or more if you want to make many air fresheners.
- Scented essential oil – any scent of your choice.
- Any kind of salt.
- Optional, but recommended – food coloring of any color you prefer.
- Decorative jars or plastic containers for holding your gel – must be able to hold boiling water.
- Optional – lids for your containers.
- Optional – flower petals, leaves, or cinnamon sticks to suspend in the gel as a decoration.
The food coloring is optional. An air freshener made without it will just look clear, but will still smell just as good.
The lids are optional as well. You can store a scented air freshener gel container for months with the lid on and the smell will be preserved for later. You can also poke holes in a lid to control how strong the scent is. A totally opened container will be full strength, whereas a lidded container with just a few holes poked in the lid will release a weaker scent.
Flower petals, leaves, or twigs are totally unnecessary but can be suspended in the gel container to make a more beautiful creation. This extra step would be great if you plan on giving the container as a gift and want it to look extra thoughtful and decorative.
Steps To Follow
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil on the stove.
- Once boiling, pour in your gelatin powder.
- Use your spoon to stir the gelatin until it is dissolved in the boiling water.
- Pour in 1 cup of cold water.
- Add a tablespoon of salt. Stir until everything is fully dissolved
- Salt will prevent mold from growing in your air freshener later on.
- Pour your food coloring and scented oils into your heat-resistant container.
- You only need a few drops of food coloring per container.
- Add more essential oil to have a stronger scent. I recommend at least 40 drops, or two tablespoons, per container.
- Pour your boiling gelatin mix into your container(s).
- Optional – Set your flower petal, leaf, cinnamon stick, or any other decoration into the hot gel container.
- Let your scented gelatin mix containers set overnight, unsealed, to harden.
- Once hardened, you can seal some containers to save them for later, or leave them unsealed to allow the scent to spread. You can also poke holes in a lid to release a smaller strength aroma from the container, which will help it last longer.
Tips And Tricks For Extra Fun
You can use more gelatin mix, with more water, in your boiling pan in order to fill up more containers.
If adding a flower petal or other decorative object to your gel container, do not use dark food coloring or they may not be as visible as you’d like. You can leave out the food coloring altogether to make clear gelatin.
You can mix multiple scented oils into the same container to produce your own custom fragrance. Before making your gelatin, mix a few drops of scented oils together to see if they produce a good fragrance. If so, then use them in your gel containers. If not, try a different combination.
You can use a coffee cup as an air freshener container. Display it on your kitchen table or give it to a friend as a gift. When the scented gel runs out of fragrance, they can clean the gel out and use the cup normally.
For a video guide on how to do do everything perfectly, I recommend this instructional video on Youtube.